Putting It All Together
Take your lining and insert it into the exterior, right sides together, pinning or clipping around the top edge, matching up the seams and making sure the straps are tucked in-between and out of the way.
Sew along the top edge using a 3/8 inch seam allowance and backstitching, of course.
I literally cut some bulk here in this next step. At each of the four seams along the top I clipped a little, being careful not to get too close to my seam:
Reach into that gap we left in the lining, and pull everything through so that your bag is right side out.
While the lining is hanging out, fold in the raw edges of the gap, pin, and stitch the gap closed. Normally I like to do this by hand as it's less obvious, but I did not want to put my poor fingertips through stitching through the extra layers of fabric that our pocket created. So machine stitching it is.
Push your lining down into your bag.
Faux Piping the Top
Now we get to do one of my favorite bits--the faux piping along the top. I love doing this as it really reduces the bulk I'd normally be top-stitching through.
Fiddle with the lining a little bit so that some of it is sticking up and visible on the outside. It's a little difficult to describe, but you will honestly feel it just kind of roll itself into place as you move long, pinning/clipping it in place. The bulk ends up in this little area that we won't be sewing through, so you won't have to invent new swear words when we hit the side seams.
Stitch in the ditch, slow and careful, taking your time to make it nice and neat.
For big bags like this I like to pizza toss things into position. Eh, you say? Open the zipper fully, turn the bag upside down over both your hands making fists. and punch it upwards, pretending you're tossing a pizza. Do this a few times, especially in the corners, and everything ends up nice and neatly settled. Give it a press if you want and you can be done or almost done.
I always add a pull to my zippers for a jazz hands effect (teehee). If it's a teeny pull I have to find some thin ribbon or the like to fit through (which is why I go for replacing the pulls with a larger one or using my new favorite thing, the handbag zipper). Most of the time I make a matching pull out of a scrap of fabric.
So grab a scrap of fabric, maybe eight inches by about an inch and a half, and fold it like bias tape (press in half, press raw edges towards the fold, press in half again). I use that triple stitch function I mentioned that looks like this:
And sew the strip closed. If it's a narrow strip I just go up one side, if it's wider I'll do both. Then I trim the tips to an angle.
Here's how to make a nice neat loop on your pull. Fold it in half and push it through the hole in your zipper pull:
Take both raw edges, and poke them through that loop of fabric hanging out the other side of the zipper:
Pull it firmly into place, being careful not to break your zipper.
Trim the edges on an angle if they're a bit long.
And ta-dah! Totally finished!
Don't forget the part where you pop it over your shoulder and strut! Flickr in the side bar, so load up and let me see your fabric combos!!!