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1  Need help with Amy Butler Sweet Harmony Tote in Purses, Bags, Wallets: Discussion and Questions by ntaga on: December 13, 2010 04:03:57 AM
I've made this bag before - you'd think I would have learned. I'm making this one as a gift for a teacher at school who is having her first baby.  The problem is the way the bag hangs when it's closed and hanging on your shoulder.  I put three magnetic clasps - one on each end and two in the middle, but that's not particularly convenient for a mom who's trying to open the bag while carrying a child.  The bag calls for fusible fleece sealed by a layer of fusible interfacing, which I used.  I probably should have used Peltex on the exterior panels, but that may give it too much structure.  Next time, I will install a zipper instead of using magnetic closures.  In the meantime, what can I do?  Has anyone ever used boning?  I noticed U-handbag sells it for use in purses.  Is it possible to install boning after the fact? I haven't yet closed the lining, so could still reach the wrong side of the exterior top edge of the purse.  I welcome any suggestions.  Thanks.

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2  Re: gathered tote question in Purses, Bags, Wallets: Discussion and Questions by ntaga on: July 03, 2009 02:37:48 PM
My purse looks lots different than the effect you are trying to achieve, but the principle is the same.  It looks as if the gathered portion in your purse is about 2 inches wide and about 1 1/2 to 2 inches deep. 
Here's a basic picture of what I would do:

(I cut off the bottom dimensions - should be 14 inches - when you add elastic to the casing, the top will also become 14 inches.)

-make a casing about 4 inches wide and 1/4 inch deeper than the width of your elastic.  -Center the the casing on the inside of your purse. Stitch the top and bottom of the casing to the bag (through both the lining and the outside - this assumes you have already turned the purse or that you are using bias binding to close the top edges). 
-Feed elastic through the casing. 
-Stitch one end to hold the elastic.
-Pull the elastic through the casing (use a safety pin) until you have gathered the casing to be 2 inches long.
-Sew the other end of the casing/elastic to secure it.
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3  Re: gathered tote question in Purses, Bags, Wallets: Discussion and Questions by ntaga on: July 03, 2009 05:48:49 AM
I think a rectangle would be fine.  You may need to cut the purse in a trapezoid (larger side at top) or add some inches to the top of your bag in order to accommodate the gathers and still end up with the shape you want.  Here is a photo of a placemat purse I recently made with gathers in the top.  They go all the way across - yours would need to be centered and you would use a larger strip of fabric and elastic.

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4  Another Placemat Purse in Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: Reconstructed by ntaga on: June 23, 2009 02:44:50 PM
I made this small bag from two placemats I purchased on clearance from the Williams-Sonoma outlet.  A button and loop closure hold it shut, although with the gathered opening, it probably didn't need one.  I forgot to sew in a snap or velcro to anchor the drop-in bottom to the "gusset" triangles - suppose I can do it later or tuck the triangles under the bottom. I was pleasantly surprised with the outcome.

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