My very first project was a pattern by Amy Butler. Her house must be incredible. It's a tote-like bag called the Birdie Sling. Here was my first attempt, made with some gorgeous Amy Butler print and a strong black organic cotton:
I lugged it all around school, packed with a laptop, lunch, thick textbooks, my Income Tax Act...this bag was my life. Until the dry-clean only white strap started to get yellow and nasty.
So, I decided to make it again. This time, I cheaped out and went to Ikea and bought a cute little print. I also used an old pillowcase to line. I skipped all the random "interfacing" as well, except on the strap, and I used scraps. So this is the ghetto version, and I actually like it more:
The first one cost about $40, the second about $12. Not including my time to make the bags. To include that, add about 50 cents.
Overall, great for a beginner, fun, very useable, super sturdy, and pretty styling in my opinion. I also reviewed it here.