I am so happy to be done with this bag; because it was such a pain to sew that waxed linen and because it turned out so great.
The pattern is from Betsy Ross. I made a few changes.
1. I added pleats to the bottom for structure.
2. I added a lined inner pocket. Make sure to place it low enough so it doesn't interfere with the pleats.
3. I lined the bag with flannel (a la Bend the Rules Sewing). I thought this would be difficult because of the pleats, but it turned out just fine. I knew that I couldn't add the pleats in the same place on the lining, because it would be a total pain to sew through that many layers. Instead of the five pleats I did two; one on either side of where the pleats on the bag were. I figured out the amount of fabric that was 'used' in the five pleats and then divided by four to know how big the lining pleat should be. Here's how my numbers turned out- Each of my pleats was .25 inch (so .5 inch of fabric). 5 pleats*.5 inch is 2.5 inches. 2.5 divided by 4 is .625 or 5/8 inch. So, each of my lining pleats should be 5/8 inch wide (5/8 inch fabric on both the front and back of the pleat). All those years as a Mathlete are really paying off! Makes sense?
I love the way this bag looks and will be using it a lot, for sure! And, in case you were wondering, yes I snapped ANOTHER needle. Two stitches until the end of the bag, too. Found a smaller needle that fit the linen and then forced it through. DONE!