Monday, June 29, 2009

Cato purse

A friend's daughter made a cute purse for her several years ago and I tried to duplicate it. The pattern is fairly simple, just make the bag and lining for the bottom and a loop of fabric and a lining for the top with holes cut out and bound; then slip the top loop with the handholds between the bag and the lining and topstitch the two pieces together. I used fabrics from Moda's "Fresh Squeezed" collection designed by Sandy Gervais. I bound the handholds with self bias binding and I bound the seam between the top and the bottom with orange grosgrain ribbon with a loop for keys. I plan to make another one and document the process sometime this summer or fall.

Ribbon trimmed bag

On the way home from seeing Teddy Tahu Rhodes as Mozart's count at Cinty Opera, we stopped at Jungle Jim's where I saw a cute purse made out of silk and satin crazy quilting with a lovely fringe of looped ribbons set inside the bottom seam. I thought I'd like to give it a try but -- as seen in the photo above -- it didn't turn out as well as I'd hoped.

I made two 10 x 12-inch pieces of random patchwork triangle squares from four-inch charm squares. I used of Moda's "Fresh Squeezed" cotton print fabric designed by Sandy Gervais. (Round the bottom corners of the fabric,  and cut both pieces into identical bag shapes that you desire.) Cut two pieces of matching or contrasting lining fabric the same size and shape as the patchwork pieces. For the ribbon trim, purchase a box of four to six yard-long, mixed-color, fabric ribbon to match or contrast with your fabric. I bought mine in the scrapbooking section of a craft store, Hobby Lobby, to use for the ribbon trim. (Or buy lengths of ribbon you like. Mix grosgrain with silk, satin and chiffon.)You'll also need thread to match and a 12-16-inch cord for the handle.

1. Make 3-inch loops of ribbon in various colors and lay them along the bottom of one of the patchwork pieces on the right side of the fabric with the free ends of the loops parallel with the edge.
2. Pin and stitch over all the ribbons. Repeat with another layer of ribbon until you have the effect you desire.

3. Take your other patchwork piece, lay it right-side-down on top of the ribbons, matching edges and seam around three sides, leaving top open. Turn and press. Fold top down 1/2-inch and press and/or baste.
4. With right sides together stitch sides and bottom of purse lining. Press, but do not turn. Fold top down 1/2-inch and press and/or baste.
 5. Pin ends of cord between bag and lining at side seams. pin or tack in place. Fit lining inside bag, matching seams on side. 
6. Stitch around top of bag to secure handle and lining to bag.

I think it's a nice idea, but I made my loops too long and wasn't careful about how they lay at the end of the bag. It's probably worth trying again. 

Moda has lots of nice free patterns here. I particularly like the All You Need bag. They also have a really cool blog called Moda Bake Shop.