Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Reversible Purse

picture from

Project from

Tools and Materials

Bag template- just take it to a print shop to enlarge. 

Heavy paper or cardstock
1/2 yard of patterned fabric
1/2 yard of solid fabric
Fabric scissors
Sewing machine
Coordinating machine-sewing thread
Needle and thread for basting stitch

Reversible Purse How-To1. Download, enlarge, and print template on heavy paper or card stock. Trace template twice on each fabric and cut out.

2. Align and pin the two solid pieces together, right sides facing. Do the same with the two patterned pieces.

3. Using 1/4-inch seam allowance, sew along the top of each handle and along the bottom curve of each pinned piece, leaving both sides of both handles open.

4. Turn the solid piece right side out, and insert the solid piece into the inside-out patterned piece. Line up seams, raw edges, and handles.

5. Pin the edges of the "neckline" of the bag and sew with a 1/4-inch seam.

6. Going through the longer handle, turn the entire bag right side out (patterned fabric on the outside). Press all seams.

7. Fold raw edges of "armholes" in 1/4 inch and press. Baste together. Topstitch 1/8 inch around bag handles to finish.

ResourcesMartha used a sewing machine from the Singer Sewing Company.

When I sew, I'm not just sewing.  I am in my head wrestling with my innermost thoughts.  Childhood flashbacks to horrible sewing lessons cross my mind, bouts with giving up cross the threshold of my thoughts about a thousand times- especially when a project is not going the way that I had expected.  Occasionally, I feel like leaping out of my seat and lying flat on my back and flailing my arms and legs and screaming at the very top of my lungs, " I quit!"  Funny thing is, I think sewing parallels our existence pretty well, don't you think so?

You see, I'm a self-taught sewer.  Often I hear about a person learning to sew from a family member or from a teacher.  Nope. Not me.  I learn from trial and error.  The good ol' seam ripper has become my closest friend these days as I completely have to rip out almost every stitch when I screw it up.  Real life on the other hand does not come with a seam ripper.  We can't take rip away seams when we make a mistake.  With that in mind, I don't mind making mistakes with my needle and thread. I celebrate mistakes made while at the sewing machine because these can be undone.  And besides, I've learned something new every time I make a with life.

This bag took me quite some time to finish because of complicated printing issues, and being "sew" naive about sewing.  Once I complete a sewing project and I step back, I'm the happiest woman alive.  Now to some it may sound cliche but really, there is something about making something with your own hands.  I've found sewing to be very therapeutic. Sewing mends the mind.  By the time a project has been completed different parts of my mind that needed mending have been fixed with my own two hands!  Sew away, even if you have to fake it.  That's what I do.  I get behind this machine, follow the directions, and if it doesn't work the way that I thought it would, well then I invent my own path of least resistance that will take me to the end.  It never fails to work.  The rewards are tremendous, but the tears may be many.  Sew What! 

Photo Gallery

Ben has an HP designjet printer for his landscape design company.  He was able to help me print without having to go to a print shop.  Thanks, Ben!

Next I pinned the pattern to the fabric and cut.  I folded fabric in half so that I only had to cut once.  This way I was able to get two solid pieces with only one cut. 
 Do the same with the solid fabric.
Here are the fabric pieces once they have been cut out.
Put right sides together of both the patterned fabric and the solid and follow instructions.  I got a bit carried away and I sewed the whole thing shut! 
I gave Sarah her purse and she was thrilled.  Here she is before I gave it to her. 
Happy as can be, Sarah now has a hip, new baby carrier for her favorite doll.  As you can see, enlarging the pattern to 200% is great if you are making the purse for a small child.  If you wish to use this purse yourself, then I suggest enlarging it to 400%. 

~Happy Sewing~

1 comment:

Carl said...

Wonderful insights about grappling with life and sewing.

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