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Topic: Craftalong Un-swap Part 1a: Sewing a purse  (Read 37474 times)
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« Reply #20 on: November 02, 2004 08:25:34 AM »

I am hoping to make a really small messenger bag for a christmas gift.  Being on a rather tight budget, I'm wondering if there would be enough material to make the bag and strap from an old jacket or pair of pants.  That way I can get the outside material at the thrift store and splurge on the lining.  Hope that works, since I'm rather excited about this project.

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« Reply #21 on: November 02, 2004 09:02:16 AM »

I just made a little messenger bag out of pants...it works pretty well. Especially if you want a kind of tall, thin messenger bag. Mine ended up being about 7 inches wide and 10 inches tall, with a big closing flap in the front. You just have to be carefull with the measuring, because pants don't give you a whole lot of extra material in case you mess up.

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« Reply #22 on: November 02, 2004 09:35:38 AM »

Wow, you guys are all over this thing. Please tell me I'm not the only 11th hour worker bee in the group! I make purses & so I didn't want to let myself off too easy by just taking something I've already done & making another so I've set two guidelines for myself--I will use only items I already have (which is not really a big deal since I have an entire condo filled with packratted craft supplies) & I will come up with something I haven't done before. I think I'll try a reconstruct...maybe if I pick a shape it would help...or an animal...or a color...

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« Reply #23 on: November 02, 2004 10:08:56 AM »

Wow, you guys are all over this thing. Please tell me I'm not the only 11th hour worker bee in the group!

Please!!! it's only the 2nd!! trust me, i haven't even looked at fabric yet!! and i've never sewn a purse before!!  Roll Eyes  this should get interesting.....

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« Reply #24 on: November 02, 2004 10:18:53 AM »

Well, I thought I was ahead of the game, and then DISASTER STRUCK!

First I couldn't find any magnetic snaps at Joanns.  Fine, I'd just do something else.

Then I got home and started sewing.  The bag was turning out smaller than I had wanted, but I figured it'd be okay.

First I went to wind a bobbin with the new thread.  The bobbin wound out of control, and ended up incredibly uneven and looked like a mess of thread.  I unwound, and tried again.  This time it screwed up so badly that I couldn't even push the bobbin holder over to the left to take the bobbin off. Somehow the thread wrapped around the little stopper plate on the side.  Unwind, unwind, unwind... and try again.  Third time was a charm (though I watched it like a hawk!)

Then, I started sewing the darts on the outer fabric.  Turned out great.  Next I turned to the satin lining.  Why did nobody tell me that satin is the biggest pain in the rear, ever?!  It started fraying like mad, and then some of my seams were falling out, as the fabric was fraying at the edges.  I made a few quick fixes to the seams, and then continued on.

Then, as I was stitching the lining to the outer fabric, I realized I had placed my strip of fabric for the bag closure inside out, so it would have been stuck between the lining ang outer fabrics.  Rip rip rip, and that was fixed.

Okay, so now most of the bag is sewn, time to turn it inside out.  No problems, until I started trying to force the strap rightside out.  The first one came through fine.  But with the second one, the satin started falling apart, and next thing I know it's no longer sewn together.  Frustrated, I figured I would try sewing another piece of satin over it, since that part would just be folded down and hidden anyway.  I spent an hour carefully trying to attach a patch, only to have another part that earlier had looked secure start to fray at the seam.  I tried stitched up the hole in the satin inside where I pased the outer fabric through, and it was fraying so bad that it ended up looking horrible.


So, now I have this almost completed, disaster of a purse sitting on my living room floor.  It was looking really cute, except for the above mishaps.  I think I'm going to lop off the top of the bag, take out the lining, use a different fabric for the lining (or find a way to use the satin without the mess) and restructure the purse.  I already have it sketched out in my head, and I think I've got a good idea of how to make it look good.  

Will the roomy bag version 2.0 be as big of a mess as the inagural version?  Will bits of thread and fabric threaten to take over, and evict me from my apartment?  Will my sewing machine buckle under the pressure, or hold up to being berated cursed and pushed to perform? Stay tuned until the next episode of One Purse to Sew.
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« Reply #25 on: November 02, 2004 10:24:07 AM »

Ha!!   What a well-told story!!!!!  I wait with bated breath for the next installment!  In terms of the Satin Fraying, I always use some Fray Stop.  It helps a lot (although it seems to take a while to dry).  It makes the edge sort of rubbery, but since it's on the inside of the purse, it should be ok! 

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« Reply #26 on: November 02, 2004 10:42:47 AM »

This is exactly the sort of story that makes this Craftalong idea so great.  I've never ever sewn a purse at all, and in fact only just recently bought my first sewing machine from eBay (I bought one that is basically exactly the same as my mom's old tried-and-true machine, so that it's not *totally* foreign to me, and she can assist when I need help!).  I would never have even known how to deal with those sorts of problems if I'd just leaped into it.  I mean, I was reading it and thinking, "darts?"  Wink

I'm just making a rectangle-shaped bag.  No darts.  And since I'm moving and don't want to try to set up my machine, I'm going to hand-sew, which means that although I bought fabric to make a messenger bag, I think what I'm going to make is a small purse with sort of messenger-bag type design, i.e. long across-chest strap and flap-over closure.  I think it will still be in the style of the friend whose xmas present it's meant to become.  I haven't gotten any farther than buying fabric, though.  I want to cut it out, but I have to find some interfacing.

Oh, that reminds me, I have an interfacing question!  I want to embroider a skull or something on the flap, but my fabric is black corduroy, so I have no hope of ironing on a transfer.  I was thinking of using the technique of ironing interfacing onto the black fabric, then ironing on the transfer on the *back* where the white interfacing is (since it will be inside when the lining is attached).  But in reading the messenger bag tutorial on here, it says to iron the interfacing to the lining, and not the outer fabric.  Does it matter?  Should I do it for both?  Will that make it too stiff?  Especially now that it's going to be a purse and not a tote bag...


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« Reply #27 on: November 02, 2004 10:43:05 AM »

Fray stop!

*runs off to the store*

Thanks a million!
« Reply #28 on: November 02, 2004 02:09:48 PM »

thanks EmilyFlew.  That was just the size I was thinking of, so I'm glad to know it can work.  Off to the thrift store for neat-o pants as soon as I finish making a million more masks for a party this weekend. 

« Reply #29 on: November 02, 2004 02:59:38 PM »

I'm not sure if what I do is the right thing but when I embroidered on a dark navy cord bag, I ironed the pattern right on a tear away interfacing and pinned it to the front of my bag and stitched away. When I was done I just tore the paper away veeeeeerrrrry carefully and it looks great.
Oh yeah, I embroidered before I lined the bag to hide backstitches.
Maybe some of our emroidery experts will give you other tips.
I have my idea ready for my bag.... soft tan microfibery feeling outside with a sublime pattern stitched on and a cute pink polka dot lining, I think I'll try the skipping bag tutorial again.

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