When I was a Freshman in college, the Theater department decided to put on a production of “Ernest in Love”, which is a musical version of “The Importance of Being Ernest“, by Oscar Wilde. I happen to think that the play is pretty darn perfect without the addition of music, but at any rate, I tried out. I didn’t get a part, but I did end up helping with props, and I made some great friends, and unfortunately, also committed to memory a tiny snippet of one of the songs, in which Lady Bracknell describes, at length, why a handbag is not a proper mother, not a proper mother, not a proper mo-ther! I can’t really disagree with the sentiment, but I do wish it hadn’t wormed its way into my brain, because when I started to write this post about a purse that I recently made, all I could hear was that song in my head. I persevered, though, and this is what I finally ended up with:
The pattern is called the Blossom Bag, and it’s by Amy Butler. She designs EVERYTHING: fabric, yarn, patterns, scrapbook paper. Honestly, I don’t really care for her fabric designs – the colors are too clashing and the patterns are too busy for my taste – but I do really like her bag patterns. Of course, while I was actually sewing, I hated the pattern. When it comes to non-garment items, I’m rather loosey-goosey about how I cut out the pieces…. And everything else, actually. For the bag, though, I decided to follow the directions exactly, since I hadn’t ever made one of Butler’s patterns, and because there were SO MANY directions, I was slightly worried that I would mess something up if I didn’t follow them exactly. Still, I think I could have bought half of the suggested amount of fabric and I would have had plenty. The pattern also called for super thick Pellon interfacing. I understand why it was recommended, but good gravy! It is not easy to sew through. I think, for some parts of the bag, anyway, fusible fleece would work just as well, and wouldn’t be so troublesome to work with. The directions are relatively clear, even though I still can’t figure out the printed directions for the zipper divider/pocket, but I don’t think a novice sewer could manage this pattern. It isn’t super complicated, it’s just intense. There are so many pages of cutting and prepping before you even think about sewing, it’s almost discouraging. After all the work I did, I forced myself to carry the bag, and I have to say, I really like it. One of the ladies at work has tried to talk me into either making one for her, or giving her the one that I already have done. She even volunteered to pay me, although I didn’t have the heart to tell her that she couldn’t afford the amount of alcohol it would take to convince me to make another – ha!