Wednesday, October 23, 2013

My New Purse

I loved my yellow purse.  It was actually my second yellow purse.  I loved the first one, too.  Yellow was such a nice way to immediately brighten up an outfit, especially when that outfit was covered in a black trench coat.  But, my purse was falling apart and I had to admit it was time to move on.  I was sad. I hate trying to shop for purses. None of them every seem to be what I want.

Then I saw Mommy’s new purse – purse and tote collection rather – all made by her.  And she had a new pack of yellow and green fabrics that had arrived in a kit for her.  Ooooh!  So Mommy and I got out one of her patterns and started making me a new purse.

front of purse I pulled out all the yellows from her kit as well as one of the greens and then rummaged around her fabric closet for some more yellows and something for the lining.  The purse is a patchwork quilted purse so there’s lots of opportunities for fun patterns.  In addition to the yellows from the kit, I used scraps from a dress I had with mud huts on it and scraps from one of Katrina’s dresses that was white with yellow and black flowers.  I used two greens from her kit and scraps from a pair of under trousers I’d made for Mr. Trizzle, as well.  We used her Accu-Cutter to cut the strips, so they’re actually straight.


The pattern is a simple, lined bag with a handle and a front pouch.  I made some additions: a divider to create two inside pockets, a row of three small pockets on the back of the inside, a small cell pocket on the inside of the front pouch for my cell phone, plastic ring to clip my keys onto so they wouldn’t get lost in the bottom of the bag, and plastic backing to make the bag water-resistant.

The Divider

inside of purse (2) The purse pattern has four pieces: outside, front pocket, handle, bottom.  I used the outside pocket to cut a piece from the lining on the fold.  I folded this piece so the rightside was facing out and the fold was at the top of the piece.  I basted the raw edges to the back lining piece.  When the lining was fully assembled, the folded piece created a pocket in the back section of the purse.

The mushroom fabric is the divider, front and back lining, the yellow is the bottom lining.

Row pockets

I know that I have lots of little things in my purse that would wind up swimming in the bottom of a bag and never be found.  To give these things a home, inside of purse (1)I made some smaller pockets along the inside of the back of the purse.  This is in the pocket area formed by the divider.  I took a long rectangle of fabric, hemmed it all around and then stitched it down across the back lining piece on the sides and bottom.  To turn it into multiple pockets, I stitched to straight lines from top to bottom of the piece at roughly 1/3 intervals.

You can almost see it in the picture.  The row pockets are the flowered material on top of the mushrooms.

Cell phone Pocket

I always want my cell phone easily accessible and in an outside pocket.  But the outside pouch on the purse pattern is quite large.  So, I decided to add a home for my cell phone in the front pocket.  It’s positioned so that when the purse is on my right shoulder, I can reach inside with my right hand and pull it out easily.  It’s a simple rectangle of fabric, sewn down on the sides and bottom with triangles sewn at the top corners to help enforce the stitching.  It works well.

Key Ring

purse key loop The ring for my keys is probably my favorite addition.  My last purse had large metal rings connecting the handles to the purse.  I would use the little metal clip on my keys to clip my keys to those rings and prevent them sinking to oblivion in the bottom of my purse.  I found a brown plastic ring somewhere in Mommy’s sewing room that was once part of who-knows-what.  I cut a long rectangle from the row-pockets fabric, folded it long-wise, sewed a seam on the long side, turned it and pressed it.  Then I put it through the plastic ring, folded it back on itself and sewed a line just above the ring to keep the ring in place on it’s holder.  I basted it to the lining bottom fabric and sewed it in place when the handle was attached to the bag.  It hangs inside the purse from where the handle meets the bag.

Water-Resistant Lining

purse lining My other modification turned out to not be such a great idea.  We found some iron-on plastic, for coating table cloths and that sort of thing.  I thought it’d be great to help protect the contents of my purse from rain, puddles, spills etc.  So, I cut plastic for the lining front, back and bottom and ironed it on to each piece.  Assembling the back was a little tricker because the lining pieces were stiffer, but it wasn’t too much of an issue.

However, once in use, my purse was very noisy.  It sounded like a krinkling shopping bag every time I rummaged in it for anything.  At one point, we had to take the purse apart a bit to fix a bad seam.  When I opened the purse’s insides, I discovered muct of the plastic had torn or was coming away from the fabric.  So, I just tore it all off.  Oh well.

Finishing Touches

Mommy had put some embroidery on her purse and offered to add some to me. I chose a squirrel!  He’s got this mischievous look, like he’s up to no good, like he just stole that acorn in his hands from under your nose.  I love that.  He’s hanging out on the back of the purse.

back of purse with squirrel

I love my new purse.  I keep thinking about what I’d do different next time, but that’s the learning experience.  Besides, I could always make another and have one for each season, like Mommy ;)


Jeannie said...

So far I only have 1 for 2 seasons. ;)

Unknown said...

Looks good!