I've been admiring the purse patterns on Craftster for a long time. I've made several of them including the Jordy (doesn't everyone make a Jordy?), zippered pouches, pouches embroidered with cross-stitch that were used as ring holders at weddings, and QueenOfDIY's singlet shopping bag.
There have been several other patterns that looked interesting, so I went through my fabric stash and found several yards of a rather nondescript fabric and several more yards of plain white fabric for linings. And, I started sewing - nothing fancy, no interfacing, no zippers (except for one), simple patch pockets on the interiors of most, simple button loops and buttons for most closures.
I made 7 different purses (!), but I took one apart because I didn't like the style that much. Boy, did I learn a lot about the variables of purse construction, like strap placement, pocket placement, and closures. Here's a photo of my collection:
The purses were (starting with top row, left to right):
1. Phoebe bag - from artsycraftybabe.typepad.com
2. Buttercup bag - from madebyrae.blogspot.com
3. Grab bag - from allpeoplequilt.com
4. Shoulder bag - from tinyhappy.typepad.com
5. Zipper bag - from ThisMomSew's Tan Flower Handbag, here on craftster
6. Margaret sling bag - from www.ohfransson.com
The one I dismantled was the Pleated Purse Pattern from www.themikkelsens.net. I wasn't really happy with the shape of the bag, which tapers from 21" at the bottom to 13" at the top. The pleats just didn't work well for me.
Here's a few of the lessons I learned:
- The Buttercup bag is a winner. It was everyone's favorite, including my husband's. It's easy and rewarding. Next time, I'll make a bigger one with longer handles.
- Tinyhappy's Shoulder bag is one of my favorites. But, because of the construction, it would be difficult to put a zipper pocket in the interior. And, it would be difficult to make adjustable length straps, since the straps are an integral part of the bag.
- Ohfransson's Margaret Sling bag is also one of my favorites. It would be easier to put a zipper pocket in this one, but you still couldn't do adjustable straps. I didn't do the pleats on this one, because of my experience with the Pleated Purse Pattern. But, if you pleat the interior of the Margaret bag, you'll be limited on the interior zipper pocket.
- ThisMomSew's way of putting in a zipper is REALLY good and worked well.
- The Grab bag is cute, but seemed a little impractical.
Hope this inspires someone else to just get out there and try something!
P.S. I have better pictures of each of the purses (except the one I took apart) if anyone is interested.