If I ever leave off talking about purses here you'll know that's the day that I've gone and died. I guess making purses appeals to me because they can simultaneously be a piece of art, style and functionality. This particular purse is probably more art than most but I just love it. I carry it when I wear my hot-pink, full-length paisley print dress that has a touch of Asian design and it makes quite a statement.
There's really very little trick to making your own, you basically make a regular purse and then hot glue till the cows come home--oh I could write a treatise on the wonders of hot glue--the biggest thing is that you'll want to make sure you purchase flowers that are of a good quality because that will make all the difference in the finished product.
- four stems of white orchids (or other comparable flower) and save the leaves
- one thick green stem suitable for a handle
- 1/2 yard of white material for the purse body
- 1/4 yard of heavyweight fusible interfacing
- one magnetic clasp
- one wire cutter
- white upholstery thread and white all-purpose thread
- hot glue--plenty of it
2. Take the two pieces of the main body and with wrong sides together sew the sides and bottom using 1/4 inch seam allowance. Then with the purse still wrong side out, flatten the corner seams and sew across the ends a distance of 1 1/2 inches from the tip. Trim the seam like you see pictured at right.
3. Repeat step two using the two pieces of lining and use exactly the same procedure only leave a four-inch gap in the stitching on the bottom edge so you can turn the bag right side out in step 6. Once done you should have a stiff purse and an unfused inner piece for the lining.
4. Separate the magnetic clasp and position one half where you'd like it to be toward the top of the lining (be sure to leave enough room from the top wider than the pressure foot on your machine so that the foot can make it through comfortably without catching on the clasp itself). Make two small slits in one side of the lining where you'd like the magnetic clasp to be and fit the prongs of the clasp through from the outside of the lining to the inside. Once the prongs are through fit the metal plate that comes with the clasp over the top of the fabric and the prongs then bend the prongs back to hold the whole contraption in place. Repeat with the other half of the clasp on the other side of the lining.
5. Turn the main body purse section right side out and fit it down inside the lining piece that is wrong side out. Pin the top edges together, matching up side seams, and stitch all around the top edge (this is where you hope you didn't get that metal clasp too close to the top edge or it will catch on your pressure foot).
6. Reach through the gap left in the bottom seam of the lining to pull the whole thing right side out. Smooth out the seams, stitch up that gap in the bottom, press it well and do a top stitch around the upper edge if you wish. It should look something like you see at the right.
7. Take the large stem you've saved and drill a hole through each end. This may require working around the wire that's inside but if you're careful you can make it through cleanly.
8. With a needle and the upholstery thread stitch the handle to each side of the inside of the purse by putting the needle and thread through the hole you've just drilled. The wire in the handle will keep the whole thing nice and taut.
9. Trim all the flowers off of the stem and trim the leaves too. Cut them as close to the base as you can without cutting off the parts that hold the flowers together. Heat up your glue gun and plan how you'd like to arrange the flowers on the purse, I'd suggest starting with the background leaves first followed by the biggest flowers then the smaller flowers and then any buds you'd like to include.
10. Glue the flowers in place, making sure to pull off any glue strings that might be trailing.
You've now got yourself a one-of-a-kind designer original floral purse perfect for fancy occasions, receptions and weddings. It would also be pretty to put one together with roses or daisies.
Sponsored by Rick Rack Attack--Vintage aprons that aren't just vintage reproductions they're vintage pieces.
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