Tag Archives: handmade purses

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

how to use fabric scraps

uses for fabric scraps

stacks of cut fabric circles

I hear this expression all the time, “thou shalt not waste any piece of fabric…”. OK, maybe it’s just when I’m talking to myself but still, it’s a good principle to live by. See all the fun you can have with tiny pieces of fabric? So here are some ideas on how to use fabric scraps.

uses for fabric scraps

You can make all sorts of colorful things with scraps like these if you just put your mind to it. Here are some purses I’ve put circles on but I’ve been dreaming about putting circle scraps on the bottom ( or top) of curtains, into quilt designs or simply sewn across and all together as a garland. Zero waste my friends, it’s a worthy goal. Here is the excellent and easy purse making tutorial that I used to make the purses shown below (with just the single strap alteration).

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.