Since my eldest (13) started receiving a modest clothing allowance with the responsibility of buying her own clothes, she has been learning budgeting skills and how to creatively stretch her money, including sewing and refashioning thrifted garments. Wanting a new purse, she decided she would like to make one based on a bag she saw in a local shop.
Step 1: She sketched out what she would like it to look like, including approximate measurements.
Step 2: Decide on fabric. We decided to go thrift shopping instead of to a fabric store, to see if she could find any old clothes that could be remade into a bag. We found the perfect plaid skirt, and then I suggested looking in the plus size area (more fabric for the money) for the lining, handles and decorative bow. Success with the purple jumper! The lighting for these photos wasn't the best, and these photos are not in scale to each other.
Step 3: Draft the instructions/pattern (I wanted to record this as we went along in case we ever want to replicate it). We did this mostly based on the her idea, aided by visuals we found online, so that I understood what she meant (for example with the strap going through a casing).
Step 4: Cut and sew. I did most of the cutting while S did most of the sewing. The purple fabric is a soft brushed fabric, so the straps are nice and soft.
Step 5: Use with pride at a job well done! I hope everyone she meets asks her where she got her fabulous bag!