Wednesday, November 26, 2008

dresden petal handbag - a tutorial

Have a lot of really sweet scraps lying around? I do!! I could barely sleep last night because this little bag design was in my head. Isn't it fabulous?


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:



Happy Thanksgiving!!

65 comments:

  1. This is super cute! Thanks for showing each step (almost). I don't know why, but bags intimidate me. I guess I have no excuse not to sew one now.

    ReplyDelete
  2. What a cute bag, thanks for the pattern.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Very cute! Thanks for the tutorial. BTW, happy thanksgiving!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Adorable bag! Excellent photos and directions--thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  5. What a great purse! And nice instructions too!

    ReplyDelete
  6. That bag is SO cute!!! Thanks for the instructions. Do you mind if I use this in my sewing class with credit to you? BTW, where did you purchase your handles?

    ReplyDelete
  7. Thanks everyone! :) I don't mind Kat! I bought my handles at Hobby lobby. They have a decent handbag section with handles & hardware.

    ReplyDelete
  8. You don't suck, you rock! That bag is entirely too cute. I want one. It's a perfect girl friend gift. I may even have some quilting cotton strips from a very pretty quilt I made a few years ago that would work. Thanks for the great tutorial.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Great handbag!! And very nice tutorial!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Thanks for that tutorial. How cool is that bag!?

    ReplyDelete
  11. I love it, it's adorable!! I've seen these things around and have wanted to make one- I adore using the scraps for pockets! And fusing fleece and quilting it! Thanks so much, I've put it on my list!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Very well done! Followed a link to you from Becky's sew-and-so. Nice tutorial!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Hey Angie, I was wondering if you could help me out with something... I bought a bunch of quilter's cotton to make into aprons for Christmas for the gals in my family. Problem is, it's a little thin. Do you have any suggestions of what to possibly put with it to make it thicker? I don't really want to quilt them... Any ideas? Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  14. So cute! (If only I had some time...I've got all my projects lined up already...) Maybe next year! (Which is only days away!)
    Smiles, Heidi

    ReplyDelete
  15. This bag is unbeliveble CUTE!!!!!!!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  16. You did a great job with your tute!! I love this bag and as soon as I have some time I am going to make one. Thanks for sharing it.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Anonymous1:02 PM

    i just started this last evening...i'm in love with this bag..and fabulous directions!
    thanks so much :)
    sheliafisher@verizon.net

    ReplyDelete
  18. Anonymous12:26 PM

    I cannot WAIT to try this. Thanks for posting this!

    ReplyDelete
  19. GREAT work!!!

    my roommate bought a panda bag!
    She is just THRILLED with it and can’t put it down.
    hkpanda.freetzi.com

    ReplyDelete
  20. Anonymous10:05 PM

    Hi! The bag is adorable. Could you explain a little more about how you did the diagonal stitching to box the corners?

    Thanks!

    Kristy

    ReplyDelete
  21. Wonderful
    thank you for sharing...

    ReplyDelete
  22. Lauren7:15 AM

    OMG!! Can this bag be any cuter?!

    ReplyDelete
  23. Amanda8:48 PM

    I only wish my scrap bin had the cute fabric that yours did! I made this, but used more scraps to make a handle -- turned out cute! Thank you so much for sharing this!

    ReplyDelete
  24. it's so cute! I'm an amateur, but I took a shot at this and it wasn't that hard. I made 11 strips each for front and back instead of seven. I added lots of pockets for organization (instead of making an organization insert). I made a tab for the closure and made it a should sling instead of the handles. Your purse looks fabulous, though! I used your template, but I didn't have enough to make the pockets that you made. What did I do wrong? Thank you so much for the tutorial.

    ReplyDelete
  25. love your bag,just made 1 out of afloral rose pattern, the nest one i make will be out of different shades of denium from recyled jeans

    ReplyDelete
  26. Just made a bag. Thanks for the easy directions! It turned out very cute!

    ReplyDelete
  27. thanx for the tutorial


    like the idea

    have a nice day

    ReplyDelete
  28. I'm going to really enjoy this!

    Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  29. Love this, I might try it at some point! Also really great tutorial so very clear, sometimes I have to reread tutorials to make sure I understand what they are saying, but not with yours! Maybe b/c we're both in Oklahoma! ;) By the way totally awesome that you've been linked to from sew mama sew!

    ReplyDelete
  30. i'm going to try and make one for my Mom for Mothers Day thanks for sharing

    Michelle

    ReplyDelete
  31. I made one of these and it turned out SO cute. But just printing the template out from the web page, it was too small. The purse turned out perfect, but is too small for me to use. So I'm giving it to my 6 year old niece and remade the template so it's a little bigger for a "Me-sized" purse. She's excited because then we'll match!

    Thank you for this pattern. It's given me lots of ideas for other fun designs to try later on.

    ReplyDelete
  32. I'm glad you liked it Megan! I don't have one handy to give you finished measurements, but in a couple of photos you can see the approximate size where the blue water soluble pen is lying on top? It was a small to medium size, just a little handbag! :) But if you feel yours was a lot smaller than that, sometimes on my printer dialog box, I have to uncheck "scale to fit" (or similar) so that the printer doesn't automatically shrink things when printing.

    I'm glad you were able to enlarge the piece for a larger version though! I'd love to see a picture when you are finished. :)

    ReplyDelete
  33. Anonymous8:25 PM

    I love this little handbag this one is so me .Thanks for the pattern. I make all my hand bags..

    ReplyDelete
  34. Thank you for the great tutorial. I just made my first purse with your directions and posted pictures and a link to your blog. (http://www.thepaisleyabbey.com/2010/07/i-made-my-first-purse.html)
    :)
    Courtney
    ThePaisleyAbbey.com
    ThePaisleyAbbey@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  35. Hi Angie,

    I have made this adorable bag and am going to link to your tutorial from my blog. I am doing a post on making gifts for the holidays using rescued vintage linens and the little bag turned out really cute. Thanks for the inspiration!

    ReplyDelete
  36. Here's the link to the post on my blog. http://refashionology.com/?p=411
    Thank you for the inspiration, I really like this purse pattern and will be making it again!

    ReplyDelete
  37. This cute bag was perfect for the fun wooden handles I picked up at a shop in West Seattle. I could have stood to make the wedges and the bag bigger, as I had to do some of the top stitches by hand. The wood would not bend to sew an inside circle!

    Enjoyed it and have fabric to make another, but with softer handles:)

    ReplyDelete
  38. Great tutorial! You've been featured on the Quality Sewing Tutorials blog.

    We hand select only the best free tutorials and patterns for home sewers.

    Grab a brag button!

    ReplyDelete
  39. Anonymous11:44 PM

    I made this bag with a few alterations. I added a inside zippered pocket, a large pocket and 4 smaller pockets with snap closures. I also enlarged the bag quite a bit and added shoulder straps and a tab closure. I am very excited this is my first solo project. I made it for my mom as a present and she usually helps me. Thank you so much for the step by step instructions and pictures. Your tutorial is excellent!
    Laura C.

    ReplyDelete
  40. Anonymous9:30 PM

    I love this idea. I plan to use fabric sample scraps.

    ReplyDelete
  41. Anonymous2:05 AM

    Just made it using blacks/whites, and pinks. I made it a little longer and made straps then made a loop and used a beautiful button for the closure. Thanks a bunch for the idea and awesome tutorial!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  42. You're welcome! Anons, I'd love to see pictures! My email address is above, feel free to email them to me if you don't have a blog. :)

    ReplyDelete
  43. love love love this bag ,,,,,,,, thank you xxxx

    ReplyDelete
  44. Anonymous1:25 PM

    I'm excited to try this... I just bought about 6 sets of purse handles on clearance at JoAnns for 97 cents each and this will be the perfect project for them! And of course, plenty of scraps on hand :)

    ReplyDelete
  45. Love, thanks for the great tutorial... can't wait to try it!

    ReplyDelete
  46. Carol S.7:03 PM

    Angie:
    I started making your Dresden Petal Handbag last night. I spent all afternoon working on it today. I should have been warned by one of the other gals who ended up giving the finished purse to her niece. I wish you would have indicated the finished size of this purse. I made a template of the petal pattern & added a total of 1/2" for the width. Little did I know that I would end up with a very small body/lining. And it was disappointing that you didn't include some instruction for making a gusset which I did know how to do. This was a big failure for me working on this handbag & I am sorry I wasted some good fabric & time on it. I'll probably never hear from you, but at least I got the feelings off my chest!

    ReplyDelete
  47. Hi Carol. Sorry you had trouble and disappointment with your project. I did apologize for not remembering to photograph the "gusset" at the point in the tutorial where it should go. As for size...I have given all of the handbags away as gifts, and I never did remember to measure one. i think someone else wanted measurements. To be honest, I probably assumed at the time that you could sort of extrapolate the finished size by the size of the pattern piece, and by the photos with the handles attached (standard purse handles). But I do appreciate your comment and am truly sorry for your frustration. I'm glad it made you feel better to rant about it!

    Bear in mind, this tutorial is 4 years old and has given many people joy and there have been hundreds of bags sewn from it. I still get emails and questions every month about this bag, and the post itself receives upwards of 500 hits a day.

    When I posted this, I gave the pattern and my simple, (unprofessional) tutorial instructions freely. I'm not a pattern designer, I'm just a girl who likes to sew and quilt and I hand drew the pattern piece for a gift I wanted to make for a loved one. I shared it because it was of easy-medium difficulty and I knew a lot of my blog readers may get a kick out of trying one too. I'm a much better tutorial writer now, but I've no desire to go back and rewrite this one.

    Hopefully you can salvage something, even peace with this project, and if not, that's OK too. There are plenty of free handbag patterns out there! Happy sewing!

    ReplyDelete
  48. Anonymous8:09 PM

    I applaud you for your professional response to Carol's post.

    ReplyDelete
  49. Carol S.12:50 PM

    Angie:
    Thank you for your response. I'm sorry if I came on too strong, but you probably realize yourself that emotions get in the way when you anticipate something special in your sewing & it doesn't turn out. I think I may be able to salvage four beverage coasters with what has been sewn together. I also did not realize that you are not a professional, just a kind person sharing with others. Sorry for sounding vindictive. Best Wishes.......

    ReplyDelete
  50. Anonymous7:51 AM

    Thanks Angie for such a fantastic tutorial! I realise this was published a few years ago but I'm a complete beginner and have only just discovered your tutorial :-) I enlarged the pattern piece by about 125% and ended up with a large handbag. Am so thrilled I managed to make this - your instructions were great, thanks again!

    Jill

    ReplyDelete
  51. Awesome Jill!! If you have a blog or flickr or something, I hope you'll come back and share photos! I'd love to see it. :) WONDERFUL idea to enlarge the piece too. One of the reasons for the original pattern size is so that it would fit on a regular sheet of paper (easily printed at home) and I was too lazy to figure out how to make it print on 2 sheets with registration marks, haha!

    ReplyDelete
  52. Anonymous4:28 AM

    Here we go:

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/79616579@N06/

    I'm a complete beginner though - I'm sure my finishing isn't perfect but am just so thrilled to have made this :-)I added the little pockets inside as you suggested. Great to have a handbag in colours I love, which is practical and didn't cost the earth :-)

    Thanks again for a great tutorial!!

    Jill

    ReplyDelete
  53. I love the design and I can't wait to get started :D. I'm going to do a woodland critter Christmas version :3

    ReplyDelete
  54. Love the bag. please can you tell me what are the dimentions of the bag after finished. thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  55. Hi, just thought you would want to know, someone is selling your pattern on their site! They are doing the same thing to me!!!

    http://www.losangelesneedlework.com/2013/sewing-patterns/purse-patterns/dresden-petal-purse-pdf-pattern-and-picture-tutorial

    ReplyDelete
  56. I am not sure if you think my post is spam, because it has a link, so I am writing you again to let you know that Los Angeles Needlework dot com is selling your pattern. I found this out because they are selling my tea time mug rug pattern as their own, and figured that they might be selling yours illegally too. From one crafter to another this is not right! Sara @ thesplitstitch

    ReplyDelete
  57. I just noticed via another blog the illegal use of tutorials on the Los Angeles Needlework website and saw your beautiful Dresden Plate Bag - I recognised your picture immediately. They are selling your freely available tutorial for $3.47. Like Sara says above - thought you should know.

    ReplyDelete
  58. I was just coming over here to warn her that someone had stolen her tutorial also.

    ReplyDelete
  59. I really love this tutorial. I've always wanted a purse/bag that had quilting but could never find one that I liked.

    This is perfect.

    ReplyDelete
  60. great job! thanks for the tutorial... keen to make this soon..!
    wash bags for men

    ReplyDelete
  61. I've been hanging on to my Dad's old ties for 12 years now! Thank you, I've finally found something I can do with them!!

    ReplyDelete
  62. thanks for the tutorial I am going to make this purse

    ReplyDelete
  63. thanks for the tutorial

    ReplyDelete
  64. I would like to thank you for a truly and honestly free tutorial. You are sweet to share

    ReplyDelete
  65. Thanks for sharing! I added a gusset and a zipper to this adorable bag for a gift this year. Great idea for scraps!

    ReplyDelete