Here is my first attempt using a great tutorial I found online HERE by Sewplicity. I was not sure how it was going to turn out so instead of using my $9.95/yard fabric from PA, I used by $5 a pile fabric that I bought at a local thrift store.
I used my embroidery machine to add my initial so see how it would stitch out as I plan on doing that to my daughter's bags as well.
So here is what I think I will change in the next bag. The bag needs to be bit bigger. Us girls carry a lot of stuff when we travel so I knew when I was sewing it that it would need to be bigger. I bought a 28" long zipper instead of 20-22" which is how long the one above is. The depth of it is okay so I don't think I will change that.....just needs to be longer.
I used the quilted fabric for my straps and I am not sure I will do that again...they were kind of thick. I am going to buy some coordinating fabric and interface it to make it stiffer/heavier for my next set of straps. No, the straps won't match but I think it might give it a different look.
So the moral of this story is when you find a great tutorial but your not quite sure how it will turn out, use some inexpensive fabric first to see if you need to make any changes before diving into your nice, expensive fabric. I have LOTS more of this red quilted fabric so someone may be getting one as a gift too!