My mother is a purse lady. All my life she's had more purses than any sane, rational woman could need. Or so I believed.
It's taken many years, but I think I might finally be coming around to her way of thinking.
At the thrift store, I found this:
I fell in love with the fabric while hating the shirt. I briefly considered cutting the shirt down to fit me (it was a 3X) but I doubted my fledgling construction skills were up to making something so tailored. In my deepest crafter heart, I knew what this gorgeous material really wanted to be--a bag.
But I held off on it, not knowing what awesome bag could live up to this stuff.
Then, I saw this Craftster post which in turn led me to this tutorial, and I immediately saw my future purse take shape. The next morning, I hunted up a pair of cotton twill slacks in my stash (a castoff of my mother's) and went to work. Just over a day later, I had this to show for it!
The observant eye will note some differences from the original. It's a bit shorter--I don't have a printer, so I drafted the petal pattern myself, only I seem to have made it proportionally shorter than intended. (I do like this pattern enough to make another in different fabrics sometime in the future, and I will correct that issue then!)
I only used the two fabrics, wanting to show off plenty of embroidered suede glory. I like the textural contrast between the twill and the suede as much as the color contrast--more, in fact, because in a perfect world I'd have had black twill, not navy. But the navy still looks fine.
I'm not big on purchased bag handles, so I don't keep them around and didn't have any to use for this purse. I did, however, have some hardware from an old purse of mine that could be a handbag or an over-the-shoulder; when the long strap broke, I kept using it as a handbag, but I saved the hardware from the strap. Good hardware makes it more polished-looking! The single strap is short enough to carry this as a handbag, but just long enough to go over my shoulder (at least without my winter coat bulking me up, phooey to the bazillion inches of snow on the ground.)
Finally, I didn't have a magnetic clasp either, but I did have the buttons salvaged from the shirt front, so made a simple button-and-tab closure. Which meant I finally had a reason to do my first machine-sewn buttonhole! I love my new sewing machine.
The one feature I did the same was the pockets--the smaller one is just perfect for my ever-present tubes of lip balm, and the larger holds my tiny bottles of moisturizer and painkillers quite nicely! (The three things I never leave home without. Keys? Money? Pshaw. A girl needs her lip balm!)