The purse measures about 8 1/2 X 11 inches. I based my design on this free pattern I found on the web, but I have a dreadful sewing secret: I cannot sew a straight line. I'm getting better at it, but the pattern I had found had a bunch of curves. I wasn't quite ready to tackle that yet, so I decided to stick with squares. I also wanted a purse bigger than the one in the pattern.
I found a denim remnant and a cute cotton pattern remnant at Wal-mart to use for the purse. (Note: using denim is a pain because you have to zigzag stitch around all the seams to keep it from unraveling, but I was used to it since I had recently done a jean quilt.)
I learned how to install a zipper, why it is important to be careful with a seam ripper, and how to sew a corner. I also learned that having pockets go to the edge of the panels isn't the greatest idea since it meant I was trying to sew through five layers of fabric.
Anyway, my purse has a small outside pocket for cell phone, keys, and chapstick. On the back of the purse is a large pocket for holding papers.
Inside is the main pocket, great for diapers and stuff. There are two inside pockets. The one is for little items I don't want floating around in the purse proper. The other pocket I sewed to make a pen holder, checkbook holder, and PDA holder.
Here's the inside of the purse before it was sewn:
I attached the strap with two D-rings.
I am happy with how my purse turned out, but for a while it did bear a striking resemblance to a scripture case. I also hope the cloth will hold up.