My sewing is so bad that I had to use the manual to figure out how to get that bobbin thread picked up. So, the way I figure it is that if I can throw something together, anyone can. I'll bet yours will look better. I'm putting all of my oopsies in here so you won't mess up these little things like I did. I don't recommend making it as big as mine. I may fix that later.
1. Get some old jeans and cut out all of the seams so you just have 4 pieces of fabric. I cut out 3 pairs since I didn't know how much I would need but only used 2. You can use just one if you want. I wanted the contrast of colors. I saw it coming out much better in my head. :-) Iron the fabric.
3.Cut a strip off of the unused part of the jeans so you can form the handle in whatever length you need. Fold it in half lengthwise with right sides facing and sew along the edge. You'll have an inside out fabric tube. You have to turn it right side out. I used a chopstick to help. Then iron the strip with the seam in the middle (unless you want the seam to be on the side).
4. Sew the sides of the main piece of fabric together with right sides facing. After you do that, you can make life really simple and just sew a hem along the top (fold the top of the fabric while it's still inside out enough to give you something to sew-about 1/4 inch). Then you could just attach the handle. Keep reading if you want a liner.
5. Cut a piece of fabric about the same size as your jean fabric. My fabric is folded in half. I ran into the problem of needing more fabric over the pockets at the top so I cut a strip of fabric, sewed the ends together so it was a circle as big as the top of my bag and sewed it to the top edge of the bag with the right sides facing.
6. Here's one of my mess-ups. Make sure you sew the handle on in the right direction. Picking out the seam is not fun. Notice how I've sewn the lining to the bag (same as the last step, just put the lining inside the bag so that the right sides are facing. The lining will be inside out and so will the denim fabric.Look at the pic after step 5.) When sewing the lining in, you have to sew the handle in between the two fabrics. The first picture is how it looks when you're doing it wrong. You shouldn't see the handle, just the ends like in the second pic. You can put the handle wherever you want. Most people put it on the back side. Just measure from each side so both ends are the same distance from the sides of the bag. Important note: When sewing the liner to the bag, don't sew all of the way around. I forgot this part and had to take out more seams. You'll have to turn the bag right side out through the opening in the seam. Make the opening on the back side so it's not visible from the front. After you turn it right side out, iron the edges in to make it easier to sew the sides together. Then you only have one seam showing.
Here are some super great tutorials from people that actually know how to sew. I wrote mine just to give people another idea but if you look at the different tutorials, you'll find just about everything you need to know no matter how beginner you are. Used jeans are free, just try it!
Reversible Tote -Just change where you put the handles.
Fabric Basket - Great tip for sewing the lining. Leave a hole in the bottom seam so you don't have to have one at the top edge. Wish I saw this one before I made this!!