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Conversational Threads

My New Purse

gailete | Posted in Photo Gallery on

I just finished a new purse last week based off of a design in Handmade, an Australian publication. Except for the handles, I had all the bits and pieces I needed in my sewing room. I hand embroidered the rose motif in the middle, pieced the rest of the front and used decorative stitches in the ditch. The rose ribbon was part of a big box of lace that my husband’s aunt gave to me from a friend that had quit sewing. I love those kind of hand me downs!



  1. sewslow67 | | #1

    That is beautiful, Gail.  And what meaning it will hold for you.  Good job ...and enjoy!

  2. sewingkmulkey | | #2

    The purse is just lovely!


  3. User avater
    ThreadKoe | | #3

    Lovely, pretty and feminine. Just the kind of thing that is nice to carry. Bet you get lots of interest when you use it. Cathy

    1. gailete | | #4

      Thank you all for your kind words. I got in done in time for Easter Sunday (my version of a new dress!) and have been to sick to go anywhere with it since. Although it isn't a large purse, it holds my water bottle and all essentials leaving my other hand free for my cane.


  4. User avater
    rodezzy2 | | #5

    So sweet and feminine.  Beautiful workmanship. 

  5. MaryinColorado | | #6

    Your purse is absolutely lovely!  So feminine and creative, love the decorative quilting stitches and the lace from someone special makes it heirloom.  Kudos! 

  6. Josefly | | #7

    I love it. Those bits of fabric are all perfect together, the colors, the prints, the trim. And your stitching is the perfect embellishment.

    1. gailete | | #8

      Thank you! Other than the 2 main fabrics in the purse, backing and lining, atop of the front, all the other pieces came from a box of 2 1/2" strips that I use for 'quick' quilts. Although I like a scrappy look, I can't stand to see totally mismatched fabrics and I wanted this purse to 'go' with my clothes, most of which are in shades or pink and purples.

      Whenever I'm done with a quilting project (100% cotton fabric) I cut up leftovers into 1 1/2", 2" 2 1/2" strips and 2 1/2" squares, 4 1/2" squares, and 2 1/2" x 4 1/2" rectangles so they can go together into scrap quilts. It gives me a head start when I want start a quick project and then I don't have to store all sorts of odd ball sizes of fabrics. Larger pieces are refolded until needed again. Amazing how many quilt blocks can be made with those size pieces.


      1. User avater
        rodezzy2 | | #9

        Awesome.  I have some scraps strips too.  I love them for paper piecing too.

      2. Josefly | | #10

        That's so smart, to cut strips and squares from your scraps - I've noticed several people here do that, but I never have. I instead have wadded up fabric scraps of weird shapes, which must be ironed flat and then cut into whatever I want - very inefficient, and space-wasteful, too. One day I'll get smart too. It's never too late, I keep telling myself.

        1. gailete | | #11

          Usually I work on several projects at once so by the time I'm done I have a mess on my cutting table and throughout my sewing room. Part of the more enjoyable part of the clean up is cutting the pieces into usual pieces, matching some and sewing them into blocks or just putting them all away in their designated spots. It makes me feel like I'm 'quilting' instead of 'cleaning' :) The rough part is when I've been making something to wear that the scraps aren't the kind I personally would use for quilting (I've seen some quilts that just about every fabric has made its way into the quilt). I hate throwing out scraps, but I have to take an honest look at them to determine if there is enough of them left to do something with and will I really use them. I do have a nice sized sewing room with a lot of storage, BUT the space is limited and I've never found a way to really save everything, so I'm learning to throw un-usable scraps away or donate them to a thrift store (scraps large enough to make a little girls top for instance).

          1. Josefly | | #12

            Sounds like you have a good system. I seem to swing between guilt and regret at passing up a new fabric or getting rid of old fabric that I now have a use for, and, on the other hand, frustration and embarrassment at having a stash larger than I will probably ever use and which exceeds my storage space! What I do depends on which end of the guilt/frustration spectrum I currently occupy! Lol.Joan

          2. gailete | | #13

            Talking with my hubby today, I felt a new freedom temporarily about picking which sewing projects to work on next. Put on a summer (yeah its finally spring) top today that I made last year (and it fit) only to have it be all baggy on me. I've lost about 15 pounds since making it and close to 45 since I originally started using the pattern. But I'm having some gallbladder trouble (or something) and I highly suspect some surgery will be coming soon which could make me loose even more, so we figure there is no point sewing garments for me till my weight stabilizes. I'm mostly at home and in hot weather baggy clothes are cooler anyhow. Not sure if it makes sense, but I tried to alter a pattern a couple of weeks ago to put the bust dart in (using the Threads article) and ended up with the bust dart 2" below where it was supposed to be. I'm am lousy at altering patterns and in the midst of a weight loss, it seems no point.

            So I guess I will be working on quilting or fun projects. Started on a new pincushion yesterday. I think I only really sew clothes for myself because it is easier and cheaper than trying to find something in the store.


          3. Josefly | | #14

            So sorry to hear you're having health problems which may require surgery. I hope it will all be resolved positively for you soon. I know how frustrating it must be to have your weight fluctuating so that your clothes don't fit. I chuckled about your experience lowering the bust dart - that sounds like what happens to me when I alter patterns - it throws something out of whack even if it corrects the problem I'm working on!

          4. gailete | | #15

            Except that all my clothes ended up being a bit short waisted (I'm 5'10") and looked homemade, everything actually fit better than before I started trying to tweak patterns to make them fit better.

            One thing I was glad I did though, was I ironed the pattern piece onto a big piece of freezer paper, cut it out and then did the alterations to the freezer paper, thus saving the pattern piece from sure ruin.


          5. Josefly | | #16

            Can you tell me more about ironing the pattern onto freezer paper, then cutting it out? Does ironing the pattern piece onto the freezer paper cause the printing to transfer to the paper, or did you just cut around the original cutting lines of the pattern? Does the pattern then pull away from the freezer paper without tearing? I haven't heard of this technique before - sounds like it would save a lot of time, if you don't have to trace the pattern, darts, etc.

          6. gailete | | #17

            I just laid the whole pattern piece that I wanted to work with onto the shiny side of the freezer paper (being careful not to run the iron onto the freezer paper itself). Then I cut around the pattern piece/freezer paper and flipped it over and traced out the lines/markings that I needed onto the dull side of the freezer paper. When I was done with that, I carefully pulled the pattern tissue off with no trouble at all. It was preserved intact and I could cut up the freezer paper pattern with no fear of destroying my actual pattern (which I love even if it is baggy-it only takes me about 45 minutes to sew it out now and is an easy comfy summer top).

            Every seamstress needs a roll of freezer paper in the sewing room. It isn't that expensive and  is great for making applique templates that you can reuse several times, copying pattern pieces as I mentioned (no trying to hold a pattern tissue to some other kind of paper while tracing it), and I have ironed whole pieces to backs of pillows that I was going to do a lot of decorative stitching and embroidery (didn't need to use any other stabilizer. On the pillows, I also did some lace applique and I drew the shapes I needed on the dull size of the freezer paper, ironed the lace to the shiny side and then cut them out, pulled the lace free, pinned it to the freezer paper stabilized pillow top did a narrow zigzag around the edge of the applique and then did satin stitch over that. Since hubby finally took pictures of the pillows for me the other day (they were his Christmas present, I've attached them if you would like to see them). They were very easy to sew. I've tried Wonder Under for appliques before and always have a hard time pulling off the backing paper from the fabric, but using the freezer paper to cut the shapes (the fan shape was done that way too) I had accurate sized shapes and only needed a few pins to hold them temporarily in place.

            Probably more than you wanted to know, but if not enough, ask!


          7. User avater
            ThreadKoe | | #18

            Gorgeous work Gailete! You might make note that brown freezer paper will work, but white is available as well. You can more easily find the white in most quilt shops than the grocery department of your local store, unless they get it in by local demand. Cathy

          8. gailete | | #19

            I didn't even know they have brown! I have the white and I think I got it at my Walmart Superstore.


          9. User avater
            ThreadKoe | | #20

            Hmmmm, thanks for the lead. I have a heck of a time finding the white where I am. They charge a lot for the white up here when I do find it. I am always on the look out for it. The brown is available everywhere, and really inexpensive.... Will check out my local WallyWorld when I get the next chance to go into town.... :) Cathy

          10. User avater
            rodezzy2 | | #21

            Oh those pillows are so sweet.  Just precious, thanks for sharing.

          11. gailete | | #22

            Thank you. My hubby had made the love seat and covered it with the flowered fabric that is showing and so I wanted to make something that would go with it. The lace in the pillows is leftover from our wedding 7 years ago and the fabric on the seat was a $5 yard sale find. I just love yard sales for allowing me to pick up sewing goodies!



          12. User avater
            rodezzy2 | | #25

            What a wonderful way to use the lace, the memories will not be stuffed in a closet, or storage room somewhere.  How wonderful.  So warm and touching.  I love great deals too, I have made many projects from wonderful bargins of good fabrics, trims, yarns and the like.  It makes it so much more fun.  The pleasure making something you love and not having to spend an arm and a leg to enjoy your creations. 

          13. Josefly | | #23

            Thanks so much for the tips on using freezer paper. I've heard of it being used for appliques, but not in the way you do for entire pattern pieces. I'm going to add this to my bag of tricks - I've always traced the pattern off on tissue paper or that gridded pattern stuff you can buy for too many $$. I'll check the sources you've mentioned, too. Thanks again. Seems like the last time I bought freezer paper in the grocery store, it was not very wide. So I hope I can find a wider roll.

          14. gailete | | #24

            I checked out Ricky Tims quilting book (Rhapsody?) out of the library yesterday (before I knew I'd have the new Threads to devour) and he has an interesting slant on using freezer paper in his quilting, so if you can get his book through your library, you will find even more hints on using freezer paper. I don't really have interest in using his technique to make his kind of quilt, but if you follow his directions you will be able to sew a multi-curved line and have it lay flat at the end. A technique worth knowing when you want to sew some interesting curves in a garment.

            With 6 library books (sewing ones) and a new threads, my brain was on overload when I went to bed last night! So many ideas to try and so little time!


          15. Josefly | | #26

            Thanks, I'll see if my library has his (Tims') book. I'd like to see the instructions for the curved seams. I'm out of town at a family reunion this weekend - having a great time, but looking forward to several sewing projects when I get home. Also, I'm envious of you who've received the newest issue of Threads - mine hadn't arrived yet when we left.

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