Now friends. I don’t buy many things for myself because I’m, well, stingy. I walk by things at the store and say, “Oh I love that!” only to keep on going because I don’t need it. But the one thing I have such a hard time resisting is a good purse. Fossils are my favorite but I also love Lucky Brand.

The first projects I wanted to attempt for sewing were purses. I found a tutorial for a knot tote here, which claimed it took under a half an hour, (“yeah right,” I said to myself) and I was so glad it took a mere 3 hours – that’s like a record for a newbie such as myself!

Super easy, no mistakes, love it, but I wish it was bigger. I might have cut it too small since the pattern piece was kind of wonky, but that’s an easy fix.

And judge all you like, but I edited all of these photos like there was no tomorrow because it makes my stuff look not so…homemade.

I love the book Bend the Rules Sewing, and I’ve been eye-balling the purse in there for a couple of months now. Here’s my attempt.

Question to you all…when it says “press 1/4″ and sew,” how do you press it so that it’s a perfectly straight line? For the straps (thank you photo blur), they’re all uneven because I couldn’t get it straight when I ironed it. Yes, I even used a ruler. Does this just take practice or is there a trick?

Thanks for your patience and support as you suffer through my beginning projects, and thank goodness for


One response to “Bag-a-holic

  • Erica (SiL)

    Thing 1: Pressing is tough. You do improve with time, as with anything, but there will always be errors because you’re not a robot. My tip for pressing is to measure a few times and then eyeball it and work on smooth overall lines. If you’re stopping to measure constantly, you’ll have more uneven folds since you’re course-correct constantly. Instead, measure several times until you have a nice start (a few inches) and then train your eye and only check occasionally and you’ll produce smoother lines which will then combine with other edges more cleanly. However, this brings me to . .

    Thing 2: We live in an aesthetic era where texture and layers are emphasized. Notice how often you see distressed/compound/textural graphics everywhere you look with fewer clean lines or crisp images. Use it to your advantage. Look on Etsy and you’ll see people flaunting the flaws in their creations to emphasize that they are homemade. Remember, too, that if you were examining another person’s purse, you wouldn’t sit there nitpicking it. Be confident – most people aren’t doing that to your work, either.

    Thing 3: ROCK ON. These are beautiful pieces and for someone who JUST got their machine and started sewing, you are KILLING IT. That pleated tote from Bend the Rules Sewing is not super easy and yours looks marvy! I had huge issues with those pleats and the heavy-weight fabrics I used; I ended up finishing the thickest parts by hand sewing – YUCK. Go look at E’s version I made for her birthday. There are errors everywhere. But the overall look is fun, and she LOVED it. My guess is that your focus on the flaws will fade as you use and enjoy your creation. Great work!

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