Wednesday, January 26, 2011

How to Make a Cute Purse (part 1 How to Start)

This Christmas, I decided to try to hand-make as many gifts as possible.  I have always preferred something that someone put their heart into and to give something unusual and unique.  In our family, we have a set of triplets that are in their early teens and I wanted to make something that they would like.  Something that would be unique to each of them, while still being similar.  A little purse is the perfect answer.  I could make the same style purse, while making the fabric each different.  I took detailed pictures of each step to share with you.  Because there are so many steps, I am going to break up this into more than 1 day's worth.
I would like to start by saying that as I have mentioned before, I am by no means an expert, especially in the sewing arena.  If you are a total beginner, maybe this will give you some confidence to try it out.  In fact, I had to bring in my mother for advice on my sewing projects.

Her first tip:  Don't read the directions.  "What?" I say, "Why did I get a pattern if I am not supposed to read it?" (I am a big direction reader - it goes against reason to NOT read them).  I guess with sewing, you are just supposed to know and use the pattern and not the directions
To Purchase
Here is the pattern that you are NOT supposed to read :)  See & Sew B5124
I chose the bottom purse - purse A.
I purchased 1 yard each corduroy fabric in 3 coordinating colors:  Coffee Brown, Teal blue, and aqua with flowers.  Then I purchased 2 yards of a lining fabric in regular flat cotton that coordinating perfectly with all three (dots of brown, teal and mustard).  I purchased a little extra of each than was called for.  It also called for sew-in interfacing of "heavyweight hair canvas".  After purchase the wrong thing, I asked my mother who said that you could use anything for interfacing that was heavy weight.  I had already a ton of this pink cord, so I used it.  For notions, you need 2 D-Rings each and a 14" zipper.  It also has a beaded tassel listed that I skipped.  Fabric cost $23 (after coupons and tax) and the notions were $13, making each purse roughly $13/each.  This project would have been too expensive to do full price!

Step 1 - Cut it out
Completely cut out your pattern and locate all the parts that are needed.  In this case, there are 5 pattern pieces.  You will end up with 13 pieces of fabric total:  front & back of purse in cord, interfacing and lining, strap in cord and interfacing, facing in cord, tab in cord, and pocket in lining.

Step 2 - Pin Interfacing& Baste
I pin the pink "interfacing" to the back of my cord fabric and basted in place with the baste stitch on my sewing machine.  (Basting is just a really big stitch that holds everything together, but you can pull it out later.)  You do this for for the purse front, back and strap.  

I used the 20 basting stitch setting (I think it means it skips 20 stitches, but I don't know, just that it works)

You will want to transfer the markings from the pattern for the triangle dart to be done in the next step.  I used pins on the points of the triangle and a highlighter on the interfacing to mark for sewing.  Since no one was going to see the interfacing, I just drew the triangle right on there.

Step 3 - Darts
Stitch the darts in each front and back so that the triangle is on the pink interfacing.
This is the triangle on the inside
This is the outside, which is not a cute dart to make the bottom flat.

Make sure that your darts line up, before you sew it together.
Step 4 - Upper Inside Edges
Sew the upper edges together just to the circles on the pattern.  Right sides should be sewn together and attached by these 2" section.
Do this for both sides and for facing
Step 5 - Facing
Open the facing and bag and pin the right side together.

make sure to match seams
stitch all the way around making square ends
you need to clip diagonally to stitched corners.

Step 6 - Press & Baste (optional)
After this, you turn facing to inside and can press, although honestly, I didn't. They also wanted you to baste the raw edges together

There are more steps, so stated tuned for more

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