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I’ve been jackassing around making purses lately, and this little thing, which was basically an experiment in scrap fabric, has turned out so well I’m actually pretty stoked about it.


It’s an older Amy Butler print, and is scrap fabric leftover from a project I did for a friend four years ago.

Other scrap from the same project made up this skirt:


I offered it to Melissa, but it didn’t really work with the rest of her wardrobe. Plus, I suppose it would be a little bit odd to be wearing the same thing as your deck chairs!

Anyway, the purse I made was a mishmash of features from a 1975 McCall’s accessories pattern.
McCalls 4613

I’d started off to make the View D, but didn’t have enough fabric to make the long, crossbody strap, or the ruffle trim, so I cut two, shorter straps, and rounded off the ends and tied them together at the top, in the manner of View C. I actually like that length better. I prefer to hang my purse over my shoulder, then stabilize it with my elbow. I hate having a bag bonking and flapping all over the place while I’m walking.

I recalled, as I was cutting it out, that I had some funky bead-fringe trim that my Mom had given me at a point in the past, and I’d never been able to come up with a good project for it…until now. I think it’s an improvement over the as-designed ruffle trim anyway.

I also added the button to the top flap, as I like to have some sort of actual secured closure to a bag.

The contrast lining is a kind of tie-dye lightweight cotton that I’d once used to make a bathrobe. It is actually a perfect weight for this application, and I think it rather suits the shell fabric.

On the whole, I’m mighty pleased with this funky, sort of tropical floral little bag, and it literally cost me nothing. It’s all scrap and leftovers. I could spend big money on a mumsy Vera Bradley bag, or I could spend a pleasant afternoon behind my sewing machine, and end up with something that definitely nobody else has. Which is what somebody this cheap and this cussedly eccentric is bound to do, of course.

Speaking of Vera Bradley purses, I have noticed that they’ve become quite a Thing with young girls, like teenagers. It kind of baffles me, because they totally look like diaper bags, and I’d considered their stylistics and designs to be rather matronly, but apparently, they are sought after by many Midwestern women, from ages about 14 up. I don’t entirely get it, but then again, not everyone “gets” making a purse out of a superannuated sewing pattern and scrap upholstery. Each to her floral-printed own, I reckon.

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