For you, my sewing buddies, I decided to give you an early Christmas gift & make the pattern & tutorial available here! This one's picture heavy, but I promise, it's worth it!
Here's the only pattern piece, a modified Dresden petal. Click the image below for a full-size template (but you can resize as you like!)
I used 7 different fat quarter scraps, (cut 2 of each) but you could certainly use fewer. There's lots of room for individuality with this one! Seam each one with 1/4" seams, 7 for the front & 7 for the back (s/a is included on the template.)
Press seams open!
Use a large plate or other round edge to draw the curved edge of the top of the bag.
Trim on your traced line!
Lay the newly trimmed purse body onto the untrimmed body & trace your curve so that it matches. Trim away!
Don't throw those pieces away! They'll come in handy a little later.
Press fusible fleece onto both body pieces. Cut the fleece a little bit smaller than the purse body to help with bulky seams (Again, I made use of the washaway marker rather than trace a pattern piece for this. That ensured a perfect fit!)
Now the fun part! I channel stitched the entire purse front & back, effectively"quilting" it. Looks very cool. You could skip this part, or free motion quilt, or stitch in the ditch, etc.
My curved edge was a little TOO curved, and elf-ear pointy at the edges. So I trimmed a bit away like so:
Next, use your quilted body piece to trace 2 lining pieces. Wait until you finish quilting (if you do so) because your body piece will shrink just a bit in the process. You don't want your lining to be too big!
If you like, add fusible interfacing to the lining piece as I did for more body. (Again, I trimmed away a bit all around before fusing to decrease bulky seams.
Now, remember those circular edge pieces we saved? Get them out. We're making pockets! I trimmed them to the size I wanted (a small pocket for a cell phone and a larger pocket for lip gloss or keys, etc.)
Cut linings to size!
Sew right sides together, leaving a little opening on the side to turn right sides out. Press well & pin in place on your lining. Stitch in place close to the edge around sides & bottom. Note that I also added a magnetic clasp at this stage.
Any other scraps you have lying around (I never throw any bits & pieces away until I'm completely finished with a project!) are perfect to make 4 little tabs for the purse handles. I just pressed edges in and topstitched. These are also interfaced.
I had to measure carefully so my tab would fit in the handle opening! I also tried them out before stitching in place to make sure they were long enough (but not TOO long.) You'll actually match the raw edges to stitch in place (handles & tabs hanging down).
Stitch tabs & handles in place, lining front & back up carefully so they match. The next part I didn't photograph (because I forgot! HA!) But I sewed the purse body (RST) starting at one side, around bottom, and up the next side (keep the handles out of the way! They're permanently attached now.)
Do the same for the linings, except leave a nice size opening in the bottom. You have to be able to fit the handles through the opening, so it will be larger than what you're used to in this situation! My opening is about the same width as the handle.
I also did some diagonal stitching to box the corners of the bag & lining, but I forgot to photo that too. I sorta suck. Sorry!
Now with your purse right side out and your lining wrong side out, slide the purse into the lining (they will end up right sides together.) See below for a visual. Stitch carefully around the entire top of the bag. Trim seam allowance!
Reach through the opening & turn your bag right sides out. We're almost done! You can hand slipstitch the opening in the lining, OR if you're like me, just machine stitch it. It's hardly noticable. Press the top edges REALLY well. It's a bit bulky at this stage, but we'll fix that with topstitching.
I added a fairly narrow topstitch around the entire top edge. It was tricky keeping the handles out of the way, but I managed!
And that's it! You're finished! Here's a peek at one of the cute little pockets:
And one more shot of the finished product!
Now go! Sew some bags & make me proud! :)
ps...I can't say who this is for since you never know who might be reading!! That's going to be a recurring theme in the next few weeks!
pps...To all my American friends & readers: