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Handbag in Bloom

March 24, 2013

It's no secret that I love to sew, but I also love gardening -- and roses are my absolute favorite things to grow. As I type this, Atlanta is in the midst of what seems like a never-ending winter. It's cold and wet out. We were teased with warmer temps for a bit, but then the cold came back to laugh at us. And my rose bushes might be a little confused. They have some new growth developing and they're quite hardy, but I feel like we'll NEVER get blossoms at this rate.

So I decided to make my own, and put them on a purse!

A while back, we had a blog post from Melanie on making roses with fabric or ribbon. I followed her directions exactly, omitting the floral wire and floral tape, and using a needle and thread to tack things together as I went. I used bias cuts of charmeuse satin. To add texture to about half of my flowers, I layered bias cuts of mirror organza on the dull side and then treated the two layers as one.

Once I had a handful of tiny blooms, I gathered together the supplies for the rest of my simple handbag.

I cut the following pieces:

- 2 pieces of my exterior fabric (a yummy dupioni remnant I've had in my stash for years) 12 by 10 inches
- 2 interfacing pieces in the same size (mine is a solid twill)
- 2 lining pieces in the same size (I used the same charmeuse I used for my roses)
- 2 handle pieces in my exterior fabric, 2.5 by 20 inches
- 2 interfacing pieces for handles in same size

I also used a 14-inch zipper (which was a little long, so I trimmed it after stitching).

1-rose-purse.jpgI set in my zipper by sandwiching it between my dupioni (with interfacing at the back) and my lining, and stitching the seam. Then I opened it up, pressed, and top-stitched along the zipper. For a more detailed description of this process, check out our blog on shaving kits from scraps.

Here's the bag with zipper set in, laid out flat:

2-rose-purse.jpgNext, I attached the handles. I just stitched the handles into a long tube (having basted the interfacing twill to the dupioni already), then turned and top-stitched them. I measured in 3 inches from each side and about 1.5 inches down from the zipper and stitched the handle ends in place securely.

3-rose-purse.jpgThen I folded the bag-in-progress right sides together (with the zipper open for turning), and stitched all around the outer edges. To give the bottom of the bag some shape, I folded the seam into a corner and stitched across it.

4-rose-purse.jpgHere's the bag turned right-side-out:

5-rose-purse.jpgBefore I started playing with the placement of my roses, I slipped a box into my bag to fill out the bottom space and give me a sturdy surface to work on.

6-rose-purse.jpgThen, I just set my flowers on the bag in different ways until I landed at a placement I liked. After trying out some symmetrical ideas, I settled on a much more organic and less structured approach.

7-rose-purse.jpgThen, I just stitched my roses into place, keeping them clustered tightly. (You could also use glue!)

8-rose-purse.jpgAnd now, I have a little something to tide me over until my real roses are ready to bloom! This could also be made in smaller sizes for kids playing dress up, or in ultra-elegant all black with additional embellishment. You could cover the entire bag with blooms, or just make one large blossom as an accent. A garden of multicolored flowers would also be ultra-fun. (And if you're like me, you'll end up making a few extra roses to use as hair accessories.)

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Back and Excellent Bag
Explanation wonderful
Thank you

Thanks for sharing really wonderful bag collection.

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This page contains a single entry by Holly Frey published on March 24, 2013 6:22 PM.

Blog of the Month: Aesthetic Nest was the previous entry in this blog.

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