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 brocade...it 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!