Sunday, September 14, 2008

Meggiecat's Purse

A little while ago, there was a post on Meggiecat about making a little fabric purse from a template she had designed for a paper purse. Click here to see the original purse and download the template. I thought I would have a go to see how it would turn out in fabric, and while I was at it I wrote down the instructions - so here we go.

You will need two fabrics - a main one for the outside and a lining. I used some scraps of patchwork cotton for this trial. You will also need a piece of pelmet/craft vilene and some Bondaweb.

Print two copies of the purse template and one of the handle/tab. I increased the size to 140% to make it easier to handle - it still fits onto an A4 sheet.

Cut out one copy of the purse omitting the gusset. Draw around this onto the paper backing of some Bondaweb. Iron onto pelmet/craft vilene and cut out, leaving the paper in place.

Cut out the second copy of the purse template - the whole thing this time. Draw around it onto Bondaweb as before and iron onto the wrong side of your main fabric. Cut out leaving the paper in place.

Pin the second (complete) copy of the purse template to your lining fabric and cut out.

Pieces cut out. Left to right - vilene, main fabric, lining

Remove the paper backing from the vilene and lay it, Bondaweb side down, onto the wrong side of the lining. Iron to fix.

Vilene on top of lining fabric, ready for ironing.

Remove the paper backing from your main fabric and lay it on top of the vilene/lining, wrong sides together. Iron to fix. You now have a single piece consisting of the main fabric and lining, right sides out, with the vilene sandwiched inbetween. The Bondaweb will help prevent fraying but the raw edges need to be neatened, this could be done by hand or machine. I used a machine satin stitch, width 4.0 and length 0.4, with a satin stitch foot.

Above - stitching the edges; below the edges finished.

Cut out the template for the tab. Draw two copies of the tab onto Bondaweb as before. Iron onto the wrong side of main fabric and cut out. Remove the paper backing and place the pieces wrong sides together. Iron to fix. Neaten the edges - I reduced the stitch width to 2.5.

Now the handles - I found the curved shapes very fiddly in fabric, so I cut a template 20cms long by 1cm wide with pointed ends. Make two handles using the same method as for the tab. Attach the handles to the purse using a bead to cover the stitches.

I like the folded gusset in the original so I kept them in this version. To make the folds, lay the purse on a table, lining side up, and place the template on top. Mark the ends of the fold lines around the edge of the gusset with dots - you do not need to draw the whole line.

Fold the purse sides up, creasing the vilene to make a flat base. Now pleat the sides using the dots to show you where to place the folds. The Bondaweb gives body to the fabric allowing it to stay upright. Press each fold with the edge of an iron as you go. Refer to the photo below to see the result, it is slightly different from the paper model.

Use paper clips to hold the pleats in place and let them settle. To finish, add the tab using beads again over the stitches. Finger crease the edges of the base to make the purse stand upright.

Finished purse with a cotton reel for scale.

I think the handles look a little thin and floppy - you could make them wider and stiffen with interfacing. As this was a trial piece, I did not decorate the fabric. To make another one I would add lots of stitching or applique on the main fabric piece before bonding it to the vilene and lining, or perhaps print/dye/paint the fabric before cutting out.


meggiecat said...

Oh, Jane, the purse looks great and you did a fantastic job with the tutorial! Thanks so much. Now I think it would look good enlarged.
Kathy aka meggiecat

Pat said...

Jane it looks great. I agree with meggiecat that you could topstitch the gussets to stiffen them and keep them folded in the way you want them to go. The little version is so cute as is. However, if I was to modify it, I would want to make it larger overall and I would deepen the bag so there was more room inside for "stuff". You and meggiecat are so talented!