Hi Nancy D!
You asked me a question but posted it via no-reply email. I tried to find you in cyber space but could not. So here is your answer.
When I posted that purse I was pressing the side seam open and stitching the handles down on each side. As I made more of them I realized that I could simply make the handle, fold it in half (both the short and long one) and stitch them into the seam allowance before I finished the purse by putting them close to each end of the zipper. I doubled their strength by stitching them again when I finished the purse as I sewed the half circle that completed the bag portion. I hope this is helpful. If not send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will send pictures.
Thanks for stopping by and good luck.