Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Fun with purse frames

On my previous post, I showed you my first pouch made with a purse frame.  Let's just say that working with these frames takes some getting used to.  Seems like they are all the rage in the sewing world right now. They are fun and they are addictive - so fair warning! Ok now that the legalities are out of the way, let's get started.

A Zig and a Zag clutch

I wanted to show you the test pouch I made in getting ready for the Pretty little Pouch swap on Flickr.  Purse frame clutches/pouches/bags are super easy to make - you just make the bottom half of the bag essentially, the top half gets inserted into the frame and glued, so you don't have to be super careful about what the top looks like since you won't see it anyway. And that's where it might be prudent to think about the insertion into the frame. The tutorials I've seen all say to poke the top of the bag into the frame with a pair of scissors/screwdriver/whatever kind of pointy object you have around. This is all well and good if you are just making a plain old single fabric bag. But if you are a tweaker like me, and have to go all fancy and patchworky, it's trickier than it sounds. You don't want the top of that bag to be thicker than the frame will accommodate. For example for this patchworked pouch, there are lots of seams around the patchwork, plus there is fusible fleece interfacing and heavy duty interfacing on the lining plus the fabric of the seams themselves. This mess was all too heavy to go into the frame easily even with a pointy object assisting.  Plus you are working against the clock, putting the glue on the edge of the bag and inside the frame, it's not the easiest thing to poke all that in there without making a huge mess (course,  it doesn't help if you tube of glue is leaking out the wrong end). Ok, so having said that the first time I tried inserting this it was a royal mess - the seams and all that interfacing where just too thick and it was tough to insert. After gluing only one side and barely getting the fabrics in there, it looked like crap!  I let the glue cure and then decided to rip it all out again. I then undid the seams, trimmed off all the excess interfacing and the bulkiest seams from the patchwork and trimmed the whole shebang down. This time I just basted the tip of the bag shut and then glued that right in. This considerably reduced the thickness of the bag at the top and made insertion much easier. So that's just a tip if you are making a fancy patchwork bag that you want to insert into a frame. A plain old regular bag made of solid fabrics was easy peasy. Just so you know.
A Zig and a Zag clutch

I got my frames from various places off etsy, including whilebabynaps (who has lightening fast shipping by the way) 3Dpatternpaper and AmericanPurse.   All orders were fine for me.

The bag itself is made of tiny half square triangles assembled into a chevron shape. The squares were 1.5" when I started and are about 3/4" finished - so they are tiny but they were fun to make. I then added on the extra linen and used my bag pattern to cut out the shape of the bag. I added some handstitching, some fun lining and then proceeded to assemble the bag. The basics of my procedure are outlined here on the U-handbag site. I just changed up the bottom shape of the bag to suit my purposes. I wanted something small enough to serve as a sunglass case.

So now that that's accomplished, off to make a few dozen more. These are fun, I won't lie to you they are super addictive and quick to make. Why not get a head start on Christmas prezzies. ;)

Happy Sewing!
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