arts and crafts · Sewing

The Perfect Purse

Okay, I know, that’s totally subjective but for me, this is very, very close to that goal.  As I’ve mentioned before, I’m a fan of Tim Holtz and his entire product line but a while back he also added fabric to his stable of crafting supplies.  He calls the fabrics “Eclectic Elements” and frankly, I have no idea how many different patterns he has out now but they are all just so cool.

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This is just a little sample of the variety of fabric patterns in the Eclectic Element line, the hardest part for me is, when I make a purse, deciding on which of these fabrics to play with this time.

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Here’s the reverse side of the purse shown above, all together I used ten different EE fabric patterns in making this bag.  But I didn’t stop with just using Tim’s fabric, I also included lots of items from his Idea-ology line like the metal book plates, the pictures in the frames (found relatives), the metal word tags and bands, charm pendants, trinket pins, chain fobs and more.  I also added some beads and buttons and finished it off with a bit of decorative top stitching.

True confessions time, I didn’t design the purse pattern. It’s a wonderful pattern by…

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Boutique Chic Pattern The Bridget Bag No 81 Serendipity Studio   

As you can see, there are four different sizes you can make with this pattern, the purse you see in this post is #2 which is just the right size for me (Dimensions: 10″ wide x 8½” tall (not including handles) x 4½” deep).

I did do a bit of alterations to mine and the others that I’ve made and listed in my Etsy shop (Old Raven).  I added another 4″ to the length of my handle so when I pull it into the single strap position it fits more comfortably under my arm.  And, I made deeper and wider pockets and more of them on the inside of the bag.

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So now there’s plenty of space to store my sunglasses as well as a pair of reading glasses with two larger pockets left to handle lots of other things I don’t want mixing it up with stuff in the main body of the purse.

In case you missed it – there are two handle positions for this bag.  1.  The double handle which is how I generally carry my bag around.  It allows for easy access into the bag so you can grab those shades quickly on the way out the door, or your keys, phone, etc.  2.  The single/shoulder strap.  Just grab one of the double handles and pull up until your bag is nicely closed up and the handle is now long enough to ride off your shoulder or across your chest from the shoulder.  I use this position if I’m somewhere that’s a little to busy with folks jostling about.  This is an invaluable versatility factor for me – all rolled into one bag – yes!

So here’s a little gallery of some of the other bags I’ve made with this pattern.

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So, depending on your fabric, this can be a very useful pattern to invest in ($10) and with a few hours spent at the sewing machine you can have a bag for every season.  Or, why stop there – a bag for every month – week – (day)?  And think of all the “bling” you could add.  The Fall bag above has a leaf pin that I made out chipboard then painted and added about five layers of clear heat embossing powder so it looks like glass.  The Winter bag has a beautiful Vintage brooch that I found at a yard sale.  I just had to have that pin but seriously, when/where would I ever wear it – answer, it was the perfect touch on this bag.

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I’ve really had a lot fun making Bridget Bags, each one comes out so different from the one before and when you’re using a different fabric for each panel then you can use up lots of those fabric scraps that you couldn’t bear to part with because you “just loved that fabric”!

One more thing, I mentioned that I have a shop on Etsy, Old Raven, and I do sell some of these purses there, but, I’ve slowly been fazing out my line of purses in my shop. Currently I’m more interested in making Apothecary Cabinets and as my crafting time is always so limited it seemed like I had to make a choice as to which craft I wanted to do.  But a group I’m in on Facebook (Tim Holtz Addicts) is a place where you can post anything and everything having to do with Tim’s craft line of products so I shared a picture of one of these Eclectic Elements Bags that I had made.  A fellow “Addicts” saw it and asked if I would make a custom purse for her.  I almost said no because the time involved in making a purse like this is fairly extensive and it’s really hard to get paid for the labor, your pretty much covering the materials and bling and a few hours of labor at charging $95 for this EE purse.  Then I remembered a little formula that helps out in a situation like this:  make two bags at the same time.  Time-wise, it hardly adds any time to the construction process when making two bags and by being able to sell two at $95 each, now you’ve covered your materials AND your labor.  Of course I changed some of the fabrics and some of the bling I used from one purse to the next (I can never to carbon copies of anything) but now I have a win win for my customers and me – yeah!!!!

Hope you give making your own purse a shot – WARNING it can be addictive.

Craft On everybody

 

 

2 thoughts on “The Perfect Purse

  1. You are really getting me interested in Tim Holtz’s designs! That fabric is fantastic as are the purses shown! You are so talented – yikes! You are definitely a crafting goddess! I am going to keep that fabric on my radar, thanks!

    Like

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