Sunday, April 22, 2012

Prom Purse

A few weeks ago (three, to be exactly exact) my aunt and cousin came to my sister's baby shower from a bit of a distance. My cuz is a senior, and her prom is on the way, so they asked if I could make her a purse to match her dress. They showed me a picture, and it's a light spring green, with some pretty daisies with iridescent centers across the top. My aunt said that grandma called it a celery green (which is different from the notion I had of celery green). Trying to match a fabric without a swatch of anything is kind of hard to do, and I was quite nervous that it wouldn't be just right. I found something in Joann's that I thought would be perfect, so I sent her a piece for approval and was told to proceed--it was perfect. It's actually called 'celery.' Note to self: always listen to Grandma.

A few things made me a little nervous. First, it was satin with a chiffon overlay I was working with--nice, squiggly layers. Second, I know from past experience I need to interface out the wazoo. And finally, my into-the-frame technique needed to be perfect because I had no idea how I was going to pick glue off of such delicate fabrics. Thankfully, everything went so smoothly I figured it would get lost in the mail because SOMEthing would have to go wrong, but nope--it made it to her door and I was told she loved it. Phew.

To keep the layers from shifting, I cut everything much larger than necessary except for one of the pieces of fabric that was cut to the pattern. I had 2 pieces of medium interfacing, plus some fleece in there.

I then verrrrry sloooooowly topstitched close to the edge of the piece cut to the pattern. Everything magically became one big layer sewn nice and neat. I then trimmed the other layers down to match.

It was then business as usual. Pressing was a bit of an issue, because I didn't want the iridescent dots to melt (or the rest of the fabrics, for that matter) but a press cloth worked perfectly to convince the seams to cooperate. I let the glue set up for about nine minutes before I slid it into the frame--I hardly had a drop of ooze, and it was on the frame so it was easy to pick off. Phew again. So here it is, all ready to go to the prom--large enough to hold everything, small enough to be feminine and pretty.

This was really hard to photograph for some reason. Also it looks crooked but it's not, I assure you :) I couldn't get the green as true as I would have liked in the pic. My original plan was to find some kind of daisy embellishment, but everything was too big or too little girlish. I think this dotty chiffon does a nice job--it matches the dress but it's not sooo matchy that it's reminiscent of the little Easter purse that used to come with your Easter dress (remember those? am I giving clues to my age? do they even do that anymore?).

My cousin is a bit of a flower-child hippie, so I wanted to pick a fun lining. Something that seemed kind of retro and summery but still matched the bag. Also, since it's the lining nobody sees it but her. I picked this cotton to use:

Usually when I work on something late at night I go to bed entirely tired of it and wondering if it's as bad as I think. But fresh eyes in the morning, with this sitting just so in the sun looked pretty. And silvery bits make everything look better.

I am so happy--I have almost emptied my project box of to-dos. No custom orders left--I finished the last one last week. All I have left to do is sew new cushions for the porch furniture and a few other small projects. Then I can stitch together the jelly rolls I bought a few weeks ago. Seeing them sitting on my sewing table is motivation for sure. Have a good Monday! It'll be rainy and blah here--hope it's better where you are!

Linking up here:


  1. Adorable...I love it! You did a great job!
    Cheers! Have a great week!
    Love, Brenda

  2. It matches Ashley's dress unbelievably well! I did notice the lining. That fits Ashley to a tee! Great job, sweetheart! I'll send you some pics of the whole outfit.

  3. It's wonderful Beth!! I really like the outer fabric!! Gosh you're so bold to stitch up schiffons and satin! I wouldn't even dream of sewing these kind of fabrics!!I love the pale green shade!! I just love it!! Period!!!
    I'm sure you're cousin will love it!!
    Have a great creative week!!!

  4. Bethany, it is perfectly, perfect in every way! What a special thing to do for her, and she will be so proud of it, I am sure. You rock!!!

  5. Wow, you did a great job stitching those fiddly fabrics!
    It looks perfect. What a cool gift!

    Have a nice week :)

  6. Whew, glad it all worked for you, and nothing conspired against you with the iron and glue! Looks great

  7. What a beautiful purse! Those fabrics must have been SO stressful to work with. It turned out wonderfully!

  8. Great purse! I love the color, but then again I am a green fan!
    ~Amy @ Permanent Kisses

  9. This turned out just gorgeous! I haven't tried making a purse with a frame yet, it's on my to-do list. (I'm kind of afraid I'll just trash the whole thing and be out the money for the frame.. but maybe I just need to give it whirl!!!) Thanks for the inspiration :)

  10. Stunning purse ,and the lining is perfect for it!
    Your cousin is lucky to have you as her cousin. :)


  11. So pretty and very feminine. Love the lining fabric!

  12. Love it! I've made hats, but not purses. Sort of makes me want to do that too (and I don't need another craft or sewing hobby.)

  13. This is beautiful! I'm so impressed that the sheer layer didn't move on you; it is HARD to make sure it doesn't. I love the lining you chose. I have the parts to make my first purse and I'm excited to get it done!

  14. Adorable!!


  15. Wow! This is SO pretty -- what a bit of work that was but so worth it! The lining, well THAT is my favorite!!



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