I have had this fabric sitting in my stash for awhile now and I have been thinking of using it to make a valence for my sewing room but I just wasn’t sure if that’s what I wanted to do with it. There probably was not enough fabric for a valence and I was really wanting to use this fabric already so I turned to my favorite accessory…the bag. I have a thing for bags and I really don’t think that anybody could ever have too many bags, purses, totes, knitting bags, etc. so I pulled out my book, Pretty Little Purses and Pouches by Lark Books, and decided on the Dotted Bliss pattern.
Here is the fabric that I used for this project. I choose a vintage-looking mother/daughter print and a soft pink/white print for the outside of the purse and a blue/white print for the inside.
This purse is made with a front and a back piece that is joined by attaching them to the side strap that goes all the way around the purse.
Once the outside is sewn together the lining comes next. The first time I made this purse, a year or so ago, I didn’t pay attention to the fact that there were no pockets on the lining. I knew that if I ever made this pattern again that I would add some pockets to it so that’s what I did this time. I simply cut two rectangle pieces out of the fabric that I had left from the lining.
I started the pocket by folding over the top edge of the pocket, right sides together, about an inch or so and pressing.
Then I pressed the bottom edge of the folded piece up 1/4″ followed by stitching the short sides of the pocket along the folded piece only . Once I stitched the sides of the folded piece I turned the top of the pocket right side out. I apologize for not having a picture of this step. Apparently I forgot to take it. Below is a picture of the top of the pocket folded over and the 1/4″ folded up.
Once I turned the pocket I placed the pocket on the ironing board, right side down, folded over the edges of the remaining fabric and pressed them in place and secured with pins. I stitched along the sides of the pocket to stitch the side seams down and I also stitched across the bottom of the flap of the pocket making sure that I caught up the 1/4″ that I had previously pressed down.
Once the pocket was completed I pinned it to the right side of the lining, both lining and pocket right sides are facing up.
I attached the pocket to the lining by sewing along the two sides and the bottom of the pocket. I also stitched a line up the center of the pocket to form two smaller pockets. On the other piece of lining I stitched off-center up the pocket so that one half of the pocket was wider than the other half. I then sewed the two sides of the lining, right sides together.
The next step was to attach the band. The directions in the book were good but it was just a very difficult step. I had trouble with it after I folded the band in half and had to slip it over the top of the purse. I ended up using a lot of pins to keep everything in place and the fabric still puckered on me a bit when I was sewing the band in place.
Once the band was finally sewn into place I just had to attach the handles and the bow.
Other than adding my own pocket to the pattern, the pattern itself was easy to understand. The hardest part for me was attaching that top band. My pockets turned out well too. They are a bit difficult to see in the pictures because the pockets and the lining are the same fabric.
In the end I think that the bag turned out pretty cute!