Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Super Simple Purse Frame Tutorial

A while ago, quite a long while ago in fact, may well be a good six months back I bought a job lot of rectangular purse frames. Can't resist a bargain. They have, however been languishing in the bottom of a basket ever since. On the to do list but never quite making it to the top.

But with that Christmas thing approaching and a market on Saturday, I decide to pull my finger out and get making. Spurred on by a new handful of fat quarts, some delicious new Tilda fabrics, I had a quick search. I did find a tutorial I had used before, but it called for very stiff interfacing and made a purse that was just too firm for my liking.
 So this is my version. And its so simple that I managed to knock up a couple this morning whilst looking after young Pambers.

Firstly take your measurements. My purse frames are 14cm, I wanted them 9cm high and 6cm deep. So the pattern size is:

Width = 14cm + 6cm + 2 x seam allowance of 1cm = 22cm (purse frame width + 1 x depth + 2 x seam allowance)
Height = (2x9cm) + 6cm = 24cm (2 x height + depth)

Cut a rectangle of your required sizes from your main fabric, a lining fabric and iron on interfacing. Also cut a rectangle of felt the width of your purse frame by the height, ie. 14cm x 24cm.
Centre the felt on the back of the main fabric and place the interfacing over it and iron in place. Stitch a straight stitch along the top and the bottom to help hold it in place.
Fold your fabric in half right sides facing, and sew up both edges with a 1cm seam allowance.

Flatten out the corners and sew at a right angle,using the felt as a guide. The line should measure your purse depth - 6cm in my case.

Cut off the excess and turn the right side out. Repeat with the lining fabric- sew the sides and box the corners- but leave unturned.
Put the outer into the lining, line up the side seams and pin in place.

Using the felt as a guide, mark a line 1.5cm down, then join up. This is best shown rather than described:

Sew along these lines. You are creating a dip at either side which goes around the frame. Trim the fabric away- once again, cue picture!

You want to cut down to the corners but not through your stitching to create a sharp edge when you turn it.
turn it the right side out and press.

Nearly there. Just pin the top edges and sew a smallish zigzag stitch along the top.

All that's left is to glue it inside the frame. Done already!  When I glue the purse into the frame, I use a mega strong glue- I did doubt the strength of the glue until I tried to remove a purse from its frame one time and failed miserably!. Put a good load of glue in the frame and a little along the top edge of the purse, then leave it to dry for ten minutes or so. If you don't, and I once again speak from experience, you will end up with a great glue leakage and it doesn't come off fabric. With these frames I rolled up some paper (or alternatively use paper string!) and jammed it along the frame with a screw driver, then squeezed it shut with pliers- just make sure you cover the pliers with a micro fibre cloth or something similar. I did hit one or two of the frames with a rawhide mallet to close them up which is always good to release frustration! Just bear in mind that you'll have to do a bit of bending and straightening of the frame afterwards to get it to close.

My book and moustache fabric I mentioned in my last post became funky padded notebook covers:
And my liking for making oilcloth shoppers continues too:

Bring it on Christmas, I'm on a roll!

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Comic Capers..

More often than not, my inspiration comes from the fabric I find. The variety never fails to amaze me and I must spent literally hours a week either browsing on the Internet or perusing the local fabric shops. A lot of the time I'll buy a fat quart or half metre without really knowing what I'm going to do with it, and with the right patterns or mix of materials, those small quantities can go a long way.

I got some oilcloth from eBay the other day. The original plan was to make some cosmetic bags with it, but the scale of the design was too big. Time for a sudden change of plan. Shopping bag.

A quick google offered up this pattern. I was going to come up with one of my own, but when someone covers exactly what you want, why mess around with it?

Following in the Comic book vibe, I also had a fat quart of female superhero fabric. This teamed with a couple of old pairs of jeans- you know how I love using old jeans- produced two bags! Both were made from patterns in Making magazine that I'd had stashed in a folder. You know, one of those folders which in a rare instance of organisation, I tore all of the projects that I thought I might do at some point out of the huge pile of magazines in my workshop, then they've just sat there. In the folder instead of the magazines. I have a similar one for recipes too.
Anyway, I digress.The first is a pretty cool handbag with a bit of a sixties vibe about it.
The second is a tardis like messenger bag. I mean that as in, I put two big folders inside it and there was still loads of room for other stuff. Not as in it looks like a Tardis, (although I have seen those on line too).
I rather suspect, with some fabric covered in moustaches and another in old books having just arrived through the post, that my next offering may well be heading back down the steampunk line again. But we'll see. Things, as I'm sure you're aware, are always liable to change!