Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Felt purse for Colleen!

For Colleen's Christmas present, I decided to make her a felt tote. Well, more like a small version of a tote.

I'm not going to go into the details on this one because I did use a pattern to start the design and then made some adjustments according to what I wanted my end product to look like.
Basically, I saw some other projects on the internet (Etsy to be exact) where a solid color color (like charcoal) is backed with a bright color (orange, lime green, turquoise, etc) that is exposed by cut outs in the fabric.

Here's an example:

I used pattern # 3715 by Simplicity for the basic shape of the purse.

For the purse basics, the decided to use a wool felt. Wool felt, unlike polyester felt, has a lighter color and doesn't stretch. So nice.

Because Colleen owns an orange Vespa and it's one of her favorite colors, I decided to go with orange felt.

For the orange felt, I cut a piece the same size as the gray fabric. I used some glasses in a variety of sizes to make the circles on the gray fabric (I used a fabric pencil). After cutting the holes out, I hand-stitched the orange running stitch around the edges of the circles and then down to make the "stems."

Next, I simply sewed the purse together using the instructions with one more minor change.

I wasn't too fond of the purses straps. Mostly because I sewed them together and it was SO HARD to turn the felt inside out. Instead, I just used a larger stitch on my sewing machine (more like a basting stitch) and sewed two strips of felt together with 4 equal stitched lines in them to make the straps stiff and sturdy. I used the orange thread on this to add that touch of orange color.

My final change was that I didn't like the closure on the purse. I ended up putting a magnetic piece inside of it (matching the turquoise of the flashy interior color) to hold it closed. Although it's a bit strong, it works like a champ!

For the inside of the purse, I wanted something cute and flashy. I went to my favorite fabric store, Sarah's Fabric, in Lawrence, Kansas. Sarah's has an amazing selection of cotton quilting fabrics. Perfect for purse projects!

I had two issues with the final project. Too OCD, I believe.

First, I disliked the way the inside fabric met the outside felt. It wasn't sharp because of the thickness of the felt. I wanted it to be precise, not blurry.

Second, the purse has a tendency to slouch. Next time, I will add some stiffener to the sides (like I kept telling myself to do the whole time I was sewing it) so it will stand up on its own.

I think that overall it turned out really cute!

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