Coo blimey! Who will side with who in the UK General 2010 election. My packed suitcase is packed and ready in the hallway just in case. And yep I did vote. Whilst they squabble amongst themselves how about making this large and lovely purse?
**UPDATE** the orginal purse frame for this bag has been re-designed - so this pattern has been updated accordingly (as have the instructions). Have fun!
DOWNLOAD THE FREE PDF PATTERN HERE. Instructions are below on this post.
Please pop your U-Handbag tute/kit/pattern bags in here - I love checking 'em out :)
Click on the pics to enlarge.
To me this Summery version oozes Madmen chic. I love love love the fashion and furniture from that show. Thus I named this bag 'Betty' (in homage to Don Draper's poor wife). When it gets cooler try swapping the summery fabric for (you guessed it) wool fabric topped off with a cheeky little satin frill.
Fabrics are from Amy Butler's Love range. Nom-nom!
This purse frame is oversized which means you can use it to make a good sized bag. And will the glue take the weight of this big bag? Yep it will - I loaded this bag with a kilo bag of sugar and a tin of baked beans then swung it round and round (like crazy woman) in my garden. Pleased to report that groceries and bag remained intact :)
Me wearing the bag for scale. Unfortunately I don't own any swingy or Jackie O' 1950's style clothes, so I apologise for my scruffy jeans and messed up elbow (result of a numpty moped accident in Spain).
Right. How here's to make this pretty-ness. I have cut and pasted images from previous purse tutorials that I've already done because those images work with this tute. Give her a whirl, Betty's pretty simple to put together.
Here's how I put Betty together
**A PDF of these instructions (with working web links) is available here**
You will need:
- 1 x Silver Oversized purse frame with loops
- 2 x 1/2in (13mm) Bolt Snaps
- 1 x small mag snap (optional)
- 1 yrd (1m) purse making cord - see step 11
- 1/2 yard (1/2m) of fabric for the exterior
- 1/2 yard (1/2m) of fabric for the lining
- 1/2 yard (1/2m) of Vilene Woven fusible interfacing/stabilizer (use woven, it's stronger and this bigger bag needs the strength).
- 1/2 yard (1/2m) of Vilene Thermolam Compressed Fleece (stabilser)
- V. strong fabric glue
- A walking foot is also dead handy if you are going to sew a frill
**All seam allowances are 3/8in (1cm) unless stated otherwise**
1. Make up your purse pattern - Download the FREE Betty purse pattern here. Print the pattern, cut out the two pieces and stick 'em together (as instructed on the pattern).
2. Cut your fabric pieces - Cut out the fabrics, fusible interfacing and fleece pieces as directed on the pattern. Iron the woven interfacing pattern pieces to the wrong side of your exterior pattern pieces. Transfer all markings with chalk or a disappearing marker. Also cut:
- For the strap cut 1 strip exterior fabric 27in x 3 1/8in (68 1/2cm x 8cm)
- If you are making a top frill cut 2 strips of lining fabric: 33in x2 3/8in (84cm x 6cm).
- If you are making an inner pocket cut 2 pieces lining fabric: 8 1/2in x 6in (22cm x 15cm).
3. Make up frill (if using, if not proceed to step 5) - Iron both frill strips. Take one of the strips and fold in half by bringing the long edges RST. Match edges and stitch both short edges of the strip together with a 1/4in (1/2cm) seam allowance. Turn the frill RSO and iron. Now set your machine to the longest stitch length and the loosest tension. Leaving long thread tails at both ends, stitch along the raw top edge of the frill with a 3/8in (1cm) seam allowance. Repeat step with the other frill strip. Return the machine stitch length and tension to their normal settings.
4. Gather the frill and fit and baste it to your exterior fabric - Take the frill and pull on the bottom thread (the bobbin thread) to gather up the frill. Gather up the frill until it is the right length to fit in between the 2 frill markings on the top edge of the exterior pattern pieces. If you have a walking foot fit it to your machine and stitch the frills to secure them in place - stitch just above the gathering stitches. Remove the loose gathering stitches.
Now place the gathered frill onto the top edge of your exterior pieces (in between the 2 frill markings). Match the raw top edge of the frill to the top edge of exterior pattern piece. Pin togther at regular and frequent intervals just like I have (on another frilly project below). Using the walking foot baste the frill to the exterior piece with a 1/4in (1/2cm) seam allowance. If you don't have a walking foot, decrease the foot pressure, take your time, and replace the frills with your fingers as you sew (cos the machine will have a tendency to push the frills forward). Repeat step with the other frill strip.
Pin the frill to the TOP edge of the bag exterior piece and it will look something like the 'pin em up action' in the pic above.
5. Sew exterior purse Create a sandwich with the exterior fabric pieces RST in the middle and the fleece pieces on the outside. Match all edges and pin everything together. Starting from one of the hinge markings, sew the sides and bottom of the exterior finishing at the other hinge markings as shown by the wonky arrow in the photo.
Yes I know the picture is wrong for this bag, (so ignore the blue measurements in the photo) the principle is excata-mundo the same. Pin and stitch around the sides and bottom (in between the hinge markings) just like in the pic above.
6. Create a flat bottom for your purse - Take one of the corners of your exterior bag and match the side seam with the bottom seam line. Flatten to form a triangle. Measure 2in (5cm) across the tip of the triangle mark the line with pen/chalk and pin. Stitch along the marked line and trim the excess fabric 3/8in (1cm) from the seam. Repeat for the other bottom corner of the exterior. Iron the seam open and turn exterior bag right side out.
7. Sew inner pocket if using (if not using proceed to step 8) - Make a mark for the snap on one of the pocket fabric pieces in the centre 1in (2 1/2cm) down from the top edge. Iron a 1in (3/8cm) square of fusible interfacing behind the marking. Use a stitch ripper make two small slits (for the prongs) into the marking you have just made. Take one of the non-magnetic snap half and push the prongs through the right side the pocket piece. Slip a metal washer over the prongs at the back and then press the prongs down away from each other. If you want to see mag snap pics check out step 5 of this tute.
Bring both pocket pieces RST, match all edges, pin and stitch all around sides and bottom, but leave a 4in (10cm) gap in the bottom edge for turning out. Turn pocket RSO, push raw edges of the gap into the pocket and iron.
On one of the bag lining fabric pieces make a marking in the centre 2 3/4in (7cm) down from the top edge for the magnetic half of the snap. Insert the snap as before. Place the lining pocket onto bag lining piece (so that magnetic snap halves click together). Check that the pocket is straight (and not wonky) on the lining, pin and stitch all around the sides and bottom of the pocket - stitching the gap in the pocket shut as you sew.
8. Stitch the bag lining - Sew the lining bag in the same way as steps 5 & 6 except there is no fleece to work with.
9. Bring the exterior bag and the lining bag together - Place the purse lining WSO into the exterior purse (RSO). The wrong sides of the lining and the exterior should now be touching each other. Carefully match all seams and raw edges of the lining purse to the exterior purse and pin at the top edge.
Stitch the exterior and lining together neatly all around the top of the purse no more than 1/8 (3mm) from the edge. Be especially neat at the side seams as these will show on the finished purse. If necessary tidy up the top edge by trimming off any stray uneven fabric or interfacing.
10. Now for the glue - Apply glue to the channel of one of the sides of the frame. Work with one side of the purse at time. Start at the hinge and work your way to the other hinge. Be quite generous with the glue (but not enough to cause an oozing mess!) Apply glue to the side and top edge of your purse, again be generous - if you are a bit clumsy you might want to mask the bit of the purse that will not be inserted into the frame with some tape. It doesn't matter if glue oozes onto the frame but it is a pain if it gets all over the fabric. Allow the glue to become touch dry (wait at least 5 mins).
Be quite generous with the glue. This glue btw is the business, it's got more grip than a pot of lobsters!
11. Insert your purse into the frame - Start by inserting the sides of your purse into the frame (hinge end first) then work your way up to the top corners. Use a pointy object to poke and stuff the fabric evenly into the frame - small sewing scissors are perfect for this job. After you have inserted the sides of the purse into the frame, start inserting the top edge of the purse into the frame. You'll see that the top edge of the purse is a little wider than the top edge of the frame - this is intentional because we want the top edge to be a little gathered. Continue to stuff the fabric into the top edge of the frame and space the gathers out evenly. Turn the purse over to check that the lining side is also inserted evenly into the frame. Leave to dry for 15min before tackling the other side of the frame and purse in the same way.
Let everything dry for about 30 mins and then pick off any stray glue from the frame.
Poke the fabric right into the frame with tips of scissors - work your way around the frame evenly. If you have sewn a frill take extra care to wodge and stuff the top frilled edge of the purse into the frame. It might be slightly more awkward to have the frill to contend with, but the frill actually makes for a stronger purse - so the frill is worth the (slightly) extra hassle :)
As this bag is big, I highly recommend using purse making cord to reinforce the bond between the frame and the purse. Stuff the cord into the lining side of the frame using the pointy tool as before.
12. Make the strap - take the strap fabric and make the strap in exactly the same way as step 3 in this tute (except there is no fleece to work with). Thread one of the strap ends thru the ring of the bolt snap and stitch the end down (stitch forward and reverse a couple of time for strength). Repeat with the other strap end and bolt snap. Clip the strap onto your bag and skip off to the shops with a spring in your step. You're looking great, Honey!