It’s not even November yet and it seems that the rounds of Christmas parties have already begun. My neighborhood book club (where we only read wine labels) is having our annual gift exchange this week. On Thursday it will technically be December so I guess we’re OK – but it seems awfully early this year!
For a white elephant party we are ridiculously nice to each other. Seriously, no one brings a gag gift! So as I was casting about for a gift in the $15-$20 range, I ran across this pattern for a cute little purse from I Think Sew. It looked pretty straightforward to sew so I picked up some mod fabrics and got to work.
The pattern calls for medium weight interfacing. Unless you give me a Pellon number, I have no idea which interfacing to purchase so I just defaulted to DecorBond on this one. Probably a bit more than it needed, but I like the bag to maintain it’s shape.
Since it’s a small bag and you’re only interfacing the lining, it’s quick to cut out and interface. I will say they are dead on with their requirements of 1/2 yard of each fabric for this bag. Think before you cut! A cutting layout is provided in the pattern, but it calls for cutting out each piece individually, I’m too lazy for that. I like to cut two pieces at once from a folded piece of fabric so I had to do a bit of reconfiguring to make it all fit. The challenge was I decided to enlarge the pocket of the bag to make it more practical. It still works, but plan ahead! And pick up extra fabric if you want to do any kind of pattern matching.
After you’ve gotten everything cut, it’s on to the center panel creation. The only tip I have here is to remember to flip your pattern over when you’re marking the pleats on the right side of the center panel – otherwise you’ll have uneven pleats!
Construction is really straightforward and if you have any bag making experience, it will be a breeze. I wrapped up the exterior and moved on to the interior. The pattern calls for a metallic snap closure. There is a note in the pattern about reinforcement after the instructions for installation. It would be nice to move this note up a bit. Rather than a piece of cardboard or plastic, I like to reinforce with materials I have on hand – specifically the off cuts of interfacing and lining fabric.
I simply make a little interfaced square and add it to the back of the lining before installing the closure.
Done. On to pocket installation. The pattern calls for leaving an entire side of the pocket open but since my pocket is 5″ wider than the pattern pocket, I was able to leave an opening and turn from there.
I pinned the pocket in place and top stitched it into the lining. I don’t think the double top stitching the pattern calls for is needed – it’s gonna stay in place. Now for my modification. Everyone had a phone and I like to have a place in my purse that my phone lives so I can get my hands on it easily. So I checked the wide of my phone, marked and sewed a vertical seam up the pocket to divide it into two sections.
If you’ve sewed bags with curves, you know it hardly ever lines up right. See how the patterned fabric is peeking out the end? I always seemed to have excess at the end of the handle when I pinned it together. Just cut that off to hid the evidence.
And you’re done! It just took me a few hours to assemble, a great quick weekend project and perfect for the gift exchange!
And here’s the interior with my extra wide pocket: