I’m so completely chuffed. I made a handbag! I didn’t think I had it in me to sew through thick layers of finicky materials like vinyl and foam stabilizer. I’m notoriously bad with a hammer and screwdriver. But I did it and I don’t think it looks too shabby…
“Miss Maggie’s Handbag is a great starting point for any beginner to advanced bag maker. It starts out as a simple handbag that allows you to use several styles of our Emmaline Strap Anchors, and after you personalize it with your own style, it will become one of your favourite bags. ”
11″ wide x 10″ high x 4″ deep.
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
Were the instructions easy to follow?
Yes, the instructions were excellent even for this bag-sewing neophyte. There is a typo in the instructions which caused me a problem. As noted on the emmaline bags website, “The cutting chart lists the measurement for the Foam Stabilizer at 17″ x 34″, but the correct measurement is in the cutting list and materials list. The cutting chart is not correct.” I didn’t see that before I cut out the foam and had to buy another piece.
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I like how simple and elegant it is. The bag is just the right size to carry all my odds and ends when I commute to work. It’s not too large so I don’t end up carrying too much. I like the short handles because I don’t wear purses over my shoulder; however, my daughter thinks any bag without a cross-body strap is a sad, sad thing. If you’re like her, you’ll either want to add a longer strap or look at a different pattern.
I used some vinyl with a flocked filigree design that I found at Joann’s for the body. I used some quilter’s cotton (a gold-flecked cork print) for the lining.
The bag also required fusible interfacing, heavy interfacing such as Timtex for the base and foam stabilizer. Hardware included handle anchors, rivets, bag feet, a magnetic clasp, a tassel clasp, and a “handmade” label. I sourced most of these from emmaline bags. I found the magnetic clasp at my local fabric store. I found a large lot of rivets on Amazon, which was good because I’m terrible at inserting these and destroyed more than a few before getting them attached securely.
I used a lot of E-6000 glue. I also used a few bits of thin quilter’s batting to cover up the backs of the hardware so they didn’t poke holes in the lining.
I tried to use heavy duty thread (upholstery) for the top-stitching, but even with a leather needle and a top-stitching needle, it frayed and I was unable to continue.
When folding the material for the handbag over on itself a couple of times, I resorted to double-sided fashion tape to hold the layers together. It worked like a charm.
I needed an awl to poke holes through the material and a hammer for the rivets.
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
The pattern suggested adding heavy duty snaps on the sides to cinch in the top of the bag to give it a nice shape. I opted not to do that for two reasons: (1) I would never use the snaps because I like to fill up my bags to the brim and the snaps would reduce the bag’s capacity; (2) the material was thick and didn’t looked a bit messy when pleated.
I made the tassel following this tutorial: Tassel Tutorial
Note: You really do need a tiny screwdriver to do this. I started out trying to use a fork. No good. I then used the screwdriver included with my serger. Too large. Finally, like Goldilocks, I bought a tiny screwdriver set at Lowes for $5. One of those suckers worked perfectly.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
I LOVE this bag. It looks so snazzy with all the shiny bits. I carry it around with pride.