Here’s my latest – a purse made more or less according to directions in the Quilts and More magazine that Cathy blogged about a while back.
This project provided some challenges, and I’ delighted that it turned out just fine with no major snafus along the way. The purse has two large lined inner pockets,and the directions called for fusing tricot interfacing to all the pieces and putting batting between both the outside pieces and the pockets. The folks at Joann’s had no idea what tricot interfacing is and, when I told them I was making a purse, recommended a fusible interfacing that is a lot like a very thin, dense quilt batting. I quickly realized that, if I interfaced every piece, I would have something that was way too thick. So I interfaced just one piece of the front, back, and each pocket, and that worked fine. The small outside pockets that you see in the picture were not on the pattern, and I added them because I really like having outside pockets for my sunglasses and keys. They are not interfaced. The directions call for a magnetic snap closure, and that’s what I used, but I think it is too heavy for the fabric. Next time I will use a velcro circle. Putting the purse together was pretty straightforward until I got to the binding. The directions called for 2.5″ wide bias single fold binding and also called for simply extending the binding to make the shoulder strap. I didn’t think single fold binding would wear well, and I didn’t like the idea of having a very thin strap of stretchy bias-cut fabric. So I cut strips on the straight grain for the strap and on the bias for the binding. I did a bit of test binding with muslin and decided that using the 2.5″ wide strips to make double fold binding would work just fine. In fact, I think single fold binding would be way too wide. The tough part was stitching the binding to the purse which consisted of a front, a back, and two pockets, each with interfacing in them. I could barely get the whole thing under my presser foot, but my 60’s vintage Singer rose to the challenge and stiched through it all without a glitch. Once the binding was attached to one side the directions called for folding the binding over to the other side, lining up the edge carefully with the stitching that attached the first side, and machine stitching the back edge of the binding. Yeah, right. I stitched it by hand, and it looks great. Then came the strap. At Marty’s suggestion, I interfaced that, and it was a good idea. I used 2.5″ wide strips folded in half and hemmed, so that the finished strap is a tad under 1″ wide. Of course, that made it wider than the binding to which I thought it would be attached, but a second look at the purse showed me that I could attach the strap to the top tip of the purse itself, stuffing a .75″ long unattached “tail” of binding at each end up into the strap to secure it. It worked just fine, and I now have the purse stuffed with all my stuff, and I’m planning to take it to FL. Oh, yes, and I’m very glad I have my notebook from Cathy to write all of this in, especially since I’m planning to make another one for my young friend, Carrie, using some pieced “fabric” that she brought back from Africa and gave to me. But first on the agenda is a quilt for my great nephew, Bennett, who is now 5 months old and, as far as I know, quiltless.

One Response to “Purse”

  1. Cathy says:

    This is beautiful! I really love the contrast between the lining/pocket fabric and the solid-ish blue base fabric. I agree about the interfacing and it being too thick; sometimes I wonder if the people who write the instructions in these magazines actually made the projects they’re describing. I’ve found much more detailed, informative instructions on random websites – but I guess print magazines have issues like page limits to deal with.

    Some day I’m going to make a crazy-quilt purse that I’ve been thinking about for a couple of years now.

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