Saturday, May 31, 2008


Yay, the brocade bag is finished and best of all, my daughter loves it!

The bag is small; it measures 9-1/2 inches at the bottom and 12 inches from the top of the handles to the bottom. It would have been nice to be able to make it a bit larger, but I used just about every bit of available brocade at this size.

The bag has two exterior pockets, two interior pockets and a magnetic closure.

I never did figure out how to sew the lining using my sewing machine, so it is stitched by hand. In fact, a lot of hand sewing went into making this bag...tons of hand basting, then the lining and finally, attaching the purse to the handles.

A few things I learned about working with seriously ravels. I have polyester "stuff" all over the house. It's worse than dog hair.

It doesn't fuse well. In order to bond the interfacing to the fabric, you have to use a heat setting that makes the fabric do weird stuff. I think it really wants to melt, but doesn't quite melt. So sew in interfacing is a good thing.

It makes bulky seams and doesn't hold an edge, so if I ever get around to making the Asian-style top that I have planned in blue and silver brocade, I'll need to use a different fabric for facings to minimize bulk.

As for changes I would make to this purse, if I were to make it again - and I am seriously considering making two more - first off, I would replace the interior brocade pieces (where the magnetic fasteners are) with a closely matching lining in a different, thinner fabric. I think the brocade looks great, but it's a lot of extra bulk in the seam allowances.

I would square off the bottom corners and eliminate the gathers. They look cute and my daughter quite likes them, but I think it would be a neater look without them.

I asked my daughter to model the purse and she declined, as she didn't think her outfit would do it justice...not sure why. She's wearing the soccer shorts we bought for her when she was 5 and a Kokopeli t-shirt she's had since she was 10 or so. These shorts are a child's size small! And she still can fit her 16 year old body into them!

It's true, she does have to pull them all the way up to her waist or they're too tight. I explained to her that they're supposed to go all the way to her waist, but I don't think she believed me.

The shorts are in surprisingly good condition. Other than the binding on the side slit, they're still good to go!


Dawn said...

Woooo hooooo! The purse looks great!! I love those magnetic snaps. They just look so RTW and are so easy to put in. You are making two more after the 64(?) pieces in this purse?? You are the woman.

Paula said...

Yes, I am the woman...the stupid woman...or the insane woman...not sure which.

Marita said...

The BAG is beautiful<3 congrats Paula, Dawn has it right "You're the WOman", LOL!!!!!

2BSewing: said...

Awesome workmanship! The bag is gorgeous. I love the brocade fabric you selected. And yes I agree with you...brocade likes to shed/fray like crazy. I made a brocade vest and had to stitch everything quickly or atleast serge the edges. But you know, the end results with's well worth it. I love the handles you used for the bag. Pat yourself on your back for me. Well done and worth it!

Lindsay T said...

Your DD reminds me of my DD. Skinniness and all. Great purse and glad she loves it.

Pyrose said...

Great looking purse! Something I would like to do some time is make a purse like this for my daughter. I was also thinking of doing this in brocade. I worked with brocade once before for an Asian style shirt and it was pretty annoying to work with.

Bunny said...

That fabric is a stinker, isn't it? But it certainly was worth it. Your bag is gorgeous! So no wonder DD loves it. We all do.

I have a silk brocade robe DH had made for me by an oriental tailor way back when. It is edgestitched but the facings are very fine china silk. So you are on the right track with that one.