Recreating an old favourite

This handbag is a well-used old favourite.  I vividly remember buying it while I was still at school, attracted by the bright orange and that curve design.  Over the last decade, it has truly proved itself, with its variety of pockets and perfect size – not too small, not too big.

It’s done a stirling job, but now it’s time to retire into the depths of my wardrobe –  that peeling on the faux leather straps is getting worse all over, and the whole thing generally looks a bit tatty.

But I still love that curve design… so I got measuring and drafting, and came up with this:

 In fact, I got really into it, and learnt all sorts of new techniques as a result.  Such as… a flush zip pocket in the lining:

Most of these fabrics have been in my stash for years – the ‘tea garden’ blossom linen/cotton mix was a bargain in a John Lewis sale years ago, and the satin was leftover from my birthday dress.  The only new buy is the irresistable Tilda oriental bird fabric – I limited myself to one fat quarter, which I managed to eke out just enough to make the pockets as well as the top/front of the bag.

Yes, those are huge pockets between the corduroy curve layer and the birds!  With magnetic snaps to secure them – I’m loving magnetic snaps.  Don’t they look professional?  And they don’t need any sewing!

The straps took a bit of trial and error, and eventually quite a bit of hand-stitching, but they finally went in:

This is only the second bag I’ve made, but I’m already hooked on the process.  For me, it’s all that iron-on interfacing… it makes everything so crisp and neat and satisfying.  I’m not usually the neatest of sewists, but the boxy shape and lines somehow made me take extra care –

e.g. lining up the pattern  (even though it decapitated some birds 🙁 )

and setting the zip in both the main and lining fabric… and even making a custom zip tab:

 All in all, one of those projects that cost next-to-nothing in materials, but was a labour of love in terms of time!  Somehow though, I don’t think this’ll be the last one…

PS. Big thankyou to my awesome father-in-law for taking the pictures!

11 thoughts on “Recreating an old favourite

  1. A-MAZ-ing!!! I am so jealous at the stellar job you did. I hope I can get that good at coming up with patterns ad hoc like that, especially for such sweet bags as that! Great work!

    • Thanks Seeks, drafting a bag pattern is so much easier than clothing, give it a try! Apart from the corduroy curve shape, and some darts round the bottom, this bag is all straight lines and boxes – use a good ruler, and you’re away!

  2. I found you on Mommy by Day Crafter by Night,
    This is stunning, I love the fabric choices! Good luck on your entry to the “So You Think You Can Sew” contest!

    • Thanks for commenting Leslie! I really hope they announce the next round of So you Think You Can Sew soon, I’m in suspense!

  3. Thanks so much for the comments, everyone! The birds definitely dictated the choice of the other fabrics, but I’m really pleased I got to use up some really old purchases.

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