Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Pursed Lips

I had quite a bit of fabric left over from making the vest (Simplicity strikes again), so I asked my co-worker if she wanted me to make her something else from it.  My suggestion was a matching purse.  We settled on Simplicity 2166, view A.  The lining from the vest (a black satin) was also used as the lining for the purse.

PS: How pathetic is it that I can tell 1/2" at glance from 5/8"?
While this purse is described as a clutch, take a look at the pattern envelope.  It's quite large: 12.5" x 8" (approx 32cm x 20.5 cm).  That's not too much different than a standard sheet of paper.  My guess is that is is only described as a clutch because it does not have a strap.  I imagine that something of this size would be awkward to carry around all night.

As I pinned the pattern on the fabric, it struck me that there was something odd about the seam lines.  I whipped out the trusty measuring tape and it turns out that this pattern uses 1/2" seams rather than the usual 5/8".  I'm not sure why they would deviate from the industry standards here, but there you have it.  Bear that in mind if you sew this one up.

Changes I made:
  • I tripled checked the placement of the closure after the fiasco with the other purse.  Lo and behold, this one wasn't in the right place either, so it had to be moved.
  • This pattern is for a bi-directional fabric, which my brocade was not.  I split the pattern along the fold line and added a seam allowance.
  • Added a strap.  It's just a piece of braided trim.  I found a chain-like trim that would have been perfect, but I was afraid that it would snag on the brocade.  I figured the braid would be stronger and look nicer than a strap of fabric.
  • The instructions for attaching the flap have you sewing through the lining.  Instead, I sewed it on before attaching the lining.
  • Skipped the weird frayed accent.  In fact, we skipped all the accents here.  I think the brocade is fancy enough that is doesn't need adornment.
If I made this again, I would consider a zipper in addition to the magnetic closure.  The opening is pretty big, though the fit is tighter than with the other clutch.  The caveat with magnets and electronics holds here as well.  I think a really big button would look fine here.

Difficulty-wise, how was this?  Pretty simple, but recall that I skipped the adornment.  The brocade might be a little much for a beginner to handle, but this is mostly straight lines.  In a non-slippery fabric, this would probably be a good first pattern.  Just keep the different seam allowances in mind.


  1. That is gorgeous material! I want it!

    I nominated you for a Gargie award

  2. The fabric came from JoAnn's:
    They usually have 40% to 50% off coupons, so you could get a lot of it for pretty cheap.

    Thank you for the nomination!