Saturday, May 19, 2012

When You Can't Find It...Make It!

My purse is wearing out and I've been on the lookout for a new one.  I just can't bring myself to spend money on another poorly constructed purse made out of faux leather. They just don't last very long and they're bad for the earth when they fall apart. How many hundreds of years will those things sit in a landfill?!  There are leather ones that should last longer. I spent more money on one a few years ago but it lasted less time than the faux ones. There are fabric purses but I haven't found one I like.  So, I decided to start experimenting with making a purse for myself.

I sorted through my fabric stash and found some great possibilities. One was this wonderful cotton upholstery fabric. It's a sample left over from my designer days.  Actually, I think it was from when I was in school for design. I think I used it for a class project.  Anyway, it was worth keeping. I'd always hoped to find a good use for it.  I love the leaves and that it looks like needlepoint.


I wanted to use as much of the piece as I could.  So, I squared it up, stitched the edges to keep it from raveling out, folded it in half and sewed up two sides.  Next, I folded in the bottom corners and stitched them to give it a box-like bottom.  I made a lining the same way with some leftover black fabric, leaving an opening in one side to turn it all after the next step.  I turned one inside out and put them together with the right sides together and stitched around the top.  Next, I pulled the outside and lining out through the opening in the lining and then hand stitched it closed.  I added a line of stitching close to the top edge to make it a little more stiff to stand up and give it a nice finished look.

I used some lining fabric to make tubes that I turned right-side-out, pressed, slipped through the wood handles, and stitched into place.  The finishing touch was a small bit of Velcro to gently tack it closed.


I've never had a purse quite like this and it's not exactly what I've been looking for but I was able to use most of the fabric and I love how it turned out.  I think it's really cute.  And, it's one of a kind.  I also like that it cost practically nothing to make.  The only thing I purchased was the handles and I had a coupon for that.  So, the grand total for this project was only $3.50. 

This is fun!  I can't wait to see what I come up with on my next purse project.  I have some ideas whirling around in my head.  Stay tuned.



6 comments:

Cindie said...

Wow - that's a great purse! Love the fabric.

Roxie said...

YOur purse totally rocks! I bet you could make an additional section out of lining material with pockets and compartments to keep the cellphone and the wallet handy, and just sort of tack it in.

Anxious to see the next iteration of your creativity!

jomomma said...

CUTE!!!

pineneedles4 said...

I LOVE your purse. I'm going to make one when things slow down this summer. I bought some clothesline rope and batik fabrics and I'm going to make mine using rows of batik covered rope. I'm in spired to get started on mine now that I've seen yours!

Vanessa in Oklahoma

Sandra said...

That fabric is fantastic, and perfect for the look of the purse you made. You've inspired me to make one - I have very specific ideas of what I want my purse to do, so I always seem to be compromising because there isn't one that does EVERYTHING I want. SO Iguess I'd best make one...
Now if I could find fabric like that...

Benita said...

Wow! What a great purse. I adore the fabric. So, if you remove the handles, is it machine washable?