A Tale of Two Purses

I have started carrying less and less and would really love not having to carry a purse at all but alas, the small wallet; keys; sunglasses and The Precious need a safe place.  When riding my bike I need a small purse that fits into my basket and one that still can be closed so nothing would fall out and commit suicide on the pavement.   

I stopped shopping at TJMaxx for designer purses ages ago when the initials on the purses or the sheer amount of bling on them needed a small crane to lift them off the ground.  And that was before I even put anything in them!  I found this small bag at the dollar store.  I figured it wouldn't be a big deal if it got dirty or fell out of my bike basket or even got soiled by the cats, I could wash it or just get another one. 

The more I carried it, the more I loved it.  The satin material makes that wonderful noise I love hearing when it brushes my waist and it's just the right size for just about anything for me.  The funniest part I think is that I've gotten more compliments on this little el cheapo purse than when I carried all those heavy, leather, uber trendy designer bags!    

Well I have loved it long for about 3 years now and I really wanted a new one so I  just decided to make one.  I know, it sounds kitchy but there ya go.  

That bright yellow top stitching just kills me!  What were they thinking?   

It's about 17" from top to bottom

A while ago I added an inside pocket & had to resew the bottom of the lining.  I chose my Alaska Salmon fabric.  I liked the idea of fish swimming around inside my little Asian bag. I'm weird.
My pocket has seen better days. 
Here is the total amount of stuff I carry daily.  The red wallet is really just a fabric coin purse Ellen gave me recently.  It's the exact same size as my phone (The Precious)

I decided to raid my stash of Japanese damask fabrics.  While looking for cording (for the straps) I found this black piping and knew I would need that too. 

What I didn't have was any solid black satin for the sides.  But in looking through my 'old silk clothing' drawer I found this top.  Perfect!  And I wouldn't even have to quilt it as the material is already stitched!  Bonus!

see those buttons, remember those.

And for the inside pocket??? The sleeve!  Perfect!  Already finished all around the top edge, I simply cut it the length I wanted  & sewed the bottom shut.

Side one
You'll note I made this one shorter than the original as I don't need all that length.  

And side two: 
The handles were the most tricksey.  I wrapped cording with the damask but had to use fusible stabilizer on it first. They are a tiny bit wider than I would have liked but the material was just too fiddly and there were many HBO words heard this evening.   

the pocket was a stroke of luck!  (and since there is one more sleeve I'm thinking I need to make one more purse, just because)

But my very favorite part of all is the 'feet'.  I have always love bags that have feet.  How well did this work?

Remember the button placket?  Here it is! 

my favorite spider mums! 
I worship my collections of these fabrics.  I know they can be a bit gaudy but if you use just a little and in just the right spot they are the pinnacle of elegance!

I love it and it even got the squeal of approval from Ellen who was here enjoying my homemade chili and cornbread.  What a fabulous evening.  

I may do a tutorial on the construction if anyone is interested, let me know. 

Happy Sewing!


  1. YES!! Instructions, please! I'd like to make a large tote bag for workwith customized slots for all my crap. Ima put a pocket in the bottom for a cardboard insert, too!

  2. Wonderful tutorial, Stacy! Love the buttons as feet and sleeve as the inside pocket.

  3. Lovely! Oh and thanks sooo much for the postcard!!

  4. OH. Love it! (PS: We are really late to the party as we just have visited your beautiful Art blog here for the first time!)

  5. Your bag is just beautiful! Great job!


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