I love pocketbooks. But I hate moving all my stuff from one bag to another. So I decided I could make a bag to go in my pocketbook that would be easy to move from one bag to another. I was going to just use some scrap material then I saw a tote bag laying with my material. Seems like everywhere you go someone is giving you a tote bag. Why not re-purpose one for something else. So lets make a Bag for a Bag from a Bag.
Step 1: Material
All you need is a thin tote bag and some pipe cleaners. (snap optional) I had several bags so I chose one that was not too thick and was about the same size as my pocketbooks. If it is too long that is fine because you can cut out part of the bottom of the bag if needed.
Step 2: Sizing
Now measure the tote bag with several of your pocketbooks. Make it fit the smallest you are going to use. That way you can move it back and forth between pocketbooks. But make sure it is big enough to hold your stuff. Fold the bag from the bottom until you get the size that works. You want it be a little smaller than you pocketbook so it will not show out of the bag.
Step 3: Cutting
Cut along the fold of the bag. The will make the insert smaller and you are going to use the excess material later. Now cut the ends of the excess material and then cut the piece in half. This is going to make two pockets for your bag. If the tote is the correct size and you do not need to cut the bag and you want pockets inside just use some other material you may have. Doesn't really matter the color. Now cut the handles off of the bag. You are going to use the handles later but make them smaller.
Step 4: Sewing the Top and Bottom
If you cut the bottom piece off, then sew the bottom back together. Just a straight seam is fine. I turned the bag wrong side out and sewed the bottom. I left my bag with the wrong side out so the seams stay on the outside. Makes the inside the bag better. You are going to fold the top over and sew a seam across the bottom of the fold. You want to make an opening so you can run the pipe cleaners through the top. This will make the top stronger and give you a way to keep the top open. Sew all the way around leaving enough room to run the pipe cleaners all the way around. I twisted two pipe cleaners together and kept adding pipe cleaners together until I had enough to go all the way around the tote bag. I put a safety pin on the end to help run the pipe cleaners through the opening. When you get all the way around just take the safety pin off and twist the pipe cleaners together. If you have some heavy wire that might work. But the pipe cleaners worked for me.
BTW: I tried just using a bag in my purse and it was more trouble because the top kept falling over. The pipe cleaners are great.
Step 5: Pockets
Take the spare pieces, fold the edges and sew all the way around. You can add as many pockets inside as you like. Now pin the pockets inside the bag and sew around three sides. Now you have pockets inside your bag.
Step 6: Straps
I decided to add two small handles and a strap for my keys. Cut the handles from the original straps. I made each handle 8 inches long and the strap for my keys 24 inches long. Sew the handles on the outside of the bag so it does not catch on things in your bag. Leave a little slack when sewing so you have room to grab the handles. This just makes it easier when you want to switch from one bag to another. Attach the long key strap to the end of the bag and sew a snap a the end. This will give you a loop to add your keys and makes them easy to remove if needed. My car has a keyless entry system but I am always need my keys to get into the house or office. And of course they are always at the bottom of my purse. This makes it easy to find and you want it long enough so you can reach the door with your key.
Step 7: Finished
So now you have your bag for you pocketbook. Attach your keys and put all your stuff in the bag. I have already changed pocketbooks several times with ease. I also carry a tablet in my purse and now the inside bag keeps my stuff separate. And I love having my keys on a strap. I hope you try it.