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. That is so pretty!

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

  13. 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.)

  14. 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!

  15. Adorable!!


  16. 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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