Sunday, 27 November 2011

Experimenting with techniques - zipped purses

I mastered sewing in zips quite a while back, my first one was on a toddler sized bean bag I made for my son, you can see it here

Then I moved on to making zipped purses including lots of make up bags which you can see here.

More recently, I made a few zipped coin purses for craft fairs -

It soon became apparent that as with most sewing related projects, there's always more than one way to make something. 

I really like making zipped bags with square bases, just because it makes them so much 'roomier'. Up until recently I've been making box bottomed bags/purses etc by sewing up the ends as squares, then folding the seams together, measuring, sewing, cutting etc.  It's a painfully boring method and takes far too long for my liking!  Plus there's the added stress that you have to be quite exact in your measuring...pah!  It just wasn't for me. 

I've noticed in quite a few tutorials there's another method which involves cutting squares (of equal sizes) from the bottoms of all the squares - I'm probably not explaining this very well, but this is what I mean -

Pattern from 'Sew Pretty Homestyle' Tone Finnanger
So with Christmas gifts in mind, I started to think about how I could make make up purses look a little bit more special. 

The first one I made started out as these 2 patchwork squares - gorgeously pastel and vintage -

I then quilted them and turned them into a BEAUTIFUL cosmetic bag!  Unfortunately since it's for a gift, I can't actually show you the finished product, but as soon as it hits Dec 26th I will be showing all of my Christmas gift makes! 

I was so happy with the results from following this new techniques that I made another.... This time I dug out my Jelly Roll that I won and put together a brighter piece of patchwork.  Once quilted and sewn up into a purse, here's how it looks -

It's also fully lined - with no raw seams :)

And then I got an order for one so I got to make another!  I was asked specifically for one with pink, purple and blues with a pastel/vintage look.  So here's what I came up with -

Of course this one also has some pretty pastel lining - 

So, these 3 patchwork, quilted beauties are all spoken for, but just in case you'd like one (to give to someone as an extra special Christmas gift perhaps)  a colourway of your choice...please get in touch - £12.50 plus £1.00 P&P. 

Linking up to -

Link Party Sew Happy Geek


  1. I love your patchwork make-up bags! And your zip purses look so professional. I've not tried to sew a zip into anything yet but this weekend I made my first little make-up bag with a button fastening, not following a pattern, just making it up as I went along. It's pretty simple but it'll do for taking my make-up to work in! x

  2. So cute. I love the little purse! You made them to look so pretty. I like the vintage looking ones best. Just started to follow your blog! Looks like a fun one!

  3. very pretty zipped purses..I love the one you made with the jelly roll you cheery and fun!

  4. They are all lovely! I think I have that book, will check it out!

  5. They are all so lovely! You have great talent. Look forward to seeing your Xmas makes later in year. Mandy :)

  6. Your bags are brilliant, very professional, and I'm sure their recipients will be delighted! Have you tried experimenting with 'the square' at all? I find if I cut mine with and upward angle on the horizontal line it makes the side of the finished bag sit straighter. I can send you pictures if that helps x

  7. Ooo now that looks interesting! Having wrestled with the corners on double figures of make-up bags in the last couple of weeks, I might have to try a change in technique. Can you recommend a good tute? x

  8. These are just lovely. That book has just be a wealth of ideas for me as well. Good luck with the Christmas rush!

  9. I meant to type that the book has just BEEN a wealth of ideas. Really, I should review before posting...sorry!

  10. I think you might like to join in my giveaway - hope you will come and join in! I love your little bags - very pretty.

    Pomona x

  11. Hi Rachael!!! Thanks for linking up to Manic Monday! Just wanted to let you know that I featured your link today: SewHappyGeek Feature Friday

  12. Hi Rachael,
    These are GORGEOUS!!! The quilty ones are really special - and I love the colour combos!!! I've only ever put a zip in a dress I made myself (only to discover when I'd finished that I could get it on without using the zip)! :-)


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