Saturday, May 30, 2009

Summer Tote

I found this cute pattern called "Retro Groovy Bag from Lila Tueller for a purse and used some new summery fabric from the shop to make it up.

I love the fabric from the "Resort" collection from Michael Miller. It made up a much larger size bag than a purse... more of a tote! I cut out 2 of all the pieces so I could make one up as a sample for the shop in hopes of teaching it as a class later this summer, and then one for me for my summer purse.

This tote ends up being quite expensive to make up...with bamboo handles, 10 eyelets, 10 leather shoe laces and decorative beads... all in addition to the fabric, fusible fleece and interfacing.

As it ended up being so much larger than the purses I like to carry, I made some modifications to the pattern for my own version. I did not put in the side gusset, but just sewed the front and back together all the way around and then boxed the bottom corners.

I also changed how the handles were attached on my own purse. I did not use eyelets and leather laces and beads. Instead, I made little finished tabs and sewed them into the top seam.

I changed how the top of the purse was finished, as well. I did not use binding to finish it as the pattern required, instead, I sewed the outside and lining right sides together around the top and turned it all right side out through an opening I left in the lining.

I also sewed some lime green rickrack around the top edge before hand stitching the buttons onto each tab to secure the handles to each side.

I really like my version better than the original one. Without the 5" wide gusset, it made a better size for a purse.

Today, I spent in my sewing room, making the 42 blocks from the Kaffe prints for the "Insomnia" pattern. I've got them laid out on my design wall and will stitch them together tomorrow. When the top is done, I'll post it! The quilts in the Strip Therapy book One, each use the leftover strip pieces to make a table will make that up, too!

I am sad no one left me a comment with an idea of how to quilt the black fused garden gate quilt on my last post. I was so hoping for some good ideas.... I've had the top finished for over a year, but have not quilted it because I'm at a loss of what would look best... sigh!


  1. Love the purse Polly. Maybe one day I'll get brave enough to modify patterns. Most of the time my modifications are the result of a mistake :))

    I really like the wall hanging you made. I like the idea of quilting the ivy vine design on the wrought iron and some other flowers elsewhere. As for thread I'd probably use a darker thread but if there is a multi that has some of the colors in the piece I think that would be really pretty.


  2. That purse I like & I am not a purse gal. Good job ... TTFN ~ Marydon

  3. Hi Polly, I just found your blog and I love your version of the Retro Groovy bag! I made one too but had a terrible time trying to find large enough handles here in Australia!... I really love what you have done with the buttons and tabs instead of the laces too, your bags look gorgeous!


Thank you sooooooo very much for taking the time to leave a comment! I am always happy to know that someone is reading my ramblings!! Polly :-)