Never has a bag been slammed together with so little idea of what was going on…
A while ago, I bought a pack of fabrics on impulse. I’ve always been a sucker for the black/brights combination, and this one yelled loudly from several metres away that it wanted to come home with me. And it was on special, so I buckled. No plan for it, no real idea how much was in the pack, just ‘oooh-pretty-buy’!
When I got it home I unfolded some quite small and not very usefully shaped pieces. There was a 14″ WoF piece, the main outer fabric of the bag. The other 6 were 10″ WoF pieces. So, not enough to make anything with, except perhaps a bag. So that’s what I did. Once I’d decided which fabric would go where, I went and bought some bright pink webbing for the handles and I already had a couple of pink zips the right size.
I launched in without a plan, and made it up as I went along. First, I made a padded, quilted rectangular outer base, and sewed this to the bag sides, which I stiffened with heavy duty interfacing. The only side seam falls in the centre back of the back, black to black, where it doesn’t show. Then I cut three different fabrics into strips to make the lining, and sewed them together offset for a bit of interest. I made a fully lined zippered pocket for the inside, which I stitched on round the sides and bottom only, so it formed another open top pocket behind the zippered section. Then I made a stiff base for the inside by glueing fabric to a stiff vinyl sheet (the sort you get inside those reusable green shopping bags from supermarkets).
I made a button loop, sewed on a button, attached the handles, and then it was time to put in the lining and bind the top edge. Under the inner edge of the binding I attached a cord made from scrap, with a ring at the end, onto which I can clip my keys, which are on a carabiner. It’ll save me cursing and rummaging in the very bottom of my handbag every single time I want my keys. Next to that I sewed in one of my new ‘Made by Kate Chiconi’ labels, very swanky, hemmed down the inner edge of the binding, and that was the bag done.
I still had a couple of scraps and another spare zipper, so I made myself a little pouch for comb, hankie, lip salve, etc. That’s it! I have one piece of fabric left, a 10″ x 2.5″ strip of the pink binding. Every single other piece was used up. So it wasn’t a waste of money, I had fun working everything out, and now I have a handy bag/tote for hauling round the rat’s nest which is the contents of my handbag.
The fabric range is Fun Flower Charmers by Holly Holderman from Lakehouse Drygoods. And yes, it is very, very bright.