the dodgy purse


posted by on sewing



After a whole evening’s sewing, unpicking, sewing, unpicking, sewing, unpicking and sewing.  Then a whole morning’s unpicking.  Then another morning’s sewing, my new handbag is finally usable.


I started this the night before I flew off to Canberra.  You know how it is, when you have a deadline (i.e. 4 am trip to the airpot), a suitcase to pack, a family to feed, a shirt to iron etc. and yet making a new handbag is urgently essential.  The time I spend in the little sewing house in the back garden is usually limited to rummaging through boxes and making piles of forgotten things that delight me afresh.  That day, I found these dear little cane handles that Nanny gave me a couple of years ago and so, rummaged some more, found a pretty fat quarter that I was saving for something, some more curtain remnants and I was dashing back to the kitchen with a handbag forming in my head.

The thing is, I had no pattern and had never before made a handbag like this.  I do have the ability to put fabrics together and to come up with sweet little things, but when it comes to working through a new construction method in my head, I am HOPELESS!  UTTERLY USELESS!  You do not want me on your desert island.  You would die of exposure before I worked out how to put the shelter together.

Thus, I stitched up the bag stupidly, and unpicked it over and over again.  True, each failure brought my one step closer to understanding what I was MEANT to be doing.  But, 9pm came so quickly.  The family demanded dinner.  I began to feel a wee bit anxious about the lack of REAL preparation for 4 am.  So I gave the bag one more go.  I truly thought I was almost there.  I so wasn’t.


See – it was almost together in a manner that I hoped would work – but frankly, a bit wonky – and then I tried to open it.  Yeeeeees.  Told you – HOPELESS.

Since then, it has hung from the sitting room door knob taunting me with its uselessness.  Snickering “Look at me – you used Nanny’s special cane handles and that pretty fat quarter and you even spent an hour embroidering a doily and it’s all wasted.”  Ha! Ha!  Not so fast you dodgy purse.  I spent the bumpy flight to Canberra pulling you apart in my head and putting you back together and I think I know what to do this time.


So yesterday morning, in that small space that lingers sweetly between cooking breakfast, preparing lunch, finishing the chores and going to work, I sat down with a cup of tea and my trusty seam ripper.  You would not believe how many seams required unpicking.  I’m not telling – it’s too embarrassing.  Then this morning – a neat press, a couple of simple seams, a brief moment of dodginess (I’m sure I could improve that particular bit but still haven’t worked out how), and I finally have a finished handbag


I’m especially pleased with the inside pockets – I made one for my keys, one for my spectacles, one for my phone and one for my lippy – and it opens.  Fancy that.


Now I have to fill it with the essentials and head off to the prettiest shop in Melbourne – Amitie – I’m trying to finish quilting Abby’s Halloween quilt that I began four years ago and the bloody thread keeps breaking.  I’m hoping it’s the thread’s fault.  Probably isn’t.  Oh well at least I’ll enjoy a quick look at some pretty fabric.  With my new handbag.  Very sweet.



  1. Dot
  2. amy
  3. Janet
  4. gail

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  1. From seam ripper to proud purse · Quilting |
    [...] fun purse. I’m crushing on the patchwork inspired fabric, cane handles and embroidered doily. Go to her post to ...