I think my teflon foot was somewhere between $20-30 but it may depend on your machine. Trust me, it was worth it. I tried everything and nothing works as well for me. I did buy some liquidy stuff (can't remember the name exactly) that is supposed to make the vinyl slippery. I haven't tried that yet and I may not since I love the teflon foot so much.
I had another thought, bear with me I just drove back 2 hours from a show so I'm a little fried. Maybe sew the bag like usual, but not sewing around the handles. Turn the lining to the inside and then kind of pinch the outside fabric and lining so that the raw edges are hidden and then sew around them. I just reread what I wrote and I'm sure I'm confusing you more. It makes sense in my head at least. Maybe someone can explain it better (I hope).
Don't worry, piping isn't hard. Basically you make a piping sandwich- put the right sides together and put the piping in the middle. The trick is to sew as close to the piping as possible. I usually use a zipper foot or a special piping foot.
I'm guessing that you would interface two pieces of fabric, cut the handles in the fabric, sew the right sides together (leaving yourself a small hole at the bottom to be stitched later), and then turn it right side out.
I thought of another idea. While I was "working" the other day, I started looking at dingbats, those pictures that you find on font sites. I found a classic style tattoo set (eek, I can't remember where ) on a free site. In case you don't know how they work, you add the file to your fonts and then when you type a letter (such as in Microsoft Word), a picture appears instead of the letter. The cool thing about them is that you can enlarge them without any distortion. I blew one up extra large, traced it with a hot transfer pen and ironed it onto a piece of fabric and it worked out really well. As for my embroidery, well that's another story.
I am trying to figure out the best method. I tried the white transfer pen but, like you said, it's rather thick and didn't give me a fine line. I've bought this sort of carbon paper that's white. I haven't tried it yet but you just slip that paper between your drawing and your fabric and trace it. Sounds easy enough. I must have bought 5 different pens. I'll let you know what worked best. -Cindy
This is a tough one. I've bought halter tops at Torrid that hide bra straps somewhat decently. I'm thinking you'd need a top with a higher back and a convertible bra that you could change the straps. I've bought a halter top and then used it as a pattern to make my some in my own fabric. I've tried a couple of different store bought patterns but haven't found anything that I've fallen in love with. I'll check my extensive stash of patterns and let you know if I find anything useful. -Cindy
Right now I live in Wilbraham but would be willing to drive wherever to get together and craft. I live in the middle of almost nowhere and am used to driving to get anywhere! This would be fun if we can work it out. -Cindy