Monday, March 28, 2011

Purse in Progress

I've been working on and off all weekend on my USMC cammie purse. Since I'm winging this, I had to keep taking breaks to mentally work through just what the heck I was doing, how it would go together, how the lining with an attached center pocket would work, sizing and re-sizing the bag to fit the cammie pockets, what to use for interfacing, etc. All the stuff that a commercial pattern does for you. Purse design is not as easy as it may look.

The muslin graveyard. After three, I declared my pattern done and cut into the cammie fabric. And by "cut into," I mean I cut apart a used cammie blouse I picked up at the local surplus store. I also had to unstitch the pockets since I was using them on my bag. Lordy, whoever made these things made them to last through a war or something. ;-) Ripping out the bar tacks holding on the pockets took forever.

For the lining, I'm using a polka dot quilting fabric I already had. That sewing room valance I had planned for it wasn't getting made any time soon anyway. Here you can see the center divider pocket. You can also see part of the other interior pockets, one of which is pleated to hold my cell phone, and you can see the hook for the key fob I'll be adding. Just above the divider pocket you can see where the seam is left open to turn the whole shebang right side out, once I ever get to that point. Right now the lining and the purse exterior are still separate, because …

… the purse exterior isn't yet done, as you can see by all the pieces in the pic below. That's the lining in the upper left corner. I also embroidered a name tape since the surplus shirt came with "Garcia," and I didn't think that was close enough to "Cook" to go unnoticed. While I was at it, I stitched out Semper Fi too and will add that in somewhere. I think I use the embroidery capabilites of my sewing machine about once a year these days.

Here's what's left of the cammie blouse, which is nothing more than lots of little scraps and a collar. I cut up the sleeves into strips for the purse straps and had to creatively lay out the other pattern pieces on the body of the shirt. In other words, reverse origami.

Hopefully I will get this done in the next couple of days, work schedule permitting. And then I'll be starting all over again because I'm making one for the Marine's grandma too, for Mother's Day. And maybe another for my sister, but probably not in cammie fabric. I have to get my money's worth out of my self-made pattern, right?


  1. This is looking really good. Very creative.

  2. Wow, I am hugely impressed. And thank you for the sweet comments about Scrappycat.

  3. I love following your thought processes while creating this bag! I have also tried to make bags from my head and some have worked better than others. One of my favourites is baking small bags to wear for shopping and running around. I have used the side pockets from kakhi cargo pockets and the more I do the better I get. I love to follow you since you are such a great seamstress and do beautiful work!!

  4. I'm impressed! This is looking fantastic!

  5. I'm impressed! This is looking fantastic!


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