Denim to the rescue!
Let me back up, though. It cracked me up that when he was trying to describe the bag to me, he decided a visual was the best way to do it. So Dad, aka the Man Who Owns a Million Tape Measures, grabbed a couple of them and sent me this picture:
Even better, he decided he had better show me what needed to go inside the bag:
Yes, that weird-looking contraption is a portable saxophone stand, and the two odd black things are for screwing onto the stand so it can also hold an alto sax and a clarinet.
Dad was not only displeased with the flimsy nature of the original bag -- he also felt it needed to be a few inches longer and wider. Plus, holding the stand (which is pretty heavy) in the bag by just a thin cord wasn't super comfortable. The new bag needed a handle as well. The original bag was flat, which seemed dumb if it was going to hold items that weren't flat. I figured boxed corners would work a whole lot better.
I wanted there to be an additional layer of fabric between those pokey screws and the outside world, so I made sure I lined the bag as well. I still had another one of Dad's old work shirts lying around, so I cut that up and used it for the lining as well as a strip of decoration stitched onto the front. Dad recognized it right away.
Here is the handle, which is on the back near the top. I used 1" wide cotton webbing and sewed it on as securely as I knew how. Only time will tell if it holds. My mom can always repair it if there are any issues.
When the bag is closed (using the opposing drawstrings rather than a single drawstring with a stopped like the original bag had), the handle naturally pops out for easy access.
I wanted to make sure I made this bag the proper way instead of just winging it, so I followed a tutorial for a Crochet Project Bag from Gleeful Things. I altered the dimensions a little, added the embellishment and the handle, and ended up with what I hope will be the perfect bag. All the other guys in the community band will be so jealous, right? Or something like that...