Sunday, January 25, 2009

Experiments in bag making

I have always liked bags, backpacks, pouches, and the like. This did not turn me into a purse junkie because most purses are 1) expensive, and 2) butt ugly. Over the years, I have only found a few purses I liked.

After looking through Etsy for a purse and not finding one I really liked, I decided to make one. Never one to follow the directions even when they're given, I just plowed ahead without a pattern.

First attempt



I think it's pretty because I love the Egyptian patterned fabric and I liked the red with it. But, it's way too floppy. The fabric I used was just plain cotton like you'd use for a shirt and I didn't use any interfacing or quilting.



I was really hoping the bag would be more like this. (I'm holding the handles up and I stuffed a sweatshirt in the bag to give it shape.) But, the cotton was too flimsy.

Second attempt



This time around, I used denim from old blue jeans. It's a royal pain to work with, but it's stiffer than shirt fabric and I thought it would hold its shape better. Being a bad scientist, I changed many variables at once. I also changed the style of purse, style of handles, and made a lining for it.


It ended up really cute, but just a bit too small. Here's me holding it for a bit of perspective. Things I learned today: linings aren't as hard as I thought and they look really nice. If you're going to sew near the handles after you attach them to the bag, make sure the final hem can either go through the handles or there's enough space to go around them. I had a heck of a time getting the top seam done while trying to squish the handles flat and away from the top seam.


Here's the itty bitty jean purse with some of my junk in it. I think the concept of this purse is good, so I may make another just scaled up by a few inches in all directions. I did buy a pattern for little zippered pouches today, so I may make that next. I don't think it was lined either, but having done this bag lined without much grief, I may line the zipper pouch, too.

On my quest for the perfect purse. At least it's entertaining to make all these "mistakes". :) There are a few more pictures here: Bag Purse Exercises

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