Today’s project was a new, bigger, more fun purse. Weeks ago I had decided to make myself a new purse. I wanted a bigger purse, and I also wanted to add some zipper pockets to the inside. I had modified my purse pattern I have made several of already for myself to be larger, and but hadn’t worked it out yet so wasn’t sure how it would turn out. I had estimated the fabric usage to be about 50% more than what it takes for my original design, but it actually ended up taking almost double that. I barely had enough fabric to cut everything from using the two one-yard cuts I had chosen for this design.
My exterior fabric, pictured at left, was chosen after I had already picked my lining fabric- a cut of fabric that my friend Jami gave me two years ago. I had to hand draw some of my pattern pieces as our printer wouldn’t print half of the pieces, and gave me duplicates of others.
The actual construction went really smoothly, except for the part where I forgot to put the interfacing in. I actually had to partially disassemble it afterwards to put it in because to just wasn’t stable enough without it.
I added a zipper to the inside of both sides in the center panels, and was really pleased with my zipper skills- both went in perfectly the first time, and I don’t think I’ve ever put a zipper in so well the first time, and especially not two of them.
One of the biggest design changes I made besides making the purse bigger and adding the zipper pockets was to make the strap longer so it could be worn cross-body, though it doesn’t sit incredible low and it at about hip level.
The lining fabric is a cute grey and yellow polka dot flannel, and its a perfect match for my outer fabric.
After stitching it up, I did find a few things I wanted to adjust in the final pattern, such as making the purse body about 2″ taller, and I found the pocket pieces needed to be lengthened by about 1″ to fit better into the design and sewing methods. When I sew this purse, the pockets on the ends are held in place entirely by stitching them into the other seams- the only thing I have to do with the pocket pieces is hem the upper edges before inserting them into the seams.
Am I happy with the outcome, despite thinking it should be about 2″ taller? Yes. Hopefully I’ll be making an official pattern download with instructions for this version and adding it to my shop soon.
My friend Joann asked me to make her a new purse a few weeks back, and we made a trip to Joann’s fabric store to pick out what we needed. It took a while, but finally decisions were made and we had four fun fabrics, two for each side of the purse. Of course it took me way longer than it should have to get it down because of a multitude of things going wrong (bobbin not winding correctly and continuously breaking, I sewed a few pieces together backwards… )but its finally done and it turned out really cute!
Depending which side is out, and which way its turned, its like having four purses in one! There are four pockets, two inside and two outside, and there’s enough room inside to hold quite a bit of stuff without being a monster. I have one of these I made for myself that I use most of the time and I love it even after a few years. Its also completely reversible.
If you’d like to make your own version of this purse yourself, just let me know! You can buy a copy of the pattern for $5.00. You’ll need a printer to print the pages (standard letter size) and some tape to stick the pieces together, but its super easy! You can also buy this one already made form my shop, or this one, which is just a little bit different.
I’ve been spending small bits of time sewing since you saw me with the brown top, but what have I been working on? I’ve been using up scraps left over from other projects! I’ve also ripped two past-made items apart and re-sewn them
in a neater, nicer fashion. I will be working on doing that to a few other items this week as well, starting with a purse I sewed a few years go in much too much of a hurry and did a sloppy job of cutting it as well. Here’s two of the 6 new items in my shop as of today!
There are now 7 faux-ties in my shop in various colors and patterns in the Accessories section, and probably will be a few more added in the coming days. Faux-ties are $4 each. I’m trying really hard to use up some of my larger scraps to some degree, though I know I will still have plenty to send to my friend Donna in a few short months. There is one other plastic bag dispenser in my shop as well- a pink one, both of which sell for $8 each.
The purse I mentioned above has nearly been reconstructed, but it still needs a few small details put in place, namely the closure. Its still not quite perfect, but it was the best I could do to fix it up, and honestly, the small imperfections are unlikely to be noticed at a casual look from other while you walk around with it. It will be discounted in my shop though because as I said, its not quite perfect.
I still need to add my purse pattern to my shop for those of you who’d like to make your own, and maybe I will create a quick how-to on making these faux-ties. I saw a tutorial somewhere for them years ago, so I can’t say its my design, but its a very basic design and super easy to put together in a few minutes.
I told you I made something else with that fabric I used on the skirt, right? The scraps I had left over were big- way too big to toss out, but small enough and oddly shaped there was no way I could make anything big out of them. Remembering this purse pattern that I drafted myself (I’ll be adding to my shop for a few dollars soon if you’d like to make your own) uses about 1 yard of fabric and can be made with 4 fat quarters, I decided to see if I had enough left in big enough pieces to make one.
As you can see here, I obviously had enough fabric, and the cool thing about this purse pattern is its completely reversible, and only takes about an hour and a half to make. Its super easy and super fast!
I have one of these purses I made for myself several years ago, and I still love it. I get a ton of compliments on it when I have it with me, and people always ask where I got it. :biggrin:
One of the things I like best about this purse design is it sits close to your body- long straps make me worry someone will try to snatch it off of my side because it makes them so accessible to anyone around you.
The closure is really simple- its just a small fabric tube made into a loop that a button fits through. Its quick to fasten and unfasten, but it won’t stretch out over time like an elastic tie will, which I have on a purse I purchase don Etsy ages ago. I still love that purse too, but I need to swap out the elastic for a sturdier fastener loop someday.
You can buy this purse in my shop here for $23.00. I may have a few other small items made up in this fabric over the next few days until its gone.
Today is my birthday, (Yay! Happy birthday!) and while I don’t have any new sewing to share with you, I do have some adorable fabrics! Saturday evening, Mattie surprised me with dinner with friends, and there was some gifting. My friend Tracy gave me some lovely beads, and Jami gave me these cute fabrics!
The skulls and paw prints are fleece, the polka dots are flannel, and the puppies are cotton. She had doggie coats in mind for these, but the more I look at the puppies one, the more I want to make a new purse for myself. Its just plain cute, and I’ve been carrying around my pink purse for a couple years now I think, and I’ve been thinking of changing it up again. And of course, if I use a matching fabric inside, maybe a chocolate brown broadcloth, I could still make doggie coats with the other 1/2 yard. LOL So many things to think about!
I’m going to sit on it for a few days I think and then decide.