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Another bag completed!

solosmocker | Posted in Photo Gallery on

Here are a couple of bags that will become Christmas presents. One I posted a bit back in the November challenge post. The other I finished today.



  1. katina | | #1

    Absolutely beautiful! How lucky the recipients are.

    1. ottonpantherbaby | | #2

      These our wonderful bags I would love to receive one for a present.

      Merry Christmas


      1. katina | | #3

        A handmade gift is something to be treasured - a real labour of love.

  2. PattyG | | #4

    I love the bag!!  Is there a pattern number you can share?  Thanks, and Happy Holidays!

    1. solosmocker | | #6

      The pattern number is McCall 4400 but the applique is my own design. It is not a difficult pattern to make but you need to watch two things. It needs to be interfaced heavily and you need a machine that can carry some heavy work. So far my Pfaff has been beautifully up to it but I think a light weight starter machine might have some difficulty with all the layers, particularly around the strap area.

      1. ryansmum | | #9

        As for requiring a heavy duty machine and not a beginner light weight one for sewing heavier fabrics.

        It's my understanding from reading and experience that it is the size and shape of the needle that is of importance. There are leather needles and large (size 18) needles that work well for bags.

        BTW, the bag is meticulously crafted and beautifully designed. Congratulations!




        Edited 12/11/2007 4:34 pm ET by ryansmum

        1. solosmocker | | #11

          I used size 14 HS and sharp needles, depending, and had no problem with the stitchout. I am big on experimenting with all of my sewing and found the leather and larger needles left holes too large in the faux leather and one of the linings. I recommend, as I have often said on this board, do experiments before you commit to the final sewing. That little extra effort always pays off. I think it took me 30 years to figure out that one ! LOL!Thanks for the compliments. solo

  3. scrubble4 | | #5

    Solosmocker:  Your work is beautiful and so are the bags.  Thanks for posting.  Scrubble4

  4. PowellPat | | #7

    Really nice. I love the pockets inside. What did you use for interface?

    1. solosmocker | | #10

      I used fusible fleece, then fused Decor Bond on top of that. The linings have Armo weft fused to them. I really like the hand that gives the different lining materials. I do not interface seam allowances. It adds too much bulk, IMHO. The patterns do not require all this interfacing nor do they specify other than sometimes it will say fusible fleece instead of interfacing. I find this extra interfacing, while making for some often v. awkward sewing, is what gives it that more professional finish. solo

      1. PowellPat | | #12

        Thanks for the info. You have really developed quite a system that appears to work beautifully. I have never heard of Armo and will check it out.

      2. ryansmum | | #13

        All those extra backings do make a world of difference and are time consuming but you end up with a professional looking bag.

        To add to your list, I have found boning (THIS tip is from a Threads article) to be quite beautiful in the opening of your bag if appropriate.  It keeps the bag from collapsing if you need a more structured look.  This is placed around the top rim of the bag. I then hand sew the boning in. BTW, handsewing in strategic areas will serve you well in making handbags.

        For handles, I have found aquarium tubing from Home depot to work well. Where tubing does not work stuffing a fabric handle ,packing it with that fluffy stuffing works well but it must be tightly packed and that is very tedious.

        I use magnetic closures but have been disappointed over time as they usually come out later in the life of the purse. I recently started using HUGE oversized snaps which look beautiful. I will post a picture soon once I figure out my camera.

        I can not find purse feet but have heard about substituting them with some type of uphostery tack. Does anyone have ideas?

        I teach sewing in an adult education class in Los Angeles; the latest craze in my classroom is taking old jeans,cutting them into purses,  lining them with colorful Hawaiian prints, decorating the outside and making a handle out of the left over legs. These look fabulous and are quick and easy - perfect for Xmas gifts. I made one out of a vintage leather skirt and "rocker" type belt. I have had offers to buy the  bag but I could never part with it. 









        1. solosmocker | | #14

          wow! I would love to see that bag. Any chance?I have been tempted to try the boning. I read about it on PR. I even bought the boning. Now I know to hand sew it in and will give it a try. For my magnetic snaps I put in extra interfacing just in that area and also found in an old Vogue magazine to put plastic canvas circles between the bag and the washer before pushing the "legs" down. We'll see how these hold up. I love your snap idea and saw these huge snaps at Joanns yesterday. You could do some serious design interpretation with those big boys! I was thinking also about using a tack for the bag legs but was not sure how to do it. I will try and google that one. If you find out how I would love to know. I did find bag legs on a UK site which made the purchase prohibitive but will keep searching. If I find anything I will post and let you know. Thanks for the great ideas. solo

          Edited 12/12/2007 12:59 pm ET by solosmocker

          1. User avater
            paddyscar | | #15

            Just a thought about what you could use for legs - what about some wooden or leather buttons with shanks?  Some of them are quite thick and with upholstery thread they could be sewn tightly against the bottom.


        2. cynthia2 | | #16

          You might try taking another purse that has purse feet on it to your local hardware store and see if they can recommend something similar.  My sister manages a small, privately-owned hardware store and she can almost always find me something even better than the traditional sewing notion that serves the same purpose and looks even better - usually at a fraction of the cost.  When I was searching high and low for those fastener thingies (technical term) that are placed at the top of a purse to kind of pinch the tops together and make the sides pleated (does that make any sense at all?), my sister took one look at the photo I showed her and said "oh yeah, Chicago screws.  They're 10 cents each - how many do you want".    Gotta love resourceful sisters!

  5. cynthia2 | | #8

    What fabulous gifts!  I'm sure that your family and friends will love them and will appreciate the time and thought you've put into these.  They are definitely works of art.  Cynthia

  6. mmkrzus1 | | #17

    I had a perfect purse pattern for Christmas, and I think it was a Threads pattern(?). It was a Christmas Present Purse, made with "wrapoing paper" fabric, gold tibbon & bow. I've had it for seceral years but haven't found the right fabric. I finally found the right fabric this year...now I can't find my pattern (I tear out anything I want to keep & put it in a binder). Is anyone familiar with the pattern? I sooo wanted to make it this year for my daughter. Thanks! Marilyn

  7. StichinChicks | | #18

    Nice work!

    Maybe you have spent a lot of time on this. Looking adorable I wanna this.

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