Wednesday, May 29, 2013

A handbag.

A handbag?! Yes Lady Bracknell, I have made myself a handbag.

This is a replacement for a handbag I made for myself a few years ago which I very stupidly left on a train - and not even in the wee hours of the morning after a night of merriment, I left it on the train on the way into work one day. Sigh.

The original design came about because I saw these excellent purse frames with big bobble closures available at U-Handbag. Luckily Lisa posted a very handy tutorial about how to use them and following her pointers I drafted the pattern adding a wide gusset piece so that it would be roomier. The original handbag was in a grey fabric with a very feint pinstripe and featured some excellent badges from The House of Ismay. Here we are in happier times hanging out in Milan...
...paired with my me-made two tone pointy flats. That scowl on my face might be due to an underlying sense of foreboding that I would one day abandon this bag on a train.

Anyway, that was a year or so ago and I finally got around to making a replacement. 

I used that same pattern and some crazy-old-lady's-couch-fabric that I had in my stash left over from a skirt I made ages ago. The lining is my go-to lining/muslin/etc fabric - a polycotton which had been the tablecloths at our wedding and which I am still incorporating into various makes.
I used a lovely deep purple metallic leather for the handle loops (also from the stash), backed everything with heavy weight iron-on interfacing, and used some other hardwear recently purchased from JT Batchelors. All in all there were 31 pieces to put together!

The wide gusset piece makes for a roomier bag.

And the bag is pretty roomy - in the way that the TARDIS is pretty roomy.
(Please ignore the bits of glue in the corners. It's been a while since I've fiddled around with a purse frame and I'm a bit out of practice.)

This time around I added a lined patch pocket for my phone.

A long overdue, vaguely carpet-style handbag.
Completed: May 25th.

(and for any Green Wing fans out there, this.)


  1. Gorgeous! And that clip was the first thing I thought of when I saw the title of this post...

    1. haha. Not sure if I should be worried how often that clip pops into my head!

  2. Ooh, lovely. What a gorgeous shape. I've not made a handbag for years, you've inspired me, thank-you!

  3. Gorgeous bag! Did you make the pattern yourself? I am interested in how the gusset is sized to fit the frame - how do you know the gusset plus front panel will fit the frame? Is there any special formula to use to check this?

    1. Hi Lindsay,
      I'm just trying to remember - it was a few years ago that I made the pattern!
      I *think* that I made the width of the top of the main piece the same as the width of the frame from corner to corner, and made the distance of the frame from the corner to the hinge to be half the width of the gusset piece. So the full width of the gusset is the measurement from one frame corner, past the hinge and to the other corner.Does that make sense?
      Although I need to tweak the pattern because my main pieces don't quite sit in the frame corners properly - hence the bit of glue showing!

    2. Hey Thanks Emily! Yes that does make sense...I really want to have a go at making my own pattern but scared if I mess it up I will waste a whole lot of materials! I guess I will just have to take the plunge - thanks for the tips:)

  4. Hi Emily What a nice bag you have made, a nice fabric ooh i love this bag very much!