Category Archives: purses

a small messenger bag

It’s been a wild summer, in which I did everything but blogging. I spent most of my time wedding planning and all that goes along with that job (@hoopesweddings on Instagram, if you want to see some fun, beautiful wedding pictures) with very little time for anything else.

Here are a few small messenger bags I managed to make, the extent of my handmade accomplishments over the summer.  For more summer fun pictures of cycling, sailing, skiing, making and such, follow along on my Instagram @noelleodesigns. In my opinion, Instagram is the only social media really worth paying attention to, for those of us who are easily distracted and prefer quick and easy visual stimulation- it’s all that.
doiley bag

vinyl bag with flowers

modern flower bag

busy ribbon bag

vintage ribbon bag

handmade purses and bags

I’ve been designing and working on some handmade purses and bags of the messenger variety this winter with some fabulous fabrics I’ve recently picked up in LA- new and vintage loveliness I couldn’t live without. Here are a few from the current batch or maybe I should say Winter 2014 Collection.ruffle flap purseThis bag has an easy-access-but-delightfully-subtle cell phone pocket just under the flap- bonus.
blue vinyl messenger bagBlue vinyl messenger bag- shiny and matte vinyl combos on the outside and oodles of pockets inside and out. There’s even a waist strap (for cyclists) that’s stowable when not in use.
appliqué flowers, red messenger bagApplique flowers in cottons and wool felt on a heavy weight woven red messenger bag.
noelle o designs pursesAnd a few more bags of various styles… I regret The Collection isn’t listed on Etsy  -yet-  BUT all of these bags and more will be at Art Market in Salt Lake City Utah this weekend, February 7-8th. Stop by if you’re in the area.
Utah art market


Ruffles are luxurious, feminine, over-the-top… but in a good way. They make me happy to be a girl. Here are some adorable ruffles that I can’t get enough of. And a ruffly project I just finished.
ruffle party table settingFrom shabby chic girl blog, take a look at this blog for some amazing girly, eye candy decor.

ombre ruffle cakeombre ruffle cake

ruffle geraniuma ruffle geranium

blue ruffle dress with bow

ruffle ball decor

vintage ruffle apron pattern

Enough said- right? Who’s with me on ruffles rock?

Well, I fell in love with the ruffles on this messenger bag from between the lines awhile back and it’s been stuck in my head ever since. It’s my favorite size and shaped bag- a long handle for wearing across your chest and a flap for those of us who are in too much of a hurry to zip a purse closed all the time… AND WITH RUFFLES (sorry, I had to yell).

ruffle messenger bagI had to make one for myself.

ruffle edge small messenger bagHere’s how my version turned out. I got this fabric in the fashion district in LA last summer, and now I have to panic because it’s almost all used up. The fabric is a heavy upholstery weight, perfect for a sturdy bag (or a couch). I used my basic bag tutorial to make the bag (between the lines has a full tutorial too).
inside ruffle messenger bagI lined the whole thing with a canvas fabric from IKEA. In hindsight, I should have made a cell phone pocket on the exterior of the purse but under the flap. I might still have to hand-stitch one on for essential and easy phone access.
bag interiorA few more pockets on the inside. You can never have too many pockets, especially when you’re in a constant hurry, if you know what I mean.
bag ruffled edgeThis ruffle started as a 1.5 inch wide stripe of cotton fabric, roughly double the length of the flap. I folded it in half, basted then gathered to make the ruffle and make it the right length. I sewed the ruffle to the flap first, then the lining to the outside fabric with the ruffle in between, leaving the top side open. Turn the whole flap right side out and top-stitch the edges.

*If you are following my bag tutorial, sew the finished flap to the purse as the final step before you sew in the lining.

And here’s another ruffle option on a purse I made…
colorful ruffle purse

ruffle, lace, corduroy purseThis ruffle is about 2.5 inches wide finished. It’s made by sewing a sleeve with a 5 inch wide strip of fabric (roughly twice the length you want to cover). Pull the sleeve right side out and with an iron, press flat with the seam in the center of the back side. Baste a loose stitch (to be gathered) down the middle of the strip. Pull one side (either the top or bottom thread, but not both) of the thread to gather and make a ruffle.

lined purse interiorAnd a view inside, this purse is actually available on Etsy-  if you’re in need of some color– ruffles, corduroy stripes, polka dots and lace in your life, then this one’s for you.