After showing my daughter's most recent purse(Simplicity 2205, above), I thought I would show you some of her other purse-making endeavors. (A side note here: the words "purse", "bag" or "pocketbook" shall be interchangeable here -- I never know which word to use.)
Here is one of her very earliest efforts -- a little hand-stitched felt bag (so sweet):
This is the first purse she made using a sewing machine:
This next bag is the reversible bucket bag from The Bag-Making Bible (which is a very helpful resource, if you are into making bags).
here. The directions were not as clear as they might have been, and this bag would definitely have benefitted from fusible fleece in the body and the straps, but it still turned out cute. The size is good.
tutorial on mmmcrafts. (The wrinkles are just from it being stuffed in the closet). The felt appliqué on the front was designed as well as stitched by my daughter. The directions were good and the bag turned out just as it was supposed to, but it was a little small for my daughter's books. If you plan to make it I advise you to measure it against what you want to carry. You may have to increase the height and/or the width.
McCall 5599 View B, a pattern which is now out of print, although I think you could still find it. I love the size of this bag -- lots of things can fit in there -- and at the same time it is very comfortable to carry. If I make it again, I may add fusible fleece or some other heavier interfacing to give it a little more body.