Bags & Purses

Thanks to my mom and A I got a new Janome sewing machine for Christmas. What a treat it has been! We bought it from our local sewing machine/guitar shop…yes, that is right, a slash. The first time I went in with J, he was amazed at the combination. I think he thought there was something for everyone…sewing stuff for mom and guitars for him. At the time, he was wanting to work on the race car’s pit crew when he grew up. After I told him that when you own your own store, you can put any of your interests together. He then decided that he might want to own his own store instead of be on a pit crew. It would be safer he suggested.

I made a bunch of presents for family and friends for Christmas with the new machine. My stepmom got an apron which I forgot to photo before I wrapped it and sent it to her. I made a special banner for A’s nephew who adores dogs. My inspiration was an idea from which I stumbled upon.


I was happy with how it turned out. (Ignore the mess in the background as I finished it 12/23 and was a sewing mad woman at this point.) I bought a pair of pinking shears to make it, then recently realized that I could have gotten the rotary kind for cheaper. It also would have been a lot easier to cut the triangles out with the rotary.

For my sister’s birthday in November (I got the sewing machine a bit early!), I made her this purse which was my first attempt at anything beyond an apron. I stumbled upon a great tutorial by mama’s pocketbook.

Mary’s purse

I made one for myself as well, but didn’t like it as much. The success of my sister’s purse led me to create a new pattern based on a purse I had in my closet. I wanted a special gift for two little girls, A’s niece and my goddaughter. It did take a while to get it right, and lots of ripping, but I knocked out four of these for presents! Though all the front pockets were slightly crooked despite my best efforts, this one looks deceptively crooked. It is only because the bottom is slightly pushed down on the left side.

perfect for little girls

Then, I made this purse from a Simplicity pattern for my *bff* for Christmas. As soon as I saw the fabric, I knew it was her! I see now that I took the picture on the wrong side of the bag…the other side of the red fabric had a cool Chinese man in a bamboo hat. I found bamboo handles to match. I also made the same purse for my mother-in-law for her January birthday.

bff purseinside

One of my favorite things to do now is dig through the clearance racks of JoAnn Fabrics. I rarely buy anything but seriously discounted fabric. The banner fabric and one little girl purse were full price purchases. A’s niece loves her sock monkey Clark. He goes everywhere! So, I found this and this at a local quilting shop and had to make her the purse with it. I can’t believe I didn’t take a picture but I think I actually finished it on 12/23 as well.

So, today, I made two purses to donate to a mentoring program at work. The mentors (female college students) and mentees (6th & 7th grade girls) earned “raffle tickets” for different activities. We are adding these to the raffle. They were very easy, and I really liked the pattern. I will definitely be making more despite the fact that I literally cut off the top of my left pointer finger with my rotary cutter when I started the project…never look away! The tutorial for these shoulder bags was done by tiny happy and were stumbled upon (big surprise).

green gingham

shoulder bagsfunky flowers

The exterior fabrics were home dec and the flower pattern I passed once then couldn’t pass it up again at $2/yard (54 inch width). I used a great old sheet from Pottery Barn for the lining that was headed for the garage sale pile…we are moving and I cannot move all this stuff AGAIN!! It matched really well!

I also made travel shoe bags for presents as well, but didn’t get a picture of those either because my friends were heading to Australia for the holidays, and I had to get them in the mail. Now, I wished I’d taken a picture. I have a picture of a work in progress one later…it is currently holding five or six pairs of my summer shoes! Trial and error, right!


3 Comments on “Bags & Purses”

  1. Mary says:

    Feel free to make me another bag any time! Maybe I can get you the fabric i have at home with trains and you could make me a tote for all the boys ‘stuff’.

  2. Kathy says:

    I love my purse, I plan on using it in a few weeks although Jack warned me that someone might try to steal it. Thanks again for the birthday purse.

  3. Jakki says:

    I still have my bag hanging at the top of our entry way so that everyone who comes into our home can see it. I LOVE LOVE LOVE it. When Sherrie suggested that she could take it apart to do something with the magnet clasp, I said “You are NOT taking my new bag APART!” I love the fabric, the colors, the handles, but especially that she was willing to take the time to make it for me! Truly, my dearest friend.

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