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Topic: Purse-a-palooza or What I Did This Summer  (Read 3847 times)
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betty bat
« on: August 30, 2009 12:53:23 PM »

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.
« Last Edit: August 30, 2009 12:54:17 PM by betty bat » THIS ROCKS   Logged
« Reply #1 on: August 30, 2009 01:47:43 PM »

Wow, what a neat post!  Your bags are all adorable and I really appreciate your reviews of the different patterns.  I've been looking at a few of those patterns, and it's nice to hear what someone else thinks before starting one for myself.   Smiley 
« Reply #2 on: August 30, 2009 04:10:59 PM »

The purses look great!  The only one I've made so far is the Buttercup Bag (from madebyrae as well) but I had a little trouble with one part, maybe you can help be out?  After you make the pleats to the bottom exterior piece and you are supposed to sew it to the top exterior piece, I had trouble sewing it right sides together because of the shape.  Any tips you can give me?

betty bat
« Reply #3 on: August 30, 2009 05:33:29 PM »

Thanks, ThreeGirlsAndABoy and Another77, for your nice comments.  I forgot to add that one side effect of my "experiment" is that I got a better idea of how big each bag was and how big I wanted that bag to be. 

I hadn't read too much about sewing the Buttercup bag, Another77, but you're right that sewing the top to the pleated part is one of the harder parts of the bag.  I pinned the heck out of it, starting with the middle of the top piece and the middle of the pleated piece, then working my way out to the edges.  When I sewed it, I had the pleated part on the bottom and the top on the top.  I sewed pretty slowly and rotated the fabric when necessary.  I was reading another purse pattern that had a zipper sewed along a curved edge and the pattern instructions said to clip the curved edge to help things line up.  I didn't find that necessary, but it might be another thing to try. 

Hope that other Buttercup bag sewers will chime in with their ideas on this as well!
« Reply #4 on: August 31, 2009 10:37:28 AM »

When making the buttercup. when sewing the top and pleated bottom together I pin both ends then pin the middle in place. After that I fold in the pleats and sew the whole thing together.

« Reply #5 on: September 05, 2009 09:59:29 AM »

Thanks for the tips!  I was able to make it work on my next buttercup bag Smiley
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