Thursday, 11 April 2013

New handbag + accessories

I cut this bag out over a year ago planning to make it before I got side tracked by whatever I decided to do instead. I was getting a bit tired of my current handbag so decided to get this out and finish it. Since I'd done most of the fabric cutting already making this bag only took a couple of hours.

I used one of my favourite fabrics for the outer cover and chose to use a matching green check for the centre panel. I used 2 shades of red for the inner bag - a lovely bright red for the lining and a paler red for the pockets.

It's a pattern by Lazy Girl Designs called "Gracie handbag" which I adapted a bit to suit my personal likes and needs. First and most obvious is that I didn't add the handles but made a single long shoulder strap instead as I prefer to wear my bags across one shoulder and down the other side. The other thing I did was add two little loops on the inside side seam (one on each side) with a D-ring in them to hang things on. When I'd finished the bag it looked a bit "unfinished" so I used a bit of leftover shoulder strap on the closure flap to liven it up a little.

When I made my new handbag I realised that my old blue and yellow rail card holders wouldn't suit it . So I decided to make myself a new one, however having the closure to the holder at the bottom was something I didn't want this time so I decided to workout how to add it to the top instead - using the old trial and error method I tried a few things trying to avoid the pattern I'd used before as I wanted to make a tutorial for it if it worked. However this didn't really work so I decided to adjust the pattern instead.

Since I wanted it to be red on the inside I cut the front piece from 2 fabrics and added a bit extra for the seam allowance I needed. I measured on the old card holder where the flap ended and added the seam allowance before cutting a bit for that + another piece the same size as the front cover to complete the outer back section. I first sewed a bit of green into the front flap to give it the stripe you see and sewed the flap, smaller back cover piece and a loop made from green together before pretending the back was made out of one piece and continuing from there. You will notice that I forgot to trim the corners of the flap but in the end I decided it looked ok and I wasn't going to rip this apart a 3rd time lol.

This can be attached to the D-ring in my handbag

Then I decided I wanted a nice cover for my passport and after some fiddling worked out how to get all the seams on the inside. I added some Velcro to the front and a closure strap (using another bit of the shoulder strap from the bag + some green to make the stripe) to keep it closed in my bag.
Since I'm going to be going abroad later this year I decided to also make a little purse (wallet for all you lovely American's out there ) to put the other currency in while I'm using the currency of the country I'm in since I've found that it's a pain to have 2 currencies in the same purse at the same time.

I made this from 4 pieces of fabric using this pattern as the inspiration and then adding my own twist to it, and made my life difficult in the process.

First of all I sewed the two smaller pieces together along the bottom seam then I measured where that seam touched the inner lining and sewed along the seam line again to fix it in place effectively hiding the seams and invisibly fixing the inner coin section to the lining. I then folded the purse to be into the end shape and found the velcro closure placement and sewed them in place.

Once that was done I started fiddling and folding the bits of fabric, pinning it in place and turning it right sides out till I'd worked out how to sew it all together with a single additional seam, did a few origami like twists while turning things right sides out through what would become a zipper seam and spent a while cursing while inserting the zip as it could have done with a tinsy bit more space for ease of sewing. I hand sewed the front cover to the zip to hide the seams (and because I couldn't sew the last bit by machine without sewing the coin purse shut hehe)


  1. and where are we going? Wait...are you going to Australia??

    1. I'm taking the kids to England to meet the family there - first time I've been able to afford a family holiday since the divorce.