I somehow stumbled upon the Bower Power Blog last week, and she was promoting a Pinterest Challenge: Winter Edition, which is where she challenges her readers to make something that they have Pinned (sound familiar?) within the Challenge week and then show it off in a fantastic link party. She and a few other Blogesses (Sherry, Cassie and Erin) promote this Challenge, and it's a big creative quorum. I had to enter, of course. But what to make? So many options! I wanted to keep it semi-simple, where I wouldn't need to make a separate trip to a fabric/craft store, since I didn't have much time (a week...essentially a weekend since the week is filled with work and bebe). I had been itching to log some serious time on my sewing machine, so I headed over to my Details In The Fabric pinboard. So many choices! I settled on the adorable Buttercup Bag with a FREE pattern and tutorial, graciously provided by the super talented and creative Made By Rae.
As much as I adore small handbags, being a mom to a 14 month old, I need something bigger, and definitely something with a longer shoulder strap. I decided to increase the size of the pattern by 30%, which is a whole other tutorial in itself. In short, there were some modifications.
I decided on two Joel Dewberry for Westminster fabrics: Ginseng Collection and Damask from the Aviary 2 Collection. For the lining of the purse, I used an old work shirt of the hubby's.
When it comes to sewing, my least favorite part is cutting out the pattern. I wish I was confident enough to go pattern-less, but I'm just not there yet. All you seamstresses that create tutorials of garments and bags and wallets without a pattern, my hat is off to you!
The tutorial that Made By Rae created is very easy to follow. Once my pieces were cut out and ironed, I was ready to start assembling. First, the pleats.
Then I attached the upper band. When I increased the size of the pattern, part of the upper band didn't make it on to the printed page, so I had to improvise on the actual length. As you can see, I came up about a half inch too short on both sides.
Tim Gunn's voice echoed in my head, "Make it work!" so I trimmed off those extra half inches and carried on. As you can see, with the outer part of the bag sewed up quite nicely.
Moving along to the lining, I stablized the location of the magnetic closures, and inserted them.
I also attached the pockets. I thought too far ahead of the directions when preparing the pockets. I didn't read that we were to fold over/double the fabric to make the pocket. I got nervous and thought, "a single thickness pocket, surely that needs to be stabilized!" And so I ironed on some fusible interfacing to give the pocket fabric some durability. Of course it was after the stabilizing that I realized the folding over was to occur. So I ended up with two very very durable and sturdy pockets.
It was at this time that I got nervous about the flimsy lining trying to hold up these sturdy pockets, of which I am guaranteed to subject to some serious wear and tear. Also, I've made some bags in the past that were extremely flimsy and lost their shape very quickly. I didn't want this to happen, so I decided to iron on some more fusible interfacing to the back of the lining. I really would recommend ironing on interfacing BEFORE a pocket and a magnetic closure are affixed to the lining. But I did it anyhow, and for the most part it worked.
I sewed up the lining, attached the lining to the outer part of the purse, and then flipped it inside out and then right side in.
As I mentioned earlier, I needed a longer shoulder strap. I've never been a fan of the armpit purses, with the super short straps. These days, it's an added bonus if the straps of my purses are long enough for me to wear them crossbody. So I tripled the length of the strap, and attached it.
And there it is! My Buttercup Bag with some minor edits!
I think this will probably be a weekend purse, since I carry so much crap with me to work during the week, and I feel much more secure having a zip-top bag while riding on the Metro. The size of the bag easily fits my wallet, planner, large sunglasses case, phone, a small packet of wet wipes and probably two diapers. Knowing me, I can -- and will -- jam a whole lot more in there...
And an action shot. Baby on one hip, Buttercup Bag on the other! Let's do this!
This Pinterest Challenge: Winter Edition is just what I needed to get my tail in gear and to a fast turnaround on a project. It reminded me that I can start and finish a project in less than a week, and I can do it well!