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Adventures in Purse Making

Updated on October 3, 2011
My purse.
My purse.

Creative Inklings

To start off with, I am not a purse person. I rarely carry one with me. Small purses, clutches and wristlets are too small and the large shoulder bags are too big and bulky. I find that no matter what, I am always running into things when I have a purse. I must admit, I am quite clumsy and a purse doesn't help the situation.

Then, one day while on vacation, I found an amazing purse at this great shop called Crystal Essence. It was perfect. It was simple, pretty, not super expensive, and the right size, almost. The only problem was the length of the shoulder strap. The purse came down to my knees and the strap was nonadjustable. Since the purse was so simple in construction, I decided I could make my own.


When I got home, I had to look around to see what I could make my purse out of. Being jobless and extremely broke, I couldn't go out and buy material, especially when I did not exactly know what I was doing.

What I found:

Old sheets from college

An old ruin tee-shirt

Some spare fabric

Random buttons

Construction is Hard

I must admit, an old tee shirt is not the best fabric choice. Since the material is stretchy and curls where cut, it is extremely difficult to work with. The sheet fabric, on the other hand, was great to work with. I used the top edge for my shoulder strap since it was already in finished form.

I hand sewed the whole thing. Being without a sewing machine, it was necessary. I found it to be quite relaxing and great exercise for my aching hands. This did make it difficult for me to have my edges be perfectly straight. It did come out rather well though.

The pocket was my favorite part to construct. I love the flowered pattern. I decided to get the size perfect and sew the edges before attaching it to the purse. I was a lot easier when it came to attaching it to the purse since I did not have to worry about the size of the edges. This is also the time that I realized using straight pins greatly helps. I think that if I used straight pins throughout I would have had a much easier time.

When it comes to attaching the shoulder strap, there are many problems. I thought that I had it fastened securely, but upon use the straps started to come undone. This is where I have stopped. I tried resewing the strap on, but no matter what, it comes undone. I may have to make another purse without using the tee shirt fabric to see if that is the problem.

Final Thoughts

This project only took me a few hours to complete. I found it relaxing and entertaining. It is a great way to use scrap fabric and reduce waste. If I become good enough, I may start to sell them. My next project: A baby quilt using the small scrap pieces I have and maybe another purse. I do have a whole twin extra-long sheets worth of fabric to play with.


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    • fancifulashley profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago

      Thank you!

    • Loi-Renee profile image


      7 years ago from Jamaica

      This was great. I love to sew but I've never made a purse before. A really creative idea. voted up.

    • fancifulashley profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago

      Thank you both of you. I really try to find uses for things laying around my house vs. buying new things.

    • Deborah Demander profile image

      Deborah Demander 

      7 years ago from First Wyoming, then THE WORLD

      Congratulations on your hubnugget nomination. What a cute idea. Think I'll make some for my girls.


    • prektjr.dc profile image

      Debbie Carey 

      7 years ago from Riverton, KS, USA

      Congratulations on your hubnugget nomination! Good hub - also good job recycling what you had! Good luck! Voted up and useful!

    • RNMSN profile image

      Barbara Bethard 

      7 years ago from Tucson, Az

      well you hang in there Ashley...your job will come along! now then, about those butt purses :) just playing with you...sort of :)

    • fancifulashley profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago

      Thank you ripplemaker. I am trying to be more thrifty in what I do since I like to make things with my hands. I feel more accomplished that way. It also helps with my lack of money since I do not have a job currently.

    • ripplemaker profile image

      Michelle Simtoco 

      7 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

      If you have an idea for the purse that you need, make it if you can... wow, that would be awesome if I could do that too! :)

      Congratulations on your Hubnuggets nomination! To read and vote, click on this link:

    • fancifulashley profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago

      Thank you for the help. I will try your ideas!

    • snakeslane profile image

      Verlie Burroughs 

      7 years ago from Canada

      Just had to butt in here, RNMSN, your idea is better. I didn't get into detail about how to make the loops, but even a short length of cord or ribbon would work I think, carry on Fancifulashley!

    • RNMSN profile image

      Barbara Bethard 

      7 years ago from Tucson, Az

      I loved this hub! what a flashback it gave me :)And your new purse is adorable and looks very comfy!!

      I have made many purses since I was...well never mind that :)

      snakeslane has a great idea about the straps! Better than mine...I had to always make sure the straps went down inside the purse and then I sewed it from the inside, bottom up, doing a double stitch in other words like snakeslane said. Loops and tying would be much easier and look cool!

      now make one from the bottom of a pair of blue jeans :)better look out, next thing you know you'll be quilting! :)

    • snakeslane profile image

      Verlie Burroughs 

      7 years ago from Canada

      Hey fancifulashley, I've sewed a lot in my day, by hand and with a machine, it is fun to make something out of nothing. For your straps could you sew a loop on each side of the bag, then pull one end of the strap through the loop and just tie it in a knot, then do the same with the other end? (there would be two knots). Just an idea, could be frustrating sewing the loops on, would have to really double stitch everything to get it to hold.


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