Friday, April 1, 2011

Ruffle Purse

 Pattern Review of Vogue 8642

Pattern Description: Handbags. I made view B - self fabric front flower.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes, I think it does.  It is much bigger than I thought it would be.  That's ok for the summer.  I can carry a book, knitting, and my necessary stuff.

Were the instructions easy to follow?Yes.  Some were" Vogue Vague"  moments such as "press".  Yes but which way, up or down, or open, but you can get past this.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I first saw the original Valentino purse last spring at Holt Renfrews.  It was made of purple leather and it was soft like "butta".  It's price tag had 4 figures before the decimal point.  I wanted it and I knew I would have to make it.

Fabric Used: Linen backed with fleece fused to sew in interfacing, lined with vintage decorator fabric.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
I made a few slight changes to the construction just to make it a little quicker to make.
     1.I basted the tracings on the front piece just to make it easier to see.
    2. Instead of using the pattern piece to cut the six bias strips required for the flower, I cut the strips using my quilting ruler and rotary cutter.  I found it faster and much more accurate.
    3. I used my ruffler foot to gather the flower.  Using a larger stitch length, I was able to get a much softer ruffle than I got on my ruffle cushion.
   4. I tried hard to sharp points on arrows at the bottom of the straps, but I was just not satisfied with the result.  Points are one of the details that can make your item look homemade instead of handmade.  So I cut the ends off the straps and cut the triangles out of scraps of ultra-suede.
    5.I became frustrated white turning the straps.  My little tube turner hook ripped my linen.  Cutting the straps on bias might make the straps easier to turn.  But my old hand were getting sore so I had to find another way.  I cut new straps with the ruler and rotary cutter.  I doubled the width and eliminated 1/2'" seam allowance.  This way I reduced the bulk.  Then I sewed the interfacing, right sides together, to the strap on one side using a 1/4" seam allowance.  Press the seam open and then to the fashion fabric.  Fold the interfacing to the back,wrong sides together.  Press.  Now you have one side finished.  Stitch the other side 1/4" from the raw edges.  Fold the raw edges along the stitching and press.  Fold the strap in half , press, and edgestitch along both edges.  I found that the strap made this way is flatter.
     6.I have to give thanks to Bunny of" La Sewista !". She is an expert and generously shared her knowledge on her blog recently.  I used her wooden spoon, sewing the bottom on  and tacking techniques.

I also made some changes to the inside of the bag to personalize it.  If I am going to invest hours making this bag then I want it to be perfect for me.
     1. I added a zipper pocket as I am a little OCD about my wallet.
     2.Piping was added between the facing and the lining.  I think it looks more finished.  I made the piping from plastic clothes line and it worked very well.  Thanks to Kim from "Cheap Chic Home" for the tip.
     3. The key strap was added as I am very OCD about my keys.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?  Yes.  I am planning on making view C  next.  I have a piece of red silk dupioni and I can't wait to cut and hand sew each of those FOURTEEN flowers.

Conclusion: I am pleased with the bag but there are things I would do differently.
     1. I wish I had worn a lab coat or apron when I was sewing as the linen frayed and left fluff all over me.  My husband found thread in the lunch I had packed him.
     2. I wish I had made the flaps for the magnetic snaps from something stronger or added extra interfacing.  I did add ultra suede to the back of the flap .  I hope it lasts.
     3. The sides fold to the inside at the top giving the purse its unique shape.  The directions tell you to lightly press in place.  Well, linen backed with heavy interfacing, fused to fleece, lined with decorator cotton does nothing when it is pressed  lightly.  I steamed it, pounded with the clapper, and eventually tacked it into place.  I don't know what else to do.
     4.  As always, I think the understitching could have been a little closer and a little straighter.  But I really tried my best and learned much from the process.
     5. My sewing machine and my sewing area need a really good sweep.

Linking to 


A Marvelous Mess

sew many ways


Sew Optimistic said...

This looks great! Looks like it took a lot of work, but was well worth it.

Bunny said...

Wow, its gorgeous! I also saw this bag in a high end boutique in Lake Placid and wanted to run out and make one. You did! and its really great. I love all your details.

Thanks for the props and I am glad I was able to add a little bit to the construction.

Rissa @ Hazel and Honeysuckle said...

What a fabulous bag and pattern review, great work!

Beverly @ said...

ooooh!! I love this bag! And I really appreciate your review!
Thanks so much for linking it up to Think Pink Sundays! I'm sharing on FB & Twitter! :)

michele said...

this is so pretty. perfect for spring!

Kim @ Cheap Chic Home said...

Hi sweet lady, this purse is super cute and sounds like you constructed it so well, which I would expect ;). That flower will certainly draw attention when you carry it around town. Thank you for the comments on my Roman blinds today. You're about the best blog buddy a girl could have! Hugs, Kim

MessyMissy said...

Wow, I love the shape of that purse and the ruffles are fantastic. I would love it if you would share this at my Marvelous Mess party....each week I pick one project to feature on my sidebar!! Here is the link:

Jennifer Rodriguez said...

I love it! It's so fresh in the neutral. Thanks for the review - I think I will try it :o)

Jaime said...

Wow wow wow!! I too have coveted that 4 figure purse!! You did a great job! Thanks for linking up!

DeniseAngela said...

oh how I love ruffles....& you made a purse with a gorgeous interior! thanks for sending me the link, I am so featuring this on my Fashion Friday Runway post this week!

Jaime said...

I featured you on Toast of Tuesday! Come grab a button!

Jen said...

I love this purse. I have made a pillow similar, but the purse . . .oh just beautiful!

I would love for you to come and link this up to Fantastic Friday at


sorbetsurprise said...

This is really pretty and I absolutely love the bright lining.

Kara @ Mine for the Making said...

Beautiful! You are a true pro!!! I wish I could sew the way you do :) Someday!

Thanks for linking up your beautiful projects!


deb said...

What a gorgeous bag,I also have the pattern and each time I thumb thru my pattern drawer for inspiration I envy it but pass it up with lack of confidence to make it, you inspired me to pull it out and challenge myself to do it. and your idea for the other one in red silk duponi is awesome, I also have pieces of silk duponi I can use also, your review was superb, thanks for sharing.