upcycled purse

May 11, 2010 at 10:13 am | Posted in crafts | 1 Comment
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Last year my sister and I made a wonderful purse out of a knit fabric and denim. I loved it, but the knit fabric didn’t hold up well.
This past weekend I picked up a boys button up shirt at a yard sale – I loved the fabric and decided it would be perfect for another, more durable, purse.

I used two sheets of copy paper as my pattern.  The front and back are both 8.5″x11″ – I was able to cut both panels from the solid back of the shirt.  The sides are 8.5″x5″ – I used a paper trimmer to get even edges on my pattern piece.  I cut both sides from the front of the shirt, and I centered the pockets on each panel.  I was careful to save the button strip in the center of the shirt to use as my straps.  The bottom panel is 5″x11″.

I used recycled banner vinyl to line my purse, covered with a layer of white broadcloth.  The broadcloth was $1.25 a yard, and was leftover from another project.  I randomly sewed pockets to each lining panel before putting it together.  I just cut a piece of vinyl and broadcloth a few inches shorter than the panel and sewed random lines down it where I thought a separate pocket should start.  At the moment I have two empty pockets, but they will be put to use eventually.  The vinyl really helps the purse retain its shape without adding much extra weight – I was very pleased with the finished consistency.

I used one long sleeve to make a binding tape, and the other to cover my calendar and checkbook.  I used fusible webbing to iron the fabric to the vinyl, and then zig-zag stitched around the edge.  Not the prettiest sewing job, but I didn’t have a large enough scrap to hem the edges, and I am happy with it.  I also used a small scrap to cover a matching pen.  The pen was from a Chinese buffet, and had an ad that scrolled out.  I took the pen apart and replaced the add with my fabric.  (Please excuse the fabric scraps on my carpet.)

I used the cuff with snaps as a closure for my purse, in case I ever decide that it needs to be closed.  I may use the remaining scraps (1/2 of a sleeve and the collar) to make a small zippered pouch and key chain the next time I have a chance to sew.  I really like the fabric, and will use this purse until it falls apart.  I double stitched the stress points, and tried to reinforce everything so that it will hopefully be a long time before that happens.


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  1. […] of free stuff I have received, and the money that I have saved, but the little buggars filled my other purse beyond maximum capacity.  The fabric was from my mom’s stash, and is probably as old as I […]

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