Monday, July 1, 2013

A little purse for Linda

Let's see...I've dyed and stenciled a t-shirt for my friend Linda (whom I met at my first job out of college).  Another time I made her a linen jacket, also stenciled.  And there was a Christmas when I stenciled and painted a little box for her.  Last Christmas I gave her one of the pair of passion flower scarves I dyed and stenciled.  This year I thought maybe she'd received enough stenciled gifts from me, so instead I made this little appliqued, embroidered and beaded purse for her birthday in June. 

Originally I was simply going to make another of the mini crossbody bags I had sewn for myself this spring.  But I decided to change the design a bit, making it larger, curving the bottom, closing it with a flap and button rather than a zipper.  It measures about 5x7 inches with a 1-inch gusset. The rounded bottom does makes it easier to attach the gusset, rather than having to pivot carefully at the bottom corners as on the earlier bags.  I fused the same firm interfacing I used on those bags to the black linen front and back-and-flap (which were cut as one piece).  The back also has an outside pocket which you really can't see in the photo; I fused a lighter interfacing onto that.  Then I lightly fused pieces of the turquoise and green linen to Pellon Wonder Web, using a non-stick sheet on the other side of the web.  Next, I drew the geometric shapes, outlined them with stitching and cut them out.  I then arranged and fused them to the black linen. 

I had never tried free-motion stitching on my sewing machine before, and it was rather difficult to get the hang of it.  I chalked the stitching pattern I wanted to follow using a Dritz allover stipple stencil that I found in the quilting department.  And I stitched r-e-a-l-l-y slowly.  Then I sewed on some beads here and there because going over the top seems to be in my nature. 

I faced the flap with black linen and lined the purse with some silky light turquoise fabric I had in my scrap collection.  In fact, the only thing I purchased for this project was the button.  Unlike the earlier bags where I sewed the strap directly to the gusset, this time I used D-rings because I wanted the strap to be narrower than the gusset.  The one thing that went awry was that somewhere in the course of the fusing or the stitching, the flap got a little off-kilter; it doesn't show when it's closed, but it's slightly noticeable when it's open.  If I were to do it again, I would definitely thread-trace the seam lines and check to make sure that they were still perfectly straight and parallel after each step.

To be honest, this took a long time to make, and I don't think I'm going to be cranking out any more purses in the near future.  I'm also probably going to be buying Linda a gift come Christmas.  

1 comment:

  1. These small projects DO take a lot of time! I laughed when reading that you'll buy the next gift. It is really pretty and I know she'll love it.