Fashion NecessitiesPosted: 11/11/2011
If I could wear the same dress, in different colors and patterns everyday, I would. I like finding something that suits me, and often wish I could go back in time and buy five so it would last forever. I still remember a striped shirt from 6th grade, a soft purple sweater from high school that I think of whenever I see a fabric softener commercial, my favorite red ballet flats from Old Navy. A lot of my favorite stuff came from clothing swaps with friends, so I can’t even trace the origin. Case in point, the purse I’ve been using for about five years:
It doesn’t look like much, but it’s been by my side (literally) for years, and is super sturdy. Unfortunately, it’s also super dingy and starting wear wear. I almost bought a purse, but dang, I’m cheap. Voila!
I learned a lot of lessons making this, so I may just do another one. I used some bright blue broadcloth I’d originally purchased to make floor pillows. First things first, when making purses pick a material that is thick enough and able to withstand wrinkling. My material was thick, but it looks unkempt.
Making a “muslin” is really important, but I just get too excited and want to plunge ahead. When working from a finished product and making a replica, it’s hard to know how things fit together unless you take them apart. My yellow purse may be on its last legs, but I was about to perform an autopsy. With a muslin, you can try several different sequences to sewing the pieces together. I have a bad habit of not looking a few steps ahead– when I began to sew in the inner strip that reinforces the top of the bag, I forgot to leave a space to insert the magnetic snap. Going back with a seam ripper isn’t that bad, but it can make the work look messy.
Another big mistake– I waited until the entire purse was finished to put the pocket on the front. I did all of the stitching with a machine, but found I was trapped by the three sides and couldn’t stitch but one side of the pocket. If the material had been more pliable, I might have been able to do this with some amount of frustration. As it was, I did the stitching by hand while watching Star Trek. Not so bad. But what I should have done was attach the pocket BEFORE joining the front and back pieces.
I tried to replicate the purse EXACTLY, with a magnetic snap, French seams and a zippered pocket. I found that the most difficult part, making that neat rectangular window. You can see where I attempted to hold back some fraying at the corners with super glue.
I’ll take it out for a spin tomorrow, and maybe with time it will soften and not show wrinkles as much. Next time, I promise to take pictures as I work and make a tutorial.