Friday, August 26, 2011

Princess of Purses

I admit it.  Whenever I pass a purse department, I have to look.  Sometimes I just glance and more often than not, I have to go on in there and check out what's new.  Purses, totes, carryalls -- I like them all!  I'm pretty fussy about what features a purse should have, so I don't have a gigantic collection, but I do have a few.  Ahem, OK, more than a few.  One time I went over to my sister Sheila's house and my niece, Grace asked me, "Is that a new purse, Auntie Cathy?"  And I told her that indeed it was, because I'm the Princess of Purses.  The look she gave me was either awe or total disbelief.

So for a long time, I searched for the ideal tote bag pattern to sew.  Nothing appealed to my discriminating eye until I found an online tutorial on how to make a bag.  These were good, no-nonsense instructions that I had no problem following.  I made the first one out of a remnant of fabric and it turned out to be sort of a weird shape.  So I adjusted the measurements to my liking, added heavy interfacing and a bottom reinforcer for body, sturdier and longer handles, interior pockets and a button and loop closure.  And there you have it! Cute and totally usable tote bags!

Sheila uses hers (not pictured) for her cross-stitch stuff and Suzanne says that hers is perfect for her knitting.  I even made some smaller versions of these for Emily and Grace.  (Sorry, I had some trouble adding some photos.) 

I've been thinking about how to improve on these totes.  How about a zip top?  An inset where a cross-stitched piece could go?  A smaller version that could be truly called a purse? 

It will be back to the drawing board as I contemplate these changes.  One thing I know is that I'll always be able to find fabrics I like for these.  Mainly I just go to the quilting fabrics display.  Quilting fabrics work well for these bags and there are so many beautiful choices. 

I know that I'm not the only Princess of Purses, and I hope that the others will approve.

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