I made this purse yesterday. Rebecca at Flaming Toes was kind enough to share her pattern with her blog fellows. I immediately loved the look of this purse. It does have ruffles, and my owl fabric made it even cutier don’t you know!!
Here come my gripes. I had many issues and problems with this bag. Well, I mainly had gripes with the instructions for sewing this bag. I’m not sure if they pattern and instructions were intended for more advanced sewers that could fill in their own blanks or if maybe this was the first pattern Flaming Toes had complied, either way I wasn’t pleased.
This bag can sit up on it’s own, which I love. I think to often patterns for purses come out floppy and more like a pillowcase than a functioning purse. But the directions on how to insert the stabilizer in the side green panels was lacking. At one point you’re told to “Lay one Corner Interfacing Piece on the wrong side of a fabric Corner Piece.” That’s simple enough, but since the interfacing piece is cut shorter than the corner piece you’re not told if you should center the interfacing or line it up with the side edge or bottom edge of the fabric.
Then the instructions go on to read, “Sew the Corner Pieces to the bottom edges of the Front Panel Pieces using a 1/4” seam and another seam right along the edge of the curve. Sew the remaining two sides to the front panel as well.”
Once again you’re not told how to line up your fabric for sewing. If you center your interfacing on the corner fabric piece then the interfacing is not going to line up with the bottom edge of the fabric or the side edge of fabric. Ugh!
Flaming Toes was kind enough to use pictures in the instructions and the picture showed the interfacing centered on the fabric corner piece. But it still failed to show how to line it up for sewing. I took a wild guess and just matched up the edges of both my fabric pieces and sewed it in place. It turned out pretty well.
My next gripe, sewing the bottom piece of the purse to the actually bag. The only instruction you receive for this major step is, “Pin the bottom panel to the bottom of the panel pieces. Match the side seams of the purse to the center of the small sides of the rectangle. Sew the bottom panel on, turning carefully at the corners. Make sure that the bottom piece is sewn on correctly, then clip the corners so that they
turn nicely.” Wouldn’t it be nice to know ahead of time if you should pin right sides together and if you should sew straight seams for those corners you’re so worried about getting right before flipping or if you should round the corners and still get the same effect?? Call me crazy but it would be nice to have a clearer step by step tutorial.
My list of gripes goes on and on, so I wont bore you. I had an issue with the zipper instructions (and I know how to put in a zipper dang it). There’s a pocket on the lining that’s really cute but again, the instructions were in no way user friendly.
Finally, my overall main gripe with this purse (and apparently it upset Ganesh as well) has to be the strap or handle. You use D rings, which I love in my purses but all the strap consists of is 2 pieces of lining fabric cut out, sewn together, turned right side out and top stitched.
This isn’t a big purse, but come on, 2 thin pieces of lining fabric for the strap? I don’t see this holding up at all. I’m looking for it to start pulling and tearing within a week or two of normal use.
I’m going to set out and make my own pattern for this purse. It’s a great, little bag to have and it has tons of potential. I wouldn’t recommend the pattern tutorial it for a beginner though based solely on the unclear directions and confusing steps.
Maybe sometime this week I’ll be able to sit down and work up a redo purse and post a quick tutorial here. I have some gorgeous blue and brown light corduroy fabric I just picked up that would work well with this style of bag.
If any of you out there in blog land have tried this pattern and didn’t have the issues I’m fussing about I would love to hear about it. Am I just instructionally challenged?