Back in the 1920's, when my mother was a little girl, there was a game amongst her friends in regards to buttercups. They tickled each other under the chin with the bright yellow flowers and giggled "Do you love butter?", then checked to see if any pollen had stuck to their little chum's chin. My mother, not being a sentimentalist, recounts this activity with a curling lip. The fact that she still recalls it, tells it's own story.
I happen to love the buttercup purse pattern by Made by Rae (http://www.made-by-rae.com/2009/02/free-buttercup-bag-sewing-pattern/
) . I first discovered it on this forum, where it's quite popular. It's a free, easily downloadable purse pattern, with the caveat that it's not to be used to create items for sale. I've probably made close to ten of these winsome bags by now in a variety of sizes. Wonder what you'd find stuck on the bottom of my chin?
The basic pattern produces a rather small pocket-sized purse (which also made it perfect for a child, and I've made one for a little girl). But that's just the right size to hang across my chest to hold my iPod, keys and reading glasses and accompany me on a walk or when I'm attending to domestic activities. Essentially I use it to replace a pocket and it keeps my pants pockets from wearing out. I don't think the original pattern includes a long handle, but mine always do. I've started interfacing those handles with Peltex interfacing for a really sturdy strap.
However quite often, as in the case of this bluebird buttercup above, I enlarge the pattern for a regular purse-sized bag.
After downloading the pattern (it's only a couple of pages) and stapling or taping them together, I photocopy them at a couple of different sizes. I think 129% is the biggest my local copy store goes, so sometimes I've enlarged an enlargement. I also like to simply extend the bottom of the little purse to make it deeper.
This buttercup purse is a recreation of one I made from the same quilting-cotton fabric last January. I loved the bird embellished fabric so much that I pretty much wore it out. I didn't line much more than the top pieces and it didn't stand up to the weight of the items I put in. So I started over with fresh fabric.
This time through I stabilized the buttercup's bird fabric not only with fusible quilt batting on both the outer and lining layers, but also with a layer of crinoline on the inside of the outside pieces. I also did some simple quilting on the outside layer.
I found the lovely vintage tatting at the nearby De Anza Flea Market. It just happened to be the same width as the front yoke! I loved the fact that I already had a purpose for this embellishment when I found it. How often does that happen?
This buttercup is really standing up to the service I expect of her.