Sunday, 25 January 2009

Project Two - Grey and Tartan Handbag


I love this bag. I wanted something to match my new red coat (and since that, new red glasses) and cheer me up on a cold winter's day when I was at work. I also wanted a bag with a phone pocket big enough for my Blackberry. The answer was this cheeky tartan handbag. I love the way the red pokes out of the formal suit material, it's irreverant and it makes me smile.

Cost to make: - £5

Fabric from old suit - free 1m tartan fabric - £3.50

Fleece lining - remnant - £1.50

Black cotton thread

Piece of semi-disposable chopping board as facing (!)

Free Sequins for embellishment - left over from past project

Time to make - hard to estimate as I did it in bits and pieces. About 20 hours over 2 weeks, I think.

Instructions - I'm not sure I can give instructions on this, as I made it from a fabby book I was given for Christmas. I love it and it really fuels my crafting lust. Yes, I am sad. Many hours have been spent pouring over this, as well as Cath Kidston's 'Make':

Fabbity book, much pored over
Fabbity book, much pored over
I did make a few changes - the original is beige linen with a yellow patterned fabric. I also made the straps longer so it has become a shoulder bag, rather than a handbag - and I made the lining the contrasting fabric (tartan) rather than the original fabric. It looks great though.


If I repeated the project  I would add an additional 1cm to the strap seam allowances as I found it impossible to sew them as Amy Karol had described in the book. This may have been due to the fact that wool based fabrics don't iron anywhere near as easily as linen and cotton, so I was unable to press the seams in the way described. It looks good though, and I am pleased with the result.


I have a small seam on one of the straps and I spent a long time worrying over it. However, it looks great and really adds to the character of the bag. I actually like it to be reasonably obvious that the fabric is recycled, and may try to emphasise this in future projects. No point in trying to make things look too clever when the whole charm is that they're reused, remade pieces of fabric.


I'd love to hear what you think!


I am already onto my next project, a new duvet cover for Charlie using applique. I thought it would be quick and easy - oh, famous last words ..... 

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