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.
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.
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.
So that goes around the zipper and is sewn in place.
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.
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:
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!
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?
Hope you’ve had a great weekend!