Monday, June 11, 2012

Purse Parade

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:
It's a basic tote with contrasting lining, and a pocket inside and outside, very similar to the little diaper bags blogged about here.

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).
I love this fabric and the little flower button.  This is a really cute bag but if we make it again, we won't worry about making it reversible so that we can put pockets inside.
This next purse is the Piping Hot Hobo Bag, also from The Bag-Making Bible.  I love the green piping!  We added a chain for the strap.  Unfortunately, we found out that using a chain for the strap may look good, but it is very uncomfortable.  This bag also had snaps on the side so that you can make the purse wider or narrower.  But the snaps had a bad habit of coming unattached, so I'm not sure we want that feature on any more bags.
This bag (also called a hobo bag -- what exactly makes a bag a "hobo" bag?) is from an on-line tutorial 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.
And here's a view of the lining.  My daughter added the little zippered pocket.
The messenger bag below was made from a 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.
This is a bag totally made from scratch:  designed by me and sewn by my daughter.  I drew out the pattern (per my daughter's requests) and wrote up the directions.  It is also a messenger bag style, although it is more of a purse size.
There is a pocket on the inside and also one on the back:
The bag closes with an inset zipper (which took me awhile to figure out):
The last bag is the only one I have made, and I made it for myself ;)  It is  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.
With bag-making there is always something new to learn or a new technique to try, but at least there are no fitting issues like there can be with clothes, so your self-image doesn't have to take a beating ;) You can be bolder in your fabric choices and embellishments.  There are many, many resources on the internet -- some free, some for purchase -- and loads of visual inspiration.  Making bags is fun and it is so useful!


  1. These are fantastic! Let's see, which is my favorite? I can't choose -- they are all so cute. Well, if I have to...the first one she made on the machine, the reverse bucket, and the one you made for yourself are my favorites.

  2. What a treat of a post! As we all know, a girl can never have too many bags! I firmly believe this and indeed have a tendency to revert to bag-making as my default creative occupation! I too love the bucket bag but also the messenger style ones - so, so useful and as you say adjustable for what you want to carry. I love your daughter's first bag too - felt is a great place to start - very user-friendly. I think you ought to post a tutorial of your own design - looks great especially with those useful extra pockets. Intrigued by your reference to fusible fleece - I haven't come across this and it sounds extremely handy. E x

  3. Oh my goodness....what sewing machines you girls are!! These are wonderful. I so remember making so many of them when I was in high school. What a joy to sew with your daughter...Nicole never sets still long enough! LOL
    These are all I have to get the one I made off in the mail...and I still haven't finished the other mother's day gift...I am going too slow!

  4. You are both gifted with your hands, Angela! I loved all of them!! Thanks for sharing.

  5. Your daughter is The Bag Lady!! :D
    What a lovely collection of purses...I love them all! The little mushroom-and-mouse one is darling, but they all are great.


I love to hear from you! Thanks for leaving a comment :) I've turned off anonymous comments due to spam. If you would like to leave a comment and can't, send me an email.