I have to say that there are some things I changed and others I wish I'd changed in the construction of this bag.
The first thing I changed was that I eliminated a vertical center seam on the bag front and back. This seam wouldn't have added anything to this bag, and serves no purpose other than a decorative one.
The next thing I changed was the construction of the handles. I like the handles to be a little stiffer, so I cut my handle fabrics 5" wide x 30" long. Then I laid a 2 1/2" wide strip of fusible batting, cut 1" shorter than the fabric, lengthwise down the center of each fabric strip and wrapped each side of fabric toward the center. I fused each edge not quite all the way to the center - to avoid hitting the fusible batting with the iron. I then folded each handle strip in half and pressed it so that the raw fabric edges were enclosed in the center and there was a double thickness of batting in each handle, and topstitched each edge.
In my opinion, the worst part of the bag's construction as designed, is that the instructions have you make the bag, line it and then add the handles and flap afterward by folding the ends over and sewing them along the outside of the bag. When you do this, the stitching shows in the lining. In all fairness, the instructions do tell you that the stitching shows, but I don't like this at all. Having the stitches show through in the lining just looks tacky (especially since my lining was striped - I couldn't have avoided this problem no matter what color thread I used).
It would make more sense to sew the flap and handles into the seam that connects the lining to the bag and then stitch them down before the lining is sewn together. The modifications would entail cutting the batting about 1" shorter than the fabric strips for the handles. Then centering the batting, leaving 1/2" on each end of the handles without batting. In this way, the handles could be sewn into the seam without adding extra bulk. It would involve cutting the batting for the flap 1/2" shorter as well for the same reason, and sewing it into the seam between the lining and the cover along with the ends of the handles. It would be so much neater and easier to do this. I'll definitely try this modification next time.
It's a nice lightweight small bag - I'll definitely make another one.