For approximately the past 2 years I have wanted to make myself a purse. I have searched for a pattern, even picked up a few at pattern sales, but never got around to making one. Every time my purse would wear out I'd look at patterns again, then find the perfect fabric, then just buy a purse. Yep, my grand plan to sew myself a purse apparently wasn't happening.
Well, a few weeks ago Zoe, from So Zo What Do You Know, announced she was going to be releasing a purse pattern, the Anya Shoulder Bag. She needed testers. Perfect! A purse pattern, that I liked, that I already had fabric for, with a deadline? This could work. I might actually make myself that perfect purse I've been planning for two years! (Yeah, I'm a bit of a procrastinator. I work best on a time crunch, things get done if there's a certain time I have to have them done by.)
So, I volunteered as a tester, and got sent the pattern and got to work. In one morning I got the bag sewn.
This pattern is great. The instructions are very clear with pictures illustrating each step. Extremely easy to put together, no matter your sewing experience, and extremely cute. Definitely worth buying. Just making one purse from this pattern wasn't enough for me. I still had fabric left in my stash to make another purse out of! So, I gave my mom the first purse and got to work on a second one, for me.
From my stash I picked out a leather looking vinyl skirt I made myself in high school (it had a few issues) and a pair of black skinny jeans I never wore. The skirt would turn in to the body of the bag. The jeans? The yoke and straps. For the lining I found a scrap of black calico (left over from the Zelda costumes I made).
Then I decided to personalize the pattern, because as much as I like the original, there are certain things I always look for in a purse. Pockets are one of those. I added 2 big patch pockets to the lining and one pleated pocket to the front of the bag.
Then I just made one long strap, rather than 2, so that the purse would be a cross-body bag rather than a shoulder bag.
I added a little decorative stitching on the yoke, and my perfect, made by me, purse was done! After putting this off two years, it only took one evening to make!
After a week of this bag being my purse I'm still quite happy with it! At first I was worried about the lack of a zipper on the top of the bag. On my old purse however, I always forgot to actually zip it closed, so no zipper has been no problem. I've actually been better at remembering to button closed this purse then I ever was at remembering to zip the zipper on my old one. The only thing I might change? I'm thinking of add buttons to the interior patch pockets, as they like to gape open.
The exterior pockets however are great! I can always find my keys when I need them. Over all, I'd have to say that my attempt to make myself a purse has been successful!
A huge thanks to Zoe for putting out the perfect pattern for a project I'd been putting off, then choosing me as a tester so I actually got it done! I highly recommend this pattern to any one who wants to make a purse. I can totally see myself using this pattern again and again. (I'm already thinking of ways to make the next purse just slightly different from this one.) Maybe my days of buying purses are over!