Sunday, September 25, 2016

Big 'n Beautiful Betty Bag

I was recently watching Sex and the City reruns (I guess it would have to be a rerun since they're not making new ones). In one episode Carrie Bradshaw is carrying this quite large, vintage looking frame purse. It was a big, bright, floral, and looked like it might be from the seventies. I wanted to make something similar, but couldn't find a fabric that looked just like that (what, you don't expect very vintage fabrics/bags from a TV show that wrapped ten years ago to be available on eBay?). While I was perusing online, I saw that there were still a few Amy Butler fabrics available from her 'Love' collection of several years ago. First box checked: fabric acquired.

When I went to the free pattern online, I saw that the frames were no longer available. But using the pattern and a ruler, I figured what the most likely size of the frame would be. I ordered the closest thing I could find on Etsy, and when that arrived, modified the pattern to fit just right. Second box checked: frame acquired.

I needed to wait until the frame arrived to see if I could use the same style handle used in this bag. So after a quick check, third box checked: handle ordered and never-quickly-enough-because-Prime-two-day-shipping-has-spoiled-you delivered.

Then I cut and sewed, yada yada yada, and now here's what I'm carrying.

The original frame used has a bit of a curve to it, but I'll take what I can get. I have a shaky relationship with hand-gathered ruffles, and things didn't improve with this bag. I got there in the end, but there was begging and pleading for sure.

The bag is actually a really good size. It holds all of my stuff easily, but isn't so large that I feel inclined to stuff it as I do with my tote-style bags.

For the interfacing, I used Pellon's sew-in foam interlining. I really love the squishy but firm structure it gives a bag. As this frame is quite large (10 x 3.5 inches) the extra oomph of the foam really helps it keep its shape.

I don't think a thing exists that isn't helped by more sparkle. These clip-on handles fit nicely onto this frame. If the fit wasn't right, I would have made a fabric handle sewn to lobster hooks, but it wouldn't have been as much fun.

I am just so super in love with this bag. The glue I used for the frame has an Incredible Hulk level of strength to it, so I feel quite confident I won't have an issue with the weight of it.

Now if I could just learn to walk in high heels and have the willingness to spend a month's rent on a pair of shoes I'd be all set.


  1. That is a really fun purse! The ruffle adds a lot of interest... it doesn't look like fun to wrestle into the frame though.

  2. When people see you with that bag, they will never notice the lack of high heels. It will be awesome with discount ballet flats, or Ugg boots, once it snows. Carry it and wow the world, it is gorgeous.

  3. WOW! This is just impeccable! Congrats.

  4. That polka dot lining is killing me! Love your bag!

  5. This is so cute! Better than spending a month's rent on shoes, that's for sure!

  6. This is just wonderful! You can't buy it in a store, either. So cute!

  7. Really beautiful. You did a fantastic job. I bought a kit to make 2 of these a few years ago, but haven't gotten up the nerve yet. Thanks for the inspiration.

  8. Who needs the crazy rent and high heels when you have such a beautiful bag - it's gorgeous, and the ruffles look fabulous to me!

  9. LOVING the bag!! Clasp clutches are like, totally, like cool :-) High heels don't need to be expensive and just take a little confidence and strong ankles!! (I just like rising from 6ft to 6.4 when I wear them!)

    1. I'm only slightly shorter than you, then, but I feel like a tall lanky giant when I attempt to wear heels. I'm so wobbly it's almost funny.



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...