Yes! It’s done and it only took a month, once I got started. :D
Here it is, complete with zipper pulls and cute buttons. It’s got 17 pockets for all my stuff and I’m excited to start using it.
I thought for a day or so that I should enter it in the State Fair, but that’s not till October, and I don’t want to wait all year to use this thing—I’ve already waited 4½ years just to make it!
I felt like a genius thinking up the bottom of this purse.
I wanted an oval shape for my purse, so I cut two blue denim ovals and sewed the outer body of the bag around the ovals, one at a time, leaving a bit of an opening in the interior seam, into which I might slide a piece of cardboard that I could remove for washing.
Uh, no. That wouldn’t do. I didn’t want to leave the stitching open and I didn’t want to be replacing bent cardboard, or worrying about setting it on a wet counter and having the whole bottom of my purse collapse. So, what to do . . . Apparently, making a purse with no pattern is an excellent opportunity for brainstorming.
Plastic would work. It’s strong enough to hold it’s shape and washable, so I could sew it right in to the base of my purse. But WHAT plastic?
The lid to a dollar store tub! I drew the oval I needed, a little smaller than the fabric ovals, and sawed the end of the lid off with a Miracle Blade knife (and yes, it does still slice tomatoes). Then I cut around the oval with small garden shears. It fit the first time and I sewed my little opening closed with the machine. Voila!
And now my adorable jeans purse stands up by itself!
The waistband from yet another pair of my Dearest’s old, worn out jeans.
I trimmed it super close, but did not excise the superfluous fabric. I folded the beltloops over and sewed them down by hand, and after everything else was done, I attached the ends to the purse with the machine, working around the snaps. It’s awesome!
My Dearest said it was the coolest purse ever.
Now that I had the inside and the outside together, I needed to figure out some way to make the top look finished.
I had cut off the waistband from one of the Dearest’s old jeans, but it was too big around. Then I found a pair of size 5 juniors, rather new, but in the giveaway box. I would have felt bad about cutting up a fairly new pair of cute jeans, but it will give me some good fabric for other stuff and it’s better than having to go buy denim when I already have it at home.
So—I cut off the top of the jeans about half an inch below the waistband. This slice of denim gave me rivets, part of the zipper, the top of the pockets, and the belt loops to work around. I tried sewing it on a couple of ways, but it just didn’t look the way I wanted it to, so I took it all out.
At that point, I was thinking maybe I should forget the waistband (waste-band?)and just go get some seam binding and call it good.
HOWEVER, while I was thinking this, I was holding the denim waistband in my hand. I noticed how the top of the jeans goes right up inside the waistband. :| Yeah…This waistband IS seam binding!!!
OK, so I opened it up, took out any fabric that made it thicker than necessary, and sewed it on like this. I love it. It’s fabulous.
One extra special step was to sew the belt loops down to the lower part of the purse. I love how that ties everything together. Yay!
Next up, the strap!
I can hardly believe how fast this purse is coming together, once I put aside time to do it!
Here it is; the interior shown in the last entry inserted into the exterior, with the zipper unit sewn around the top.
There was, at that time, a rough edge around the top, so I needed to tidy it up, and I have another picture, so I’ll have to write another entry . . . . .
Yay for all my wonderful pockets! I’ve spent this week putting together the interior of my purse.
There are already seven pockets on the exterior:
- 2 large back pockets that I put zippers in.
- 2 large front pockets, one of which has a tiny little pocket on top of it. This will be for my lip balm. One of the large ones will carry my keys and the other will temporarily hold random crap like movie tickets and grocery receipts.
- A narrow double pocket that will hold my cell phone perfectly in one compartment and maybe a pen in the tall angled compartment.
BUT NOW! I have ten glorious, wonderful pockets for the interior of my purse! eeee! I’m very excited. :) They turned out beautifully. I had to take this picture half a dozen times before I got one that showed them all well enough.
- So, the first pocket on the left is for make-up and a mirror.
- Below it, overlapping, is my cleaning-cloth pocket.
- Next are two gathered pockets for my glasses and my shades. These two are also lined with flannel so nothing abrasive will touch my lenses.
- The funny shaped triangle pocket will be in the corner of my purse. It’s for pens and highlighters. You can see a little glare behind the pens. I lined that pocket with plastic, so if a pen leaks, it doesn’t get ink all over my purse.
- Then there’s a big pocket with yet another zipper. In this pocket will go my stamps, bank receipts, other important papers, if I have any, and a pair of scissors.
- The larger flat pocket on the right is for cash.
- The three little flat pockets are for (bottom)loyalty and gift cards, (middle)identification and membership cards, and (top)credit cards. This last (5-pocket) panel was the most fun and took the most work (although that plastic for the pens was no picnic!)
I am beyond pleased at how each pocket turned out!
All I have to do now is fold this whole thing together, stitch the seam up the side, and insert it into exterior portion of the purse. Then I’ll finish the top, put a strap on it, and have a gorgeous new purse that everyone will ask about.
More to come…..
I thought the exterior “back” pockets might be more useful if things couldn’t fall out of them. I had two little pink zippers, which just about fit perfectly. . . I only had to trim an inch off each one, and then make sure they didn’t come apart while flipping over and inside out to make them practically invisible at the tops of the pockets.
I’ll keep coins in one and a little notebook in the other.
I decided my purse project needed a zipper for the top, so I would have to take time out of my already busy day and go find a sturdy zipper. Not a skinny little dress zipper, like they have near my house, but a big metal zipper, for which I would have to travel to a neighboring town. A fun trip, especially to that fabric-by-the-pound store, but I didn’t have time.
What I did have was a giant box of clothes in the giveaway. Hmmm. I rummaged through that box and came out with a sweatshirt jacket. The zipper’s a little too long, but that’s fine; I can always make it shorter. I didn’t care if it was white, either; it would hardly show because I am really good at zippers. :) I removed it from the jacket and returned the jacket to the box…not all hoodies need zippers, right?
While I was at it, I scavanged a pair of Dearest’s old jeans and cut the waistband off for the top of my purse, as well as a large rectangle of denim for my zipper facings. I eyeballed it and tore the fabric along the grain so it would be cut on the square.
It worked perfectly! First, I took the zipper apart (bonus from using a jacket zipper) and sewed each facing to it, right sides together. Next, I doubled the fabric back and sewed it down tight and close to the zipper, so it would never get stuck in the teeth. Then I zigzagged along the edge of the white fabric with a thread that matches the denim so well, you can’t even see the stitching! That way, the zipper lays flat and won’t ever curl or fray.
The zipper component as a whole turned out amazing and will give my purse just the structure it needs for the shape I want.
Now I just need to decide which of those cute zipper pulls to use for the big zipper.
As I determined in my last entry, I set aside a specific time to work on my purse. After having a bag of fabric and supplies sitting in the cabinet above my sewing machine for 4½ years, I was finally ready to begin.
I got quite a surprise when I opened the bag. I had originally bought a cute pair of little girl’s jeans at the thrift store, with the intention of converting them into an adorable purse, but I think I may have ended up making that into a backpack for my daughter…I don’t know, but what I found in the bag was a bunch of pockets. There were five pockets: two front pockets from a pair of dark jeans, and the back and leg pockets from a pair of overalls. There was no other denim fabric in there. The flowered fabric for the lining was there, but what was I to do with a bunch of pockets!?
I went digging about in my fabric cabinet and found some denim. lol. It’s camo. But with the blue pockets sewn to it, it’s looking pretty cute so far! Not at all like I had envisioned…maybe better.
Next Wednesday, I’ll work on the inside.
....all the stuff is still there. Then I looked on 43T and saw that my first entry on this goal was on …how was it this long ago?!...June 17, 2008!
OK, to be fair, I have made lots of purses and diaper bags since then, but they were all for other people and the gifts were made and wrapped and taken away to various showers or parties before I even thought to take a picture.
But the purse I had in mind four and a half years ago was one I had already been wanting to make for quite some time and never have gotten around to it. Such is my life. It’s good to serve others, right?
So this is what I’ve decided about this goal. It really IS a goal. I really do want this purse, and in five months, it will be five years since I wrote my goal down. This is now my deadline. By June 17, 2013, I will post a picture of the finished purse.
In order to get MY project done for MYself, I will set aside an hour a week, like a class, to accomplish it. As of right now, I have Sewing Class on Wednesday mornings from 10 to 11 am. There. Now it will get done. :)