Last week I finally got round to making myself a new handbag – it was well overdue as the one I made a couple of years ago was looking decidedly worn and sad.
I decided to use the same pattern – the Miranda Day Bag by Lazy Girl Designs, it’s just the right size for me and having made it at least three times, I know what I’m doing! I used some gorgeous Donegal Tweed left over from a skirt I made last year, for the base I used black denim again as it makes a hard-wearing, smart base. I made a couple of design changes having seen where my last one wore out first.
The pattern uses the lining to make a false binding along the top edge of the bag, as it’s lined with quilt weight cotton it’s not very hard-wearing. I decided to add a strip of denim to the top of the lining which would act as the false binding. I also used denim to line the flap as again that was an area which wore quickly around the magnetic fastener.
There’s always a surprising number of pieces to cut out when making a bag, outer fabrics, lining, pockets, flaps, interfacing, wadding…I used some fabrics I bought for my Coming Home quilt to line it – the colours matched perfectly and I have plenty left. I decided to use the blue tree fabric for the pockets as I do like a light coloured interior in a handbag – I’m less likely to lose stuff! I put pockets on both sides and also a zip pocket to put my bus-pass in! The handles are leather which I bought in a closing down sale, my only other addition was a key fob – I used a length of ribbon which says ‘I can resist everything except temptation!’ and used the clip from my last bag.
The initial stages of putting it together went pretty easily, I hand-stitched the handles on with top-stitching thread, it was a bit fiddly but the holes were already there, I just had to find them with the needle! I soon had my two halves ready to stitch together. That’s where the fun started..
It was a good idea putting the denim strip along the top, it does look great, but it was hard work for my sewing machine!! With multiple layers of denim, tweed, interfacing, batting and lining it was a big ask – I did get the safety message flashing up a couple of times – ‘Stopped for Safety Reasons’!! The side seams didn’t get fully top-stitched but I don’t think it’s noticeable. The other area I had difficulty was stitching the flap on, this is the last bit to stitch, it was just too thick at first, I couldn’t even get it under the foot! I decided to trim the denim back so it wasn’t folded on it’s self and that seemed to do the trick.
My new handbag went into immediate use, I’m really pleased with it, hopefully this will stay smart for a bit longer than the last one.