handmade purses with applique

One aspect of sewing I enjoy is making handmade purses with applique. Very useful as far as projects go, and distinct and generally one-of-a-kind in the end. Putting designs together can be a lot of fun if you take the task lightly and try not to get overwhelmed by the possibilities.

owl applique on purse

handmade purses with appliqueThese are fabric circles cut and stacked to look like flowers. The stems are just cut out of green fabric, leaves out of leaf looking fabric but just green fabric would look great too. The shapes are just zig-zag stitched along the edges, loosely or with a tight stitch, depending on the look you prefer.

flower applique on pursesIn the case of the above purple/pink flower above, I cut out the flower already printed onto fabric that I loved. I just had a scrap of fabric left, not big enough to use for anything else, and I didn’t want the flower to go to waste.
bird applique on handmade  purseWith a picture of birds and branches in my head, I just looked for the right colors of fabric to make the branches, bird bodies, beaks and wings. Applique with just a straight top stitch about 1/6 of an inch from the edge on all pieces- this will hold just fine OR zig zag stitch along all edges OR a bit of both.
owl applique handmade purse

This owl body, beak and leaves are bits of felt fabric thrown in the picture. I like the look of mixing in various textures for a different over all look. Of course these pieces can be hand appliqued into place with a blanket stitch or comparable edge stitch. It time is an issue then finish on the sewing machine for a quickly finished project.

I’ve been making purses all week, wearing my puffy nonstop because this week’s theme was back to winter. I guess I wasn’t missing much holed up in the studio or sweat shop as I lovingly refer to it one month before the Beehive Bazaar. As you can see I’ve been loving making handmade purses with applique. Machine applique is such a fun, collage-with-fabric- making project. I especially love working with bright colors. My favorite is the tiny purple owl amidst all the fabric in the first picture. Why it ‘tiny’ so funny to me? It’s funny to everyone, right!?
For a tutorial on actually sewing the purses together after the front has been embellished, check out my easy handmade purse step-by-step tutorial.

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