I was able to use my blind stitch foot for a nice straight topstitch, I move the machine needle to the left, line up the blade with the seam and start stitching. I find it works quite well although care needs to be taken when approaching thicker seams which is where this clever tool comes in handy.
I deviated from the pattern instructions, instead of cutting separate pieces of fusible fleece I waited until I had the front and back panels completed, then fused Matilda's Own Fusible Foam to the complete panels. The panels are nice and smooth and I didn't have to worry about stitching through thick seams.
Completed front and back panels
I topstitched through all the layers, it was fairly thick so I stitched slowly and used a size 16 needle. In previous bag making attempts I have probably gone too fast and used a needle that was the wrong size. I've found when sewing thick layers the machine copes better when a stitch length of 3.00 is used and for topstitching 3.50 works well (plus if any unpicking is required it is a lot easier)
The back of the panel after topstitching.
After more pressing, the piping was put on ready for the next stage - making the side gussets and the base, which is then stitched on to the front and back panels. I'm hoping that part won't be too difficult and then I can progress on to making the bag lining.