Thursday, October 24, 2013


I found these great fabric prints months ago and knew I wanted to make a purse with them - I finally finished it today!

I have made a couple handbags in the past, but this time I was hoping to create a purse quite similar to Vera Bradley's Little Betsy. Little Betsy is what I consider to be the perfect purse; and, according to it's reviews, so do many others -
"Just the right size and can fit everything in it that I need."
"First of all, it holds WAY more stuff than I thought it would! Second, the pockets are FABULOUS for keeping organized!"
"This bag is a reason why I fell in love with Vera Bradley. It holds a ton of stuff, effortlessly and keeps everything organized."

I'm sure I don't need to promote Vera Bradley (unless you're looking for a really good reason to justify spending the money). However, it's unfortunate that they are slowly doing away with this bag, when I've only got one... So I had to try making my own!
I took some rough measurements, cut out the sides and bottom, and started by adding quilt batting to make the cotton fabric sturdier. Then I sewed on the many pockets - I love pockets! Purses without pockets seem to eat anything I put in it and then I spend more time trying to find my wallet than I spent shopping.

It did take me a while to decide the pattern placement, but I finally settled on the polka dots on the inside and flowers with the red for trim on the outside.
Since I wasn't using an actual pattern (I rarely do), I tried to do a lot of visualizing and pinning before actually sewing. And even with that, I did a lot of adjusting and replacing as I went. It was a slow process.
As I started placing the sides and bottom together, I realized that I hadn't adjusted all the measurements correctly and had to add some 'peek-a-boo's' to the bottom sides. Still, I think it adds nicely to the purse.
                  Also at this point, I ended up trimming in the sides at an angle. You'll notice I had just rectangles for the sides in a picture above, but that didn't make for a visually appealing purse. So, I made the sides more trapezoid shaped, with the tops a few inches smaller than the bottoms.
Now all I had left were the handle straps and top trim.
The straps weren't too difficult to sew, but getting the right placement on the edging was.
I had the whole purse sewed and "done" at one point, but thought the straps were placed oddly. So I took the top all off again and tried again; although, I was irritated enough at having to redo the work that I set it aside and waited a few weeks to take it apart and put it back.
I finally got up this morning and decided it was time to finish the project! It didn't seem to take me very long at all. It's funny how I can get caught up and frustrated working on something, so I'll put it aside for a while; then when I come back it seems so much easier.
I'm very pleased with how it turned out. 'Slow and steady' will pay off!

I've already filled all the pockets and as another reviewer said,

"It is perfect for everyday. With 6 inside pockets and 1 outside, you'll never have trouble finding your keys or your cell phone and still have room left over for more."

You'll see me with this one over my shoulder very soon!

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