A Handbag.

I’m so glad I can finally post about this! I made a handbag a few weeks ago (well, I finished it a few weeks ago, anyway) but as it was a gift I couldn’t post about it before it was received.

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Dom’s family, like mine, are really supportive of my new-found creative bent. Dom’s mum requested something hand-made as her birthday present, so I decided to make her a handbag. I took Dom along to the fabric shop (I think it was his first time ever in such a shop) and we chose some material. I took it home, arbitrarily decided on a shape and size for the bag, and got cutting.

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The red lining contrast so nicely with the neutral outer material, don’t you think? I used interfacing on the outer material and not on the lining. In hindsight I should have just made boxed corners like I did for my laptop bag, but I for some reason wanted a proper side and bottom piece. That made for a lot more work! sewing the corners was the worst, as it was super-think and tricky to get them straight, but I think I managed okay in the end.

I searched a bunch of different sites and found what I decided was the best option for inserting the zipper. I didn’t save the link unfortunately, but thanks to the person who put up a beautiful zipper casing tutorial! I’ll update with the link if I can find it.

Basically, I got a zipper of the right length and cut two strips of cloth the same length of the zipper, in matching colour. I actually should have cut these a bit longer. Oh well, live and learn. I ironed them flat, then in half lengthwise, then I opened that up and folded the sides to the middle, then folded that shut again and ironed it flat.

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So that goes around the zipper and is sewn in place.

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As you can see, the strips really didn’t have any excess at the ends. That meant when I put in a cross-piece I had to cover a bit of the zipper as well, but I think it worked okay. Next time though I’ll leave a few centimetres excess at both ends.

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Sorry about the blurriness!

So with great care not to mix up the right and wrong sides (and a bit of unpicking when I got it wrong…) I sewed the lining onto the zip, like so:

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I then attached the outer material to the zipper casing, and I had to hand-sew the ends as it was WAY too thick and tricky for my poor old sewing machine to handle!

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The last step was making a strap, which I made in much the same way as the zipper casing. I attached it with some D-rings that are in that old beaten brassy style, like the zipper.

I’m really happy with how this one ended up. What do you think?

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Hope you’ve had a great weekend!

Cheers,

Luci

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4 thoughts on “A Handbag.

  1. Luci, this is amazing! I’m truly jealous of your aptitude for craftiness. For super thick layers of fabric, try a denim/canvas/industrial needle and wind the needle manually (like you do when you’re threading the machine) and it *usually* gets there! I went through a jeans-skirt stage and wouldn’t have made it through without the badass needle and winder!

    • Ooh thanks for the tip! I’ll have to check if they stock those in the sewing shop here 🙂 How’s your tree-change going, Mrs Tree? Big congrats by the way xoxo

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