I made this tote bag for my friend Req's birthday gift a few weeks ago. I used some lovely love bird cotton I picked up last fall and made it per my usual tote formula: muslin lining, a deep box shape -- I'm not sure the proper name of the technique and my Googlefu is failing me, but you can find the corners explained in this tutorial. It basically makes the bag three-dimensional rather than just lying flat, and I find it makes a roomier bag. There is also a little pocket inside, made of the bird fabric.
The cotton is very thin, so I added some fusible interfacing to the straps for strength. I only had the lightest interfacing possible -- bought to practive making appliqués -- but it worked well enough. You can see that I added a double line of stitching to each side of the straps. And of course the finishing touch is the decorative stitch around the top of the bag.
I filled the bag with a lovely, sunny bunch of flowers and it made a nice gift!