This post is a little late because I really wasn’t going to blog about it to begin with. I wasn’t fully pleased with how my latest project turned out, but I figured hey, this blog is meant to share both the successes AND failures. I want to be able to look back at my progress eventually, and see what areas I was able to improve, and what areas still need work.
In all honesty, it wasn’t a total fail. There’s actually quite a bit of elements that I really liked the way they turned out. I’ve been trying to research and look into different handbag making techniques so that I can learn what I like and don’t like, what materials work best with certain styles/techniques, etc. It’s definitely a SLOOOOOOOOWWWWW process on my part, but I also have to be careful not to burn through supplies.
The goal this year is to really increase my bag making. I wasn’t able to complete nearly as much as I wanted in the last year, so I definitely need to pick up the pace and push through. For my first handbag of 2018, I chose to work from a Vogue Handbag Pattern, V9263. I don’t know if it’s just me, but I can’t believe I can’t find any blogs or posts anywhere about this pattern! Vogue V9263 comes with patterns for two very different handbags, both of which are quite nice. I bought this sometime last year when Vogue patterns were on sale at Jo-Ann Fabrics. Never pay the full price unless ABSOLUTELY necessary!
I decided to make View A, which is for a small quilted crossbody handbag. It’s ideal because not only are smaller bags in right now, but I only have one little one that I’ve had for years now, and it’s taken such a beating lately. I do however, think that View B of the tote is pretty cute too, and it offers a lot of pocket space in the lining. Perhaps I’ll try that one next!
For the fabric, I chose Spradling Whisper Vinyl in black, and a random lining fabric I inherited recently from my late grandmother’s fabric stash. I love that I get to feel like I have a part of her memory in the handbag! I didn’t stick 100% to the sewing pattern as far as interfacing and using contrasting fabrics. I love the look of an all black handbag better. I also opted for Pellon Flex Foam to quilt the front and back pieces, and I think it gives the bag much more structure and a better quilted effect than the recommended interfacing would have.
Once finished, I was so disappointed to see the zipper warped! It warped SOO badly! Everything was aligned and working out great before that. I did a little google search, and a lot of suggestions said to interface the pieces (and staystitching would probably work too) before sewing the zipper. This makes sense since the vinyl fabric has a great deal of stretch to it. With all of the cramped maneuvering I had to do around my machine, it probably added to any stretching that may have also occurred already from the zipper installation.
**Which also lead me to realize how badly I want to eventually invest in a cylinder arm sewing machine! Even though my machine has a free arm option, it is still way too wide for a purse this size. It makes neat topstitching extremely challenging sometimes!
Overall, I actually still love this crossbody handbag pattern despite any sewing flaws on my part. The dimensions are nice, and I really would like to make some more by experimenting with different fabrics/colors/pocket styling. I love the quilting and piping details, and hopefully I’ll be able to work out the zipper kinks on the next one! Below are some shots of the final product.