(Purse is empty so it's hard to make it nice and stretched out)
I did the embroidery before I cut out the bag, that way I could make sure it was perfectly centered and straight. I'm pretty sure you can do that even on cut pieces, but I'm not that skilled yet. ;)
(True color of the purse, for some reason it took on a purple tint in half of my pictures!)
The request for this purse also asked for a different handle, and only 14" long total. When I made the strap, it seemed super short, but it worked perfectly with the size of the bag and the recipient (she's only around 5' so a giant bag makes her look silly - her words, not mine!) For the handle I cut a piece that was 8" wide by 16" long, then folded it in half, folded the edges in, put a piece of 4"x14" batting inside (centered on the fabric), and sewed it shut. That gave me a handle that was 2" wide and 16" long with the unfinished edges. After the purse was together, I folded the strap openings down inside the bag and stuck the handle in, then sewed them together.
(True color inside, the zipper IS purple!)
I added in a slip pocket on one side and a recessed zipper pocket on the other side, to give some storage. If I make another one, I might make a tutorial on my changes. I also didn't do the zipper closure, instead I put in a magnetic snap, which was MUCH easier!
(Open - still not sure why it looks purple!)