Seven Steps to the Imperfect Purse

Friday morning I began a new purse, using some of my vast supply of upholstery samples. Friday evening I seriously considered scrapping same. This exercise in futility provided graduate-level courses in seam ripping and hair pulling. If you haven’t experienced such an education, I thought I’d share my seven top instructions. If you follow these suggestions, I can guarantee you will achieve the same results I did. But if the purse still shows signs of coming out rather well, you can try trimming the seam allowances too close to the stitching before turning the purse right side out.

  1. Measuring – don’t do it! Eyeballing is good enough. That way, you can get more practice in cutting pieces to attach to the ones you cut too short.
  2. Grommets – be sure to use smaller ones than the old ones you removed. It makes for good conversation later when you’re explaining why you threw your project away. Uhm, just one more thing . . . don’t try too hard to set the new grommets properly – you’ll want them to pull out quickly and cleanly when you attempt to attach the handles.
  3. Raveling – don’t worry about it; oh, and omit the stay-stitching around the edges too. If you don’t have a serger, use that as your excuse for this decision.
  4. Handles – highly overrated. Don’t try to get them the same length. You’ll need the experience of recutting them to make them fit.
  5. When attaching the front design, you may notice how it gapes open. Not to worry. Just hand-stitch it to the front panel and pretend it never happened.
  6. Attaching the lining to the outer – this one is tricky. When done properly, it will be backwards when completed, requiring further practice with the seam ripper.
  7. This one is optional, but I found it enlightening. If you plan to eat a breakfast burrito while working on your project, remember to wipe your mouth on that piece of iron-on interfacing lying right beside your white napkin. You know, that piece you were just about to iron onto the pocket piece before attaching it to the lining.

Well, that’s how you make the imperfect purse. I’ve decided to punish myself by keeping it.


12 thoughts on “Seven Steps to the Imperfect Purse

  1. Oh; how hard it is to learn these lessons. Sometimes I have to repeat them over & over….especially # 7. Coffee and quilting go ok together, but not red wine….droplets on the white…well…not bad until you remember it is a quilt for a kid at church….
    Now, since you have SO MUCH upholstery fabric, are you going to try it again??


  2. Very familiar steps, especially when I start a sewing project on any day of the week that ends in “y”. Which then leads to “why?” – as in “why did/didn’t I do that!” Your purse turned out very nice though, I like the contrast of the red fabric.


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