Loryn: I’ve been working on a mini purse or wristlet to go with my new paisley bag. I wanted it to coordinate, but not match too slavishly. I also wanted to try a different spin on the quilted technique I had used in one of my unfinished objects. You can also see it here, in this wristlet I made for my stepsister a few years ago:
For this purse, I made and finished each piece separately, before assembling.
Previously, I had made the pieces out of a quilt sandwich of muslin surrounding flannel. I didn’t have any flannel (and our fabric shop has left town), so I used six layers of muslin instead.I did not use a pattern for this. I made the main body the size I wanted, 7″ by 11″ long, and quilted it. Then I made the curve I wanted and sketched around it to create a pattern piece for the sides.
I had not tried multi-colored stripes before. I wanted this design to read as gray, so I used two shades of gray, with pink and fuschia. I did all of the quilting before assembly.
The next step was to add the zipper (seen here on the finished piece). To sew a zipper into a tube, use a zipper that is a few inches longer that the piece. Baste the zipper into place, then sew it into place with the zipper fully open so you can get both sides under the presser foot. When you’re done, cut off the excess and sew a tailor’s tack over the teeth to keep the slide from coming off.
The hardware was a pain for this project. Our local Joann’s Fabrics closed because a super Joann’s was opening in Kokomo, and evidently they can’t have two stores within 30 miles of each other. I stopped in at the new Joann’s when Kristin and I were in Kokomo to look for hardware, and the selection was simply terrible. They had no small d-rings. Kristin’s ingenuity came to the rescue, and she suggested that I use belt buckles with the center piece removed. They didn’t have the hooks I wanted, either (like the ones on the purple-stitched purse above). Instead, all they had were this spring type. Save yourself the headache and don’t buy the spring-type pictured here. They fall apart almost instantly. Also, the finishes didn’t match, as one was brushed and one was glossy. Spray paint to the rescue!
To assemble the bag, I slipstitched the sides together by hand. This looks really good, but honestly, it was a pain!
And here is the finished bag! I will have to replace the hooks sooner rather than later, but I’m going to look at hardware stores to see if I can find better quality there. I’m looking forward to carrying them to work tomorrow!