Monday, March 3, 2008

Pocketbook Tutorial

The Pink John Deere pocketbook that was donated to a little country church's fundraiser auction sold for $40.00. I was pleased with that. I just didn't want it to sell cheaper than what I could have sold it for. I would rather sell the bag and donate the money to the church if that was going to happen. Here is a picture of the bag if you missed it.

I have been thinking about doing a pocketbook tutorial series. I wasn't sure if anyone would be interested, but I have had some interest by email, so I have decided to do it!

This will be helpful to me as well. Once I do the tutorial, I'll have all the directions written down for my future use.

My disclaimer is that I'm not an expert seamstress by any means! These instructions will show how I make the bags based on the directions that came with the pattern, as well as my own ideas. I'm sure a more experienced hand bag seamstress could give me some pointers on how to do things easier and better and I welcome any suggestions.

I'm going to make a bag from the beginning and do several posts describing what I'm doing as I cut and/or sew.

So here is the first post:

I have been making the bag in two basic sizes. A medium sized bag and one a little smaller. I also made 2 children's bags. Its easy to change the pattern to fit the size you want. This is a picture of the pattern for the larger bag that I make. It measures 18 inches wide and 14 1/2 inches tall. The squares cut out on each side of the bottom are 2 1/2 inches square.

My pattern is getting a little tattered and I need to make myself a new one. I think I might just start cutting out the bags on my rotary cutting board. I have the measurements and the finished cut pieces would be more accurate. To make your own pattern just cut the pattern in the measurements given. Then cut out the squares at the bottom. That's all there is to the pattern.

To make the smaller bag I just folded the pattern in the middle like this. Its exactly the same size as the larger bag except its 15 inches wide.

The bag can be made all one color or you can use a different color for the bottom. I have made the bottom part one color and a top 2 or 3 inch wide section another color. The bags can be quilted or not quilted. You can embellish the bag with ribbon, fringe, leave them plain or whatever you wish. I like to look at other people's handmade bags on Ebay to get ideas. The different designs you can come up with are endless.

You will need 1 yard of your outside fabric and 1 yard of your lining fabric. This is really too much, but any extra can be used to make pockets and if you wish, accessories.

I use quilt batting in my bags whether or not they are quilted. This gives the bag some body and the handles a little padding. At first I was able to use leftover quilt batting I had on hand, but I soon ran out of that. I like to buy crib size quilt batting because the size is easier to handle.

I'll be posting more in this series as I work on my next pocketbook.


Kim said...

Thank you so much for this tutorial. I really appreciate you taking the time and sharing your talent with me.
May the Lord bless you,

Little Penpen said...

How sweet of you to show us how! I LOVED the pink John Deere bag and am happy it brought a nice price at the auction!

Johnny said...

Can you please tell me what kind of paper you used to draw you patterns on?

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