Monday, 24 May 2010

(Mis)adventures in Purse Making!

…or “what I have learned this weekend”

I have a bit of a thing about purses. (Also bags, shoes, hats, coats, make-up, Momiji, stationery… but now we are talking about purses!) On an average day I have 3 purses with me – money/general, excess cards and ‘savings’ (which is where I keep money saved to pay for my Spanish lessons and my dog classes). Before I switched to a smaller handbag I also had a coin purse too! On any given day this number can increase if I fancy carrying more make-up, money for a different purpose, or just another purse!

I had an idea for a line of coin purses and glasses cases but absolutely no idea how to go about making them. Good old Google to the rescue! I found this site U-Handbag, which sells everything you might want for making bags and also has a good selection of really useful and well put-together tutorials with pictures – and they’re FREE!!

So, I ordered some coin purse frames from a fellow folksy seller HollieLollie Supplies. I also got the Gutermann HT2 glue recommended by the tutorials. When the glue arrived last week I set aside this weekend to have a go.

The tutorial was so good that I figured it would be a doddle and was a teeny bit smug about it I think. Never a good way to be! It went pretty well at the beginning. I chose a groovy owl print cotton from my stash. I designed a pattern following the instructions, cut out all my pieces and stitched them together following the directions. So far; so good. At this stage it looked pretty impressive…

Then I came to the point to start gluing and I learned a few things.

1) When it says ‘be generous’ it probably doesn’t mean ‘use half a tube’

2) When squeezing the glue – it keeps coming out for a long time afterwards and is really gloopy!

3) Ventilate the room really well as the glue is really strong smelling and gave me a headache

4) Don’t cut corners – check the seam allowances or it might not fit in the frame properly

5) No really, don’t cut corners – even though you hate ironing, it really does help to press the seams properly.

6) Everyone makes mistakes – the trick is to laugh and learn.

After this I made a somewhat more successful attempt, which I’m afraid I can’t show here yet as it turned out well enough to be a gift, but I will post a picture once the recipient has received it!

I’ve ordered some more frames and I’m hoping that with a bit more practice I will improve! I’ve got next week off work, so I’m going to spend a couple of days sewing and see what occurs! I want to make myself a skirt as well, but I think I’ve caught up on all my trouser-shortening, button replacing chores now!

As it is Monday and I missed out on Momiji Monday last week (because I was so busy trouser-shortening and button-replacing) I am tagging a Momiji on to the end of this post to make up for it.

This one is Dreaming - I thought that was apt! Dreaming is from Generation 2. She likes quantum mechanics, Las Vegas and surprises!

Sundays are my favourite days for dreaming. a big stretch and then some tea!


  1. What a good effort with the purse-making - I love the fabric you chose, and it looks a good size too.

    Good luck with your continued progress with these! I have a metal frame with sewing holes which I bought a few months ago and thought I'd give it a go, but can't quite understand the very basic instructions, so it's stayed in my craft box until I find some better instructions, lol.

    Take care,

    Jane x

  2. Thanks, I love that fabric, too. It's called Night Owls. I have enough left to try again (but I think I'll use some scrap fabric for the next attempt just in case!)
    Try u-handbag for a tutorial for your frame - you can maybe email them for better instructions if there aren't any on there.
    Good luck!