Twill Oversized Purse

So this being my sixth and last weekend before the trip I wanted to defeat another category. To be honest, I did this partly by moving items to other categories. The remaining items in my original list were these:

Fair Isle part-vest into Capuchine style hat
2 seam 50s top
Passap cover
Twill oversize purse

The Fair Isle hat had become a knitting machine project. The 2 seam 50s top could go, along with the projects in the Shirt Conversion category, back into my general Sewing & Refashioning to-do list. That left the Passap cover and the Twill purse. I decided it wouldn’t matter if the Passap cover didn’t get done – the fabric for it was doing well enough at protecting the machine just draped over it for now. That meant I could concentrate on the bag.

Once again, I was tackling a project using a fabric sample. The piece I had would have made a very short bag so I’d picked out some leather to go with it. For contrast I chose some leftover blue fabric for the lining.

I had pinned several tutorials on the internet on how to make a pattern for a purse-frame bag. I also examined a bag I already had, by the wonderful Jubly Umph which has a more complicated construction.

All of which weren’t completely suitable because they used square cornered frames. I made what I hoped was a patterns that would work, but I would advise anyone with a curved frame to test their pattern first. Mine worked, but could have done with a more fabric between the hinges.

One of the reasons this project was left until last was I had to decide what to do about handles. The purse frame I’d chosen was ‘silver’. I could have bought already-made handles, but none had metal parts that matched. Eventually I decided to make my own out of the leather and some rope.

Just a matter of making a tube and threading the rope through. Except it took both Paul and I working at it to get the ropes through the tubes. To make the ends easier to handle, I used glue:

Which made sewing them to the bag much easier and hopefully will make them sturdier, too. Handles can never be too sturdy.

Then I was ready to put the fabric parts of the bag together. Of course, I got so involved I forgot to take pictures. I followed this tutorial.

Another difference between my purse frame and the ones in the tutorials is that it attaches to the fabric with little screws, not glue. I decided to see how well this worked, and if it wasn’t satisfactory I’d resort to glue. The tiny screws were really, really fiddly, and once in place the purse frame wouldn’t close properly. Paul had to file down the points of them so they’d go in flush with the frame. I suspect they’re meant to go through a hole in the fabric. The thought of getting the holes in the fabric to line up exactly with the ones in the frame makes my brain hurt.

We’re just relying on the fabric being squished between the screw and the frame to hold it in place. It seems to be secure:

The blue lining looks great:

I reckon it could do with some embroidery, don’t you? Maybe this?

Or something blue to match the lining. Hmm.

3 thoughts on “Twill Oversized Purse

  1. Constant reader, intermittent commenter here! I am once again in admiration of the scope of your interests, and abilities. Lovely bag.

    Can I ask – when you were sewing the leather, did you use a regular sewing machine, or is there something special I would need? Just asking, as I need to re-attach leather to leather on a bag where the handle has come adrift.

  2. Thanks jomamma!

    Lyn – I used a leather needles on my ordinary sewing machine, but the leather was very soft and no thicker than, say, a heavy denim. If you wanted to sew into thick, stiff leather you might have to do it by hand. Good luck!

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