Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Blue Blossom Bag

On a recent jaunt through the thrift store, I took a shortcut down one of the children's aisles, and this little dress caught my eye.

I bought it for $2.90, thinking I could either make something out of it or pass it along to a friend's daughter. Unfortunately for my friend's daughter, the more I looked at it, the more I saw a bag. I already had several sets of handles packed away, so I dug a pair out and started playing around.

First I had to decide which way I liked it best. If you like it better with the wider part on the bottom, shhh, because I made it the other way! I think both ways are cute, though.




















Next came the seam ripper, of course. Whenever I do things like this, I think about how much I learn about sewing by tearing things apart.

Then, after much debate, I chose a lining fabric. I was going to trace around the skirt fabric, then I thought, "Why not just pin it down and cut around it?" Worked fine.



After sewing up the sides of the lining, I sewed across the bottom corners of both the lining and the outer fabric to create a flat bottom for the bag. Whenever I do this, I'm really, really careful to make the corners even so the bag won't look all wonky. Well, okay, I'm more careful with the outer fabric. The lining doesn't matter so much!





Next step: turn over a hem at the top of the lining bag to match the hem from the original dress.




















Because, see, the lining bag will fit inside the outer bag. Perfect!

Okay, at this point, if you're using bamboo handles, you need to make some sort of tabs. I had plenty of fabric left from the bodice of the dress.

I sewed these right onto the handles to get ready for putting the bag together.

I also made a quick closure, using the bodice scraps. I'd have liked it to be a little longer, but I didn't plan well, and I was out of fabric.

At this point, it's just a matter of pinning it all together, making sure the handles are centered. Then you get to sew it! It's a little awkward to sew, with those handles banging around, but it's not hard.

After one run around, I looked at the handles and thought maybe I should go around the top one more time.
In this picture of the closure, you can also see the double line of stitching around the top.

And finally, choosing a button!

Time for a photo session!




























27 comments:

Jane said...

What a wonderful idea. The bag looks fabulous.

Sheryl said...

Really cute!

kelly said...

I LOVE IT!! What a great idea. I love following your blog.
Kelly

ecky said...

that came out really cute!
i've been lurking here a while and thought i'd say hi.
your friend's daughter missed out on a really cute dress - but you've got yourself a really snazzy bag.

Anonymous said...

Susan, that's adorable!!! When are you gonna do your own book on how to re-do things? You're becoming quite a designer. :-)
Mags

Shay said...

Sweet. I agree with Anon, you should write a book.

Columbia Lily said...

very cute, I like it a lot!

casserole said...

What a fun idea for a purse! I posted a link to your project on Craft Gossip Sewing Blog:
http://sewing.craftgossip.com/tutorial-from-a-girls-dress-to-a-pretty-purse/2009/04/21/
--Anne

julie k said...

I saw your post on Wardrobe Refashion. This is absolutely adorable!

Jesica said...

that is SO cute! great job

Kit Knitty said...

Amazingly cute! I love to look at the little dresses at the thrift shop and usually wish I knew a little girl to buy the cute fabrics for. And now I DO KNOW a little girl (well, diminutive) to buy the pretty dresses for. . . ME! Ha ha! Oh, the purses I'll make! Thanks for the idea!

Shannon said...

Love this project! So perfect for the spring. I featured your tutorial on my blog www.luvinthemommyhood.com
Thanks for sharing :)

Elizabeth said...

Nice job. The bag looks fabulous.

Jaime said...

Adorable!

--ginger. said...

The best part about this is that you didn't EVEN CUT the skirt fabric. I love that. And thanks for the heads up about that fancy just-sew-the-bottom way of making the base of the bag.

Moira said...

i love this bag. Super cute and great Spring/Summer bag!! :) Nicely done!

Donna said...

That is just the cutest thing. I can't use a bag like that as a pocketbook because every time I put it down I manage to dump everything in it all over the place. I have some ancient material (bought in the 70's to make a cobbler apron for my mother - I have Rubbermaid totes full of good intentions) with big bright hot pink flowers I could make a tote out of. Maybe that one I'd remember to put back into the car!

The Clarks said...

Super cute! I love it.

Fort & Field said...

This is SO cute! Because you made it out of the skirt, it looks really simple to do. And, I love how it looks special and has a handcrafted feel, but expensive at the same if that make sense. I'm sure you'll use it every day all summer. Thanks for the inspiration!

Ali said...

What a lovely idea! And so easy too - it looks great, thanks for the tutorial :)

Modest Mom said...

Love this. Wouldn't have thought to do it.

Koningskind said...

That's a wonderfull bag!

Sarah said...

very cute. Love the fabric!!

dls in east Texas said...

you have a great eye for fabric and a real knack for creating from no pattern whatsoever; love the bag and the fabrics.

123 123 said...
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disa said...

I love it ! Very creative ! That's actually really cool Thanks.

Photo Frame said...

how wonder full that bag is .it looks very beautiful and cute.thanks for posting process of making this bag.