I have a handbag that I love - just the right size (well nearly, if it were a smidge bigger I could get an A5 notepad into it and that'd be great), right number of pockets, the strap goes diagonally over my shoulder so it doesn't fall off and I can use both my hands - I have vowed to keep it forever. The problem is that my 'made in china' bag wasn't made to be kept forever. The lining has fallen apart, and doesn't seem to be fixable - oh the tragedy!
Strangely enough the answer came in a work expo and a pair of threadbare trousers...
At the expo I was given a bag of handouts. The handouts were so-so (most went straight in the recycling), and the bag's handle was annoyingly short, but the design was bliss! One pattern piece, cut it out twice, sew it together, and you a nifty handbag that you could resize a little and use for the beach / a nappy bag. Make it out of a pair of suit trousers and you have the makings of the world's best bag - slightly bigger than my old bag, button up pockets inside for things you need to keep safe, a zipper across the top, and even a separate pocket to keep the mobile/car keys within easy reach.
I added the dragonflies along the way (the material has a red line through it), CR didn't make them that way as standard!
I was so impressed by the way the bag worked out that I made one for the female relative I have in this year's Kris Kringle (here's hoping she likes it). I've finished it, and am very happy with the finished product! (I've another pair of threadbare pants now though, so the project may make a reappearance).