Craft Project for June - the Flower Purse
I know it’s July, but I made this project three weeks ago (as my facebook profile pic can attest) so it certainly counts. It was inspired by a purse I saw in an exhibit of handbags at the Canton Museum of Art. The artist was inspired in turn by something her Grandmother brought back from Mexico. The purse in Canton was a doll’s upper torso connected to a skirt of flowers, created on a cage that opened.
I decided to take the idea of a flower covered bag and make it a soft form on a fabric base. I made it to match a tank I wore under a dress to a party at the Akron Art Museum. And, it went together surprisingly quickly. I was only going to carry it to the party - but it turns out to be a very convenient size and I haven’t switched back to my other purse yet.
I started with a base of green tapestry fabric, so that the flowers would look like they were on a field of grass. I wanted it to have texture and I looked at velvet and corduroy and settled on a woven paisley. The lining is green taffeta (also home dec). For the pattern, the circle bottom was the shape of a CD and I measured around to come up with the body rectangle. When doing drawstring bags, I have a tendency to make them too short so that the top doesn’t splay open enough. In the end, I added two more inches and then made a sample out of pink satin (I plan on using the sample as a gift bag). I also made a matching coin purse.
To make the bag, I sewed the rectangle into a tube (leaving open about 4 inches in the lining and a half inch open in the outer fabric where I wanted my drawstring) and then sewed on the circle bottom. I put one inside the other and sewed around the top. Then, I flipped the entire piece inside out and stuffed the lining back into the outer fabric. I stitched a line 3 inches from the top and another 1/2 inch higher. Drawstring in and voila - bag!
For the flowers, I bought a variety of stems with fabric flowers. I pulled the flower part off the stem, discarded leaves, center bits, etc and sewed the petals onto the bag with buttons I bought at a church rummage sale. I tried to use a mix of sizes and colors - both of petals and buttons. I didn’t want to use hot glue because it stiffens the fabric, it can come off with heat or use and I just don’t like it. I used cord that I bought on clearance years ago and was deep in my stash.
For the wallet, I cut two rectangles with points, folded up the envelop and stitched. Then, I put right sides together, stitched around the top, flipped it, tucked the lining into the outer fabric, top stitched across the lip of the envelope and found a button. I made a buttonhole with my lovely sewing machine.
The bag went together so easily, that I’m considering making more out of holiday fabric with ribbon as drawstring and turning them into reusable gift bags. My craft project for July (a situpon for music festivals) is already started, so you should see it here before long.