Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Favorite Bag Ever!

The Two-Hour Tulip Purse

Two years ago I needed an idea for a handmade birthday gift for my friend. Last year I made her a tote bag which she loved.  I wanted to make her something similar but in a completely different style.

Anyhow,  someone I know had been making up the cutest little bags/purses and I was interested in finding the pattern. I went to a quilting shop and found the pattern: The Two-Hour Tulip Bag by Janice Pope

Pattern by Janice Pope

Closer up so you can see how cute this purse is!

I found some really pretty red fabric and coordinating gold fabric and made this bag up in the two prints. It went together so easily and came out so well that I made one almost exactly the same for myself. I used that bag so much, the fabric started to wear by the button. (as you will soon see)

My much used bag made up in red. 

You can see where it has worn from use (or overuse) Also I need to resew the button on tighter or I am going to lose it for sure! This bag is ideal for me because it opens wide and you can see everything in it. I am constantly losing my keys in my other purses--but not in this bag!!! Looks like I am going to have to make a repair or two!!!! 

I decided to make my mom the same purse from a black, brown olive paisley print for Christmas. She loved it and she has been using it ever since for two years. Hers show absolutely no wear and still looks brand new. I am extremely rough on my bags and I tend to overload them as well.

Mom's first purse.....it is so cute! Looks even better in real life!!!!

To give her a more seasonally appropriate purse for the upcoming spring and summer months, I thought I would try making one in a beige linen fabric. I had a hard time finding a lining fabric in certain colors that I had somehow conjured up in my brain but had eluded me in my search. So I settled for a fat quarter,  a small pattern that combined the colors of brown, beige and mauve. (kind of looks like a necktie fabric the more I look at it!) I figure it will work fine even for the earlier fall months....

Below are the pieces I had cut out along with the straps. (I chose to make reversible straps for this particular purse because the pattern included directions to make this reversible which I did--so I tweaked the straps a bit by using both fabrics...) It is actually easier and faster to make the straps as the pattern instructs but I was afraid the solid beige would look too plain. The coordinating strap looks really nice on this bag.

The linen was a little difficult to work with as it ravels so easily. I opted to stitch around the piece to prevent further raveling. I had zero experience sewing on linen prior to beginning this purse. Now I know what to expect the next time I pick a linen project! I have a few yards of this fabric left so there will be other linen projects for sure! 

Here is the finished bag....it is really cute!

I just noticed in this photo that I had a few wonky stitches in the top-stitching (top right)--that means I will be ripping out the top-stitching and doing it again....the top-stitching is important and gives the end product a very neat and finished touch. 

Button sewn in the inside directly behind the front button so it can be reversible! Two bags in one! ...and lots of room inside too!

Close up 

and of course a coordinated tag.....

I emailed Janice Pope earlier in the week to ask permission to feature her pattern on my blog as I wanted to post photos of my latest bag made from her pattern. She very kindly said "Yes". Here is a direct link to one of her sites: Anything But Boring. Click Here. There is a link on that site to her blog as well and I just realized there is a catalog there too! I found a photo of the tulip bag made up in a pseudo-leather and I love it. 

Now I need to find fabric to make myself a new Tulip purse......I will try hard not to conjure up a particular fabric/color/look in my mind ahead of time because when I do, it often starts a very long, frustrating search which never yields quite what I am looking for. Some things only exist in my mind! I will walk into the fabric store with a completely open mind and pick something that suits my fancy right there on the spot!

If you are in the market for a pattern that works up quickly and comes with easy-to-read and easy-to-follow instructions, this is the pattern for you. By the way, this pattern includes 4 sizes and several options such as a magnetic closure, a flap etc. I used the standard size but I have seen the petite size made up and it is the cutest thing--still pretty roomy. There are two larger sizes that I have yet to make. Another day....

Buyer beware though: if you make this purse for a gift, you WILL be asked to make another one!

"Another day, another bag....."

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