Thursday, August 25, 2011

{ Play Purse & Puppy - A Semi-homemade Gift }

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I had the pleasure of making a 2nd birthday gift for my dear friend's little girl a couple of weeks ago. I knew that I wanted to make something, but I wasn't sure what. I searched through my pinned ideas for kid gifts, but nothing I had pinned was quite right. So then I turned to what my daughters love, and what they love the most are bags, purses, babies and stuffed animals. One of Phoebe's favorites is Frenchy and the purse she came in:

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Now that you've met my inspiration, Frenchy and her purse that she rides in, meet Being Brook's Little Girls' Purse Tutorial:

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Brook's tutorial led me through making my first purse. My design came out quite a bit different than hers: I chose to use one strap instead of two, she boxed her bottom, I did not, Brook also added a magnetic closure whereas I chose to leave my purse open like a tote. Finally, the purse I made is smaller in size as well. So read on and I'll show you how my purse came together.
First I chose my fabric pallet and embellishment.


I chose this striped fabric, which I picked up from the remnant bin at my JoAnn Fabrics, and butterfly fabric, which you may recognize the from Phoebe's market skirt or Sophie's Black Apple doll - man this yard of fabric has gone a long way!

Next I had to choose how I was going to personalize Finley's purse. I liked the idea of an initial like Brook had on her purse. I decided to stylize my F by making it a cursive F layered over some circles.


I lined the backs of the circles (butterfly print and turquoise polka dots) with fusible webbing to give them a little stiffness. (If you are using a stiffer fabric than woven cotton this might not be necessary.) The F was cut out of 30% wool felt, I free hand drew it but you could easily create a stencil from your computer. Put theses decorations together with the body of the purse and I've pulled together a cute little pallet if I do say so myself.


Now let's get sewing. Here's what you need: 4 pieces cut 7"x8" (2 for the cover and 2 for the purse liner), a 13"x3" cut for the strap, as well as fabric for embellishing. All of these cuts are shown in the picture above.

I began with the strap as Brook instructed. First fold the strap in half and press.

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Then unfold the strap and use the pressed fold as a center line and fold the edges in to touch that center line and press again.

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Now, fold the whole strap in half again and press. The first crease will now be an edge.

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If you use woven knit or another thin material like I did, you'll want to add fusible webbing to the strap to add stiffness and strength. I cut the fusible webbing piece at 13"x3/4" and pressed it inside my strap.

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Fold the strap back together and stitch it up. I sewed a normal stitch on both edges, with about a 1/4" seam allowance, and then added a decorative stitch down the middle. Here's how my handle looked completed:

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I chose to use a contrasting green thread for my top stitching. I used the same green thread for my embellishment as well. In fact that's the next step, sew the embellishment on the purse face. I used my machine and hand cranked around both circles and the "F". Here's how the embellishment came together:

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I used a black thread and a heavy duty needle to attach the felt F.

Once the handle and embellishment were complete, I was finally able to sew my purse. I sewed the purse and lining with the right sides of the fabric touching and the wrong sides out. On the cover I sewed both the sides and the top with a 3/8" seam allowance.

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Next I sewed the lining together in a similar fashion, but this time I left a 3" gap in the bottom seam.

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After sewing together the lining and purse cover, I stylized the shape of my purse by pressing the corners up 1" and sewing a seam that cut the corner but crossed both side seams.

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Then I cut the excess material off at the corners.

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With the last three steps, all that I've done is change the shape of the purse. It's no longer a square purse, but now has a unique  shape (meaning I don't know what the name of the shape is, so I'll just call it "unique").

Now to connect the handle to the purse. With the purse cover inside out I pinned my handle in position, with the desired under side of the handle facing up, and then I sewed it in place. Sew close to the edge of the fabric with a 1/4"-3/8" seam allowance so that these seams will be hidden in the seam of the purse cover and liner; but remember to make a strong seam since the handle will be taking a lot of abuse, maybe a game of tug-o-war between sisters?

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Next, I attached the purse liner. To do this, I turned the liner right side out and placed it inside the cover on top of the handle. At this point I could see only wrong sides of the fabric. I pinned the liner in place and sewed the cover and liner together with a 1/2" seam allowance.

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Once I sewed everything together, I pulled the liner out and then proceeded to turn the whole purse right side out by pulling the handle and cover through the hole left in the lining.

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We're getting into the home stretch now! The next step is to sew the hole in the liner closed.

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Now put the liner back in the purse. The purse looks complete, but I still have one last finishing touch.

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To finish up the purse, I sewed the same decorative stitch that I sewed on the handle around the edge of the purse to create a finished top seam and a overall cohesive design.

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Voila! A personalized play purse for the little girl in your life or a little friend. We chose to fill our purse with a puppy.

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Then with a few quick cuts and a few more stitches I made a tie for the puppy that matched the lining of the purse to tie the two together esthetically.

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And finally, here we are with a complete gift of a play purse and puppy.

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Happy Birthday Finley! We hope that you love your new puppy purse. And I hope that I've inspired you readers to get out and get sewing. Thanks for reading, this was a long one.

For the tally, this is sewing project number eight.

Places I've Shared:


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4 comments:

BeingBrook said...

Your purse turned out SO cute! You did a wonderful job!

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