I thought I'd posted pictures of this already, but apparently I forgot. I found this great fabric at the local quilt store (timeless treasures butterfly search found the fabric when I looked for it, if anyone's interested), and my purse was getting kind of shabby. Here's the result:
I bought a pattern from Studio Kat Designs (the Baggalista), and way more fabric than I needed, plus lining fabric, soft and stable, a whole bunch of zippers and got to work. I pieced together two panels of butterflies for the front (the fabric is stripes of butterflies and flowers alternating). It would have been really nice to have fabric cutting layouts in the pattern because I had to lay all the pieces out on the floor to figure out how to do what I wanted to do (because making your own purse means you want things in a particular way, not necessarily the way the pattern designer envisioned).
With a little help from my dog.
I've love the way bargello quilts look, but I'm really not a quilter. So I decided to make a small panel of bargello for the back of the purse:
It's wonky, and I should have varied the strip widths, but it wasn't too bad for a first try.
Here's the cell phone pocket on the side:
It's bright blue on the inside, with the two small pockets that were supposed to be in there, and a divider that was supposed to be under the flap that I didn't like on the front. I love the fact that if I drop my purse, it doesn't dump all over the floor, and I really like the fabric (the soft and stable stuff is really nice. It gives the bag shape so it doesn't flop when you put it down).
I really disliked working with the pattern. I didn't realize until I used it that when I change a pattern, I usually work off of the fabric layout to figure out what changes I need to make. When all you have is a list of what to cut, with ambiguous names like "flap", it's a lot harder to alter the pattern without laying it all out to see which pieces are which. I can't remember off the top of my head if the pieces were numbered in the diagrams or the list (they are lettered in the sidekick pattern that I also have, but haven't used), but I remember having trouble matching the pattern pieces to the diagram so I knew which pieces to change. You also have to really read the directions. It's several pages, and if you're leaving off entire parts of the pattern (which I was), you can occasionally miss useful pieces of information hiding in with the stuff you're skipping. I doubled back and read things several times. I suppose it would have been easier if I'd wanted to make it exactly like the pattern. I probably still would have missed the fabric layouts, though.
Thanks for looking!