I've been making bags and purses to sell for a few years now, but I was still carrying a store-bought purse. I always talked about making one for myself, but you know how it goes - there's always tomorrow... someone else's project needs to get done first. But the strap on my store-bought purse was starting to tear and I knew it was just a matter of time before it would break - and the last time that happened, my purse fell to the ground in the middle of the street. Just a little embarassing!
So I decided to be proactive this time and make myself a new bag before the old one dies.
The hardest part was deciding what pattern to use... I've got so many good ones to pick from. I've always loved the look of the City Bag from You SEW Girl!, but it's a fairly large bag and I've never been one to carry anything that large (I'm only 5'1" and I prefer smaller purses), so I took the pattern to my local copy shop and had them reduce it for me. I made this one at 80% of the original size and I love the way it looks. The lines are the same, the style is identical, it's just a little sister to the big one. However, in hindsight, I should have gone with 85%, as this one is just a tad small. I really had to weed out my stuff to make everything fit. The base measures about 10.5" x 3" and the height varies between about 6.5" and 8.5", so it's really not very big. But so cute & stylish looking!
I also wouldn't put five compartment pockets in my next one. I put 3 on one side and 2 on the other, and by the time I put stuff in them, there's not much room left in the center of the purse. The pattern calls for 3 compartment pockets on one side and a long zippered pocket on the other. That would make more sense, and I'll probably do it that way next time. Live and learn... Besides, it will give me an excuse to make another one!
The fabric I used was a gift from a friend and I just love it! It's perfect for an everyday purse because it has black, brown, white, gray, bronze, gold & silver in it so it will coordinate with just about anything. I used brown faux leather for the bottom and the straps. The bottom of a purse can get so dirty and I thought the faux leather would hide the dirt, and wipe up with a damp cloth quite easily. Besides - I just like the look. For the lining, I used an old favorite of mine - a city map of Paris that looks hand-drawn.
The strap is adjustable, shown short here to use as a shoulder bag, or I can adjust it longer to wear as a cross-body bag.
So all in all, I'm happy with the finished product, even if it is just a tad on the small side. I'll start using it for awhile and see how I adjust.