02 November 2012

The Purse Saga

The winner of Day 9 is Beth from Illinois 

Thank you all for celebrating my 3rd blog anniversary with me.

I can't believe how long this purse is taking. I may finish it today but I have 29 pictures so far so I think I will make a second post for Monday with the end of the construction and the finished product.
Here it goes. I wanted a new purse that wasn't as thick. The one I am carrying now, I made 5" wide. The one before that was 3.5" wide. I like the thinner version.

I made this purse 2 years ago out of batiked (with fabric paint) linen and hand dyed yellow lining.

After 2 years of use (abuse) it looks like this. It held up well.

I like this configuration of pockets . They work well for me.

This is the pattern I made for many of the purses I have made in the past. I like this design.

This is the front panel (small) and the back/top/flap (big) with the purple fabric I plan to use. I cut them oversized because the quilting can make the fabric "shrink".

 I cut four pieces this size out of the backing material: One for the front piece and 2 pockets and I'm not sure about the last piece.

This is the lining (backing) for the back/top/flap.I cut the back/top/flap down the center lengthwise. Of course I forgot to take a picture of this.

I had this idea to add odd strips of greens and a lavender to create an eccentric  look to the center of the back/flap. I sewed these strips end to end making a long strip. I felt it was too wide so I cut it lengthwise into two thinner strips 

Here I am starting to sew the strips to what will be the center of the back/top/flap. I sewed three rows.

The first of three rows

I ironed the row open which truned out to be a mistake. I should have sewn all three rows then ironed because I accidentally distorted the fabric with the iron then I had to compensate. When I did this again later, I sewed all three rows first THEN ironed

Here is the back/top/flap section sewn back together and ready for quilting along with the felt batting and underneath that is the backing fabric.

This is it quilted and roughly cut to shape.

Close-up of the quilting

Backside of the back/top/flap. This is what will show when you look in the purse. I ALWAYS make the insides of my purses in light colors. It is easy for my old eyes to spot what I'm looking for when the inside of the bag is light colored.

Now it is time to construct the front of the purse with the outside and inside fabrics and the felt batting

Finished but still untrimmed

I decided I wanted an additional pocket on the from that will be covered by the flap. I have a few odd bits I carry that get lost in the deep inside pockets so this should make retrieval of my aspirins and gum easier. I made this pattern piece but later cut the pocket 2" wider.

I bought these magnetic closures a long while ago but I think I will use them here.

The front pocket with all 3 layers visible quilted. Now I have to trim to size.

Trimmed to size.


The magnetic closure has been placed on the pocket only. I will use the placement of THIS magnet to find the proper spot for the other magnet.

This is the proper spot on the purse from the inside. I used an X-acto blade to cut a slash in the purse front to poke those prongs into place.

 Then the flange goes on and I bent the prongs down to tighten.

Then I sewed the pocket down with back stitching at the start and finish. This is just to give you an idea of the pocket with something in it. It closes easily when there isn't a rotary cutter sticking out of it.

Now I have to figure out which side of the back/top/flap I want to be in the front.


I think I am going to go with the side with the lavender on it.

This is the purse without the sides and strap. There is still a lot of work to do so check back Monday for the finished purse.


  1. What a lovely purse. This even suits in your bathroom!

  2. I love how this is turning out! I keep wanting to make a purse for myself, but hadn't seen any patterns I liked over the years. You are inspiring me to try something along these lines, maybe this winter when it's cold outside and I want something to work on in the studio... can't wait to see it finished!

  3. your new purse is going to be beautiful! (Although the picture of the beat up one made me laugh!)


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