Monday, December 31, 2007

In the Bag

I finally started, and finished, mom's by-request purse today. All of my Christmas sewing is now officially done. Hey, at least it's still 2007.

I made a few of these purses about 5 years ago, when I first started sewing. Vera Bradley bags were really "it" then, and a local sewing machine dealership offered classes for making Vera-clones, based on Simplicity 7098 (OOP).

The class pretty much followed the pattern but the instructor showed how to add pockets inside and outside since the Simplicity pattern does not include any. I was hoping I had taken some notes. But I didn't. So I had to really dig into the memory banks to try to remember what I did. Luckily, I took pics of two of my earlier bags so I could refer to those. Also luckily, nice pre-quilted fabrics are more readily available now and I didn't have to quilt the main fabric myself like I did years ago. That takes forEVER. (Mom picked out this fabric so I know she'll like it.)

I changed some of the construction for this bag to reduce bulk at the seams, and I fully enclosed the top zipper. It's hard to explain without being able to show you what I did before and what I did now so you'll just have to take my word for it that my construction knowledge improved enough since I last made one of these so that I could "engineer" it much better. ;-)

Here's the inside. Lots of pockets, which I did always really like about this bag. I also added a small zippered pocket to this bag, which is hard to see since the fabric is mostly black. It's the pocket that's closest to the "front" in the pic. That's something I remember wishing I had when I was using one of these bags myself.

When I was making this, I completely forgot that I needed to match the stripes at the top. Oops. I ripped out one of the panels and re-did it again to match stripes. Those notes I didn't take would've helped me avoid that goof.

This is the first one I made, in that class. (See, those stripes are lined up so I should've known better today!)

And this was the second. It looks saggy because it was fully loaded!

Both are long gone now. I never did take a pic of the original purse I made for my mom. I did take a pic of another similarly-styled tote I made for her in 2002 (different custom pattern from the same instructor). Amazingly it's still in service, as mom is using it on her current trip to Florida. And, it still looks pretty darn good. ;-)

Mom will be back over this way in a couple of days and then she can collect her belated gift. Meanwhile, I can think about sewing for ME again. ;-)


  1. Spiffy! With so many pockets too. Nicely done :) --Katharine (currently in the Netherlands)

  2. Very nice! And don't feel bad - I'm still sewing gifts. :(

  3. "about 5 years ago, when I first started sewing"

    Wow, Woman! You sure gain skills fast!

    Lovely purse by the way, and happy new year! -Marcia (mlt from pr)

  4. Lovely purses and great fabrics too. Only sewing for 5 years!!! My God woman what did you do with all this creativity before you took up sewing? And some sewist you are too, I'm extremely impressed.

  5. Really cute bag! Mom will love it :D

  6. I love your bags. My mom loves VB bags. What are your favorite sources for the pre-quilted fabric?

  7. Catching up after Christmas break...
    Great bag! Love all the pockets inside. Wonderful fabrics. Just LOVE it!
    I've been a little bit in a bag sewing mood for a while and this is very inspitring.


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