Folks, I needed this. I really did. I needed to have a sewing win after the dismal (although hopefully) temporary failure of the SSS. And can I tell you how awesome you all are??? And Myrna was amazing yesterday, taking time out of her busy travel preparations to email answers to my several questions. That was so kind of her! Thank you also to all of you who sent me tutorials, names and phone numbers of people to call. You rocked my world and enabled me to not only regain my mojo, but now I have a finished purse to boot!
I worked furiously yesterday and finished my purse just moments ago. I am so excited. I love it. It’s a great replica of the original, better even, if I do say so myself. *patting self on back* It was definitely a learning experience too. I made my own piping for the first time. It’s crazy easy folks. I’m serious. It takes a bit of time, but it is so worth it if you “have” to have a certain print as your piped material for your project. Obviously if you just need a solid color, you can just purchase ready-made piping. But if you want a print, make it yourself and you will feel like you won the lottery. Well, almost. I probably could have used purchased piping for my project since my piping is a solid black, but I wanted the piping to have the sheen of the lining to coordinate with the sheen of the brocade. And cotton piping wouldn’t have done that.
Oh boy, I was so excited about my piping I forgot to tell you how I made the bag. First the construction steps:
- Cut the outer fabric pattern pieces (body of purse x 1: 15-3/4 x 13.5 in; top of purse x 2: 11.5 x 3-1/4 in) and interface
- Cut the interlining (measurements same as above)
- Cut the top facing and body lining pieces (measurements same as above)
- Sew your label to one of the top facing pieces
- Cut the straps (26 x 2 in), interface, double fold the straps, press and edgestitch both sides of the strap
- Cut bias strips for the 1 yard of 1/8 in piping cord (1 yd by 1-1/4 inches) and make piping (I used this tutorial) or use purchased piping
- Make pleats on top and bottom of the main body of the purse (starting at 2.5 in from each side, two pleats of 1 inch each with 1/2 inch between) for a total of eight pleats.
- Baste piping to body of purse matching raw edges (over the pleated edges)
- Pin straps to first pleat on each side and pin top of bag to body of bag/piping/straps right sides together and sew together close to the piping. Use a zipper or piping foot for this step. Repeat for other side of the purse.
- Pleat the lining body, this time only four pleats total (starting at 2.5 in from each side, one 1.5 inch pleat four times)
- Sew facing top to lining body
- I used this coin purse tutorial to sew insert the zipper (a 12 inch zipper) and lining to the bag. VERY IMPORTANT: don’t forget to leave the zipper open when sewing up the side seams or you won’t be able to turn it right sides out.
- Sew up hole in lining where you turned the bag inside out.
- Admire your new purse.
My original purse doesn’t have interlining I don’t think; I haven’t opened up the innards of the purse to check. But when feeling it up (snicker!), it feels too thin/flimsy to have any interlining included.
I used flannel as my interlining. I had some on hand and it was not too thick like batting would have been. I’m so glad I didn’t use batting. I just basted it within the seam allowances to the interfaced outer fabric. My outer fabric btw is a brocade I bought at the nice Joann’s (still can’t believe I’m eating my words) in Escondido.
I made my straps next (26 x 2 inches). I interfaced them, double folded them and edgestitched on each side.
Then came the piping. After I made my own, I basted it over the pleats of the body of the purse. Then I sandwiched the straps between the top of the bag and the body of the bag, and over the piping, placing the straps at the first pleat on the sides. I would trim away some of those layers. That’s a lot of layers!
Observant sewists will notice that I forgot to add the straps when I sewed the piping into the seam in the picture above. Yep, I was pissed. Seam ripper to the rescue though and I had my straps inserted in a jiffy. But man, that seam is thick with all those layers (fabric, interfacing, interlining, piping, pleats). Crazy thick.
Now sew the interior facing to the lining. Don’t forget to add your label to the back facing!
And it’s zipper time. I bought a regular 12 inch zipper, because that’s all to which I had access. If I had access to nicer ones, like YKK or Riri, I would have bought one with a longer and nicer zipper slide/pull. Check out the tutorial I used to insert the zipper and lining (see link above in construction steps). Sew the facing/lining and exterior of the purse to closed zipper right sides together with the zipper sandwiched between. Do the same for the other side of the zipper. Now, open the zipper, pin the side seams right sides together making sure to carefully match the piping and zipper. Leave a hole in the lining to pull the bag out to the right side when you’re done sewing the side seams. Close up the hole in the lining and you’re done!
Check out you’re amazing purse!!!!
My piping match at the side seams is way better than my original store bought purse. I am quite pleased about that.
More views of my finished replica…
I am super excited about my new purse. Can’t wait to use it. I am already planning other versions. It’s pretty quick to make, even considering all the layers of interfacing and interlining you have to cut out. Pro Tip: fuse the interfacing to the outer fabric before cutting so you only have to cut once. It saves a lot of time. Also, you don’t have to use interlining. I tried it out this time to see what it would feel like. It adds a lot of body to the purse. I like it, but if I want more of a quickie project next time, I might skip it.
You can use any kind of fabric for this project. I chose brocade because I love shiny things. But I have to admit, I am starting to look at my stash more as theoretical purses, rather than theoretical clothing right now. ;)