Added Nov 7, 2011
I made this Handbag as a gift for my sister-in-law from fabric that belonged to my late Mother, Pat. The outer bag is upholstery fabric. My Mother had yards of it strewn about in her sunroom. She wanted to cover her dining room chairs with it. Now I am making handbags for the women in my family and dear friends as a limited edition remberance.
I did not add interfacing to the outer bag as the upholstery fabric has a lot of body. I did add a stiff interfacing to the lining. I made two pleats on each side of the bag as well as the lining to match which pulled the top in and made for a nice wide 6” squared bottom. I added an extremely stiff facing to the bottom of the outside of the lining for bottom support. I added some large interior pockets with vinyl trim, including two glasses pockets, phone pocket and large square pocket.
The handles were a challenge and took a lot of trial and error. I used one inch cotton piping and soft vinyl. I used the zipper foot and left oriented needle setting with a 16 needle to stitch the seams on the round handles. I gave myself about three inches on the right side and tops to help guide the material then clipped away. I could not find the 0-rings I wanted so I actually used curtain rod rings and they worked perfectly. I used small rivets to secure the handles to the O-rings which were attached to the body of the bag with simple two inch vinyl tabs.
I did all of this on my Singer Promise machine. I definitely challenged the machine with all the layers and vinyl, but it performed beautifully. I will note that my machine did not like super heavy duty thread. It bunched, tore even after changing needles. I used all purposed cotton thread and it worked well with the vinyl.
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