Followers on Instagram will have seen a sneak peek of this little project a little while back. I made it for a friend for her birthday…although I was a bit late in getting it to her. I saw the pattern on u-handbag when it was first released and thought it looked interesting but when I saw the kit with these colour combinations I had to buy it!
The kit was really easy to use with only 2 or 3 issues. Firstly, after cutting out the pattern pieces I didn’t have enough of the yellow fabric to make the strap. I don’t know if there was not enough provided or whether I cut it out inefficiently but either way I had to come up with a plan. The staff at u-handbag very kindly agreed to send me some more of the yellow fabric but I wanted to get the bag made and I couldn’t do that if I wanted to use the yellow fabric to make the side tabs as well as the strap. So…I went with blue in the end and managed to source some more of the fabric (Stellar in blue from the Moda Nocturne range) from The Quilt Room, which meant I could get started on the bag and make the strap when the new batch of fabric arrived.
My second issue came when constructing the tabs and straps. The instructions provided didn’t make any sense to me at all so I did it my own way….which may of course be the right way but since I didn’t understand the instructions I don’t know!First I folded in the short edges by 1 cm and pressed. I then folded the strap pieces in half, length-ways with wrong sides together. I went on to unfold it and press each of the raw edges in to the centre line. Finally, I re-pressed the centre line and top stitched all the way round the strap. I used a grey thread for the top stitching, which I think looks quite nice against the blue.
The bag came together easily although I struggle to get the top edge look neat and found this bit quite tricky. I’d never used a sew-in purse frame before so this was new for me. As I think I mentioned in a previous post, I discovered (again) that I’m not very fond of hand sewing because I find it so difficult to make it neat. The picture below shows how uneven my stitching was – it was the only slight disappointment on the finish of this bag. I couldn’t get a full skein of embroidery thread through the eye of any needle sharp enough to get through all the fabric and opted instead to use three individual threads (I have since bought a needle thread to assist with such situations!).
The only other thing to share about this make is the label…I’d been thinking for a while that it would be nice to label my makes as mine. I read Fiona’s review (Diary of a Chain Stitcher) of Nominette labels and decided to order some for myself – and I’m really pleased with them. This was the first make I used one on!!
All in all I’m pretty happy with how this bag turned out. I’d like to have a go at using more sew-in purse frames – maybe my hand stitching would get neater with practice! I absolutely love the colours though I can’t claim any credit for these as they came as a kit! I quite like how the top part can fold over and make a small clutch or stand upright to make a bigger bag – it makes it versatile. If I had more occasions to use a clutch bag, I might make one for myself!