Thanks for the compliments!
Thanks for the advice about the brads, I ended up having to use large snaps instead. I just used the top part, and they seem to work fine. I also used some on the handles, to secure them at the top. It adds a nice decorative touch, I think(maybe that will draw the eye away from the supporting stitching, lol). I also made the handles a little longer, I think. Here are a couple more pictures, finished, showing the snaps I used. It's not perfect, but it's good enough for me! I am planning on making another soon for my daughter for our next vacation! Thanks for looking!