One thing I’ve been missing in my handmade wardrobe for a while is a good ”going out” purse. You know the kind, small enough to carry around all night and dance with, but big enough to hold the necessities (phone, lipstick, keys). I had a lovely summer party purse, that my Mum bought in the early noughties, but it was bought at the time when cell phones were shrinking and shrinking and nobody could imagine that 15 years later we’d all carry around larger phones again.
Most indie pattern designers seem to focus on clothing, or maybe it’s just that I am looking in that direction. So, I’ll be honest, I Googled “free purse pattern” (and derivatives) and found the Ida Clutch Purse by Kylie and the Machine. It had a simple shape and a cute look.
The thing is though, I don’t like clutches. I want a shoulder strap on my purse, to get my hands free. I don’t want to have to put my purse down. I used the basic pattern for the bag, but didn’t install the snap. When assembling the outer shell, I put small strips of fabric with D-rings in the side seam. The shoulder strap is adjustable, using a regulator and attaches to the D-rings with a snap link (that’s what Google translate tells me they’re called). This means I can take the shoulder strap off if I want a clutch look, although I would have to live with the D-rings in the side seams, those are permanent!
Also, don’t ask me to explain how to make the shoulder strap adjustable, I just looked at another bag and twined the strap back and forth to get the adjustable effect I wanted.
The outer fabric is faux leather I got from Stoff & Stil, the lining is Italian cotton from an old and loved, but sadly to small, skirt, from a lovely fabric store which has been closed for almost 10 years. This little bag doesn’t really eat at lot of fabric and I’d say the most expensive part would be the hardware.
I was worried that the faux leather would look cheap, but I really like the end look. The pattern was easy to work with and the instructions were a nice photo tutorial that made everything clear. To no fault of those instructions, I did manage to baste the zipper to the lining upside down (and this was after I had already attached the other lining piece correctly).
The size of this bag is really good, it fits into my Goldilocks view on what I need for those rare occasions going out. It doesn’t really fit into my everyday wardrobe, maybe some days, but hey, isn’t that an excuse to make another one? I’m eyeing a quilted denim remnant that sits in my stash. Until then, I’ll be by my mailbox awaiting an invitation to a more upscale event*.
*Don’t get me wrong, I do socialize, but most of the time it’s just casually hanging out with friends, nothing that really requires dressing up. And in my life, this purse is a “dressing up” item.
And bonus points for correctly identifying the indie pattern dress I am wearing while I await my invitations! And for getting this far!