Before I started quilting so much, I made smaller items like purses and totebags. These projects are great in between quilts that take weeks or months to piece. Most of these were made ages ago, so I can’t promise to name fabric or patterns.
The purple polka dot clutch was one of my first attempts, obviously without a pattern (I’m adventurous AND foolhardy). I wanted to use braided silk cord and a magnetic snap. The braid is too thick to stitch on and attach…looking at it now, I think I’m going to remove the braid and use the clutch as a Kindle case.
Another early attempt was my polka dotty makeup bag. I was especially thrilled with it because I used a large mixing bowl for the pattern AND installed a heavy duty plastic zipper that works like a dream. I didn’t really line it properly. I hadn’t figured out how to line bags at this stage. I still have yards and yards of this fabric left because I bought out the remaining yardage thinking that I would one day create a whole suite of Vera Bradley-esque totes and carry-alls to match my makeup bag. My attention span for fabrics and bags moved on though.
One of my best ideas was making three of the same bag at once, from a pattern, one for me, Bam and Mom. The little bamboo-handled purse with wooden bead accents and flip flop fabric was my favorite. The bag has exterior pockets, a magnetic snap inside and interior pockets. I admit that it looks a little like something Sophia from Golden Girls might carry, but I love the Golden Girls. It’s a fun beachy purse with lots of useful pockets. Making three of the same item at once is a fantastic way to perfect and improve a pattern.
Amy Butler designed the pattern for the funky red and white purse (and the fabric). The lining is Kaffe Fassett’s Aboriginal Dots (one of the most versatile prints EVER, in my opinion). I loved the length and quirky dimensions of the purse…and added my own little flower as a cherry on top! It has a velcro closure–admittedly, not my favorite, but it works. This wasn’t a super tough pattern. I’d probably make it in a slightly more dense batting next time for more body.
My most recent success was the Sun and Surf Tote. I fell in love with the Goldfish print by Patty Young for Michael Miller. Teal, purple and orange! Oh my! I had a new experience with large plastic grommets. A word of advice–don’t let the batting go all the way to the edge of the grommet. It makes the fabric sandwich too thick to properly attach the grommet. I used a hot glue gun to secure the grommet (since the little plastic teeth seemed useless). The bag is perfect for beach trips. Loads of pockets for your iPhone, Kindle, books, towel, sunscreen, etc.