Friday, July 22, 2011

Mom's Purse...

This post could go in many directions, from the literal to the philosophical. Today, I'm sticking with literal, which means -yes- an entire post about a purse.

Before I get to that, though, an update -- The Adventurer is pretty much fully recovered from the incident that sent us to the ER last week. We do have a follow up with his pediatrician, on Monday, but mostly as a formality at this point. Thanks, much, for all the well wishes; they mean a lot. Thanks too for your patience in a mostly dark blog this week while I was busy making sure he got fully recovered. You guys rock. Seriously. 

Not just any purse, though. My mom's purse.

A purse I made her. From a pattern I more or less invented.

It's kind of a pretty awesome sewing Win, if you ask me. 

I started off with a basic free shopping bag or market bag pattern, right up until I realized, "Hello?? She wants a purse. Not a shopping bag. And 16" x 23" is kind of huge for a purse. (smacks forehead and ditches the pattern). Crap. Now what??"

Now what, indeed. Now, "Wing It," that's what. So I did.

I meant to take pictures all along the way so I could post a cool tutorial, but my camera batteries were cannibalized by wii remotes again, so I only have pictures of some of the steps. Still, it was pretty easy, so I'll explain.

I cut 2 rectangles of fabric and folded them and sewed up the edges so that each one turned into kind of a bag shape. One was the lining, one was the purse.

the bags

Then I made a tube of fabric that fit the bottom of the bag, slid two rectangular pieces of batting into the tube, and sewed that really, really well. I didn't want the batting sliding around should the purse ever need to be washed. I sewed this tube of fabric, with the batting inside, firmly to the outside bottom of the lining of the bag. Oh yeah, the point of this is to firm up the bottom and help the bag hold its shape.


sewed up really well so the batting won't slip around
Then I stuffed the lining into the purse, wrong sides together, and sewed the sides in place (top stitching down each vertical seam, and at the T junction at the bottom). And then I made the straps. Four long rectangles of fabric, because I wanted the straps to show the lining fabric on the underneath, so I had to make pieces of both. Lots of ironing and sewing to get those straps made.

Oh, before I put the lining in, I did put in two pockets. I call them library card pockets, or library book pockets. I don't know what they are really called. Just two rectangles of fabric, sewed around on three edges, open on top.

the pockets, before
the pockets, after
Then, catching back up now, I pinned the straps between the top of the lining and the purse, right where I wanted them. I also made and pinned in a flap to serve as visual interest and a closure for the bag. All those things pinned in place and now I sewed around the top edge, folding the raw edges to the inside, and finishing up the bag. I added reinforcement stitching on the flap and the straps so that the weight of the bag won't pull against them too much.

all done
Very last, I sewed on the cute little belt loop thing to hold the flap.

belt loop thing close up

Mom loves it, and I got to give it to her in person, so that's an added bonus (she's here visiting, thanks to some frequent flier miles we had built up). 

I highly recommend the use of a sewing machine, though, if you want to make a bag like this. At least for the straps -- quite tedious, sewing all of those straight lines.

So, what have you been up to lately?? 


  1. This is so very cute! I hope "mom" really loves it. The fabrics are so cute and I love your combination of the various but coordinating fabrics. I highly recommend sewing machines, too. :)

    For me lately... I've just been quilting. :)

  2. Great colors. I'm glad you got the pleasure of presenting it to her in person.

  3. Clearly I haven't said this in at least a week: you rock and I'm totally impressed!!

  4. You're a brave lady. No pattern??? I commend you! ;-) I just wrapped up a weekend of bridal shower/bachelorette party craziness. You can pop over to my blog for some silly photos. Glad the Adventurer is well!

  5. Congratulations on the purse - and how fun that your Mom got to see it develop and be created.

    I have started a page about my brothers... but this afternoon I took a nap. Radical care for today before a frantically busy couple of days.

  6. I love it! Love the fabric and the functionality of the bag.

    I really impressed. I've only sewn simple things like pajama pants.

  7. I do love it and I'm planning what I wear Sunday to church to match/coordinate with the colors of the purse. I am even more impressed with it after reading the post. I know you told me how much work went into it but seeing the pictures made me really understand - I am a visual learner. Love you lots, Mom

  8. That is so cool! I love the fabric. In fact, I have a piece of the red fabric sitting right here next to my desk right now. Isn't that weird?

    And I think the little love note from your mom after Nota's comment is extra sweet.

  9. Thanks, everyone! I had fun making it.

    Mom, I'm glad you like it :-)

    And Chloe, that is weird. Very cool though.