Presidio Purse Revisited

 

Hi Everyone! The weather here is finally warm enough to consider taking pictures outside and showing off what I have been working on- my adaptation of the Presidio Purse!

In case you missed it, Seamstress Erin has just finished a sew along of her latest pattern, the Presidio Purse.The bag is very generous in size and not difficult to construct, but after making my first one, I really wanted something that was more on a smaller scale for everyday use. So… I set to work…

The first thing I did was to measure and compare the sizes of bags I already have. That “research” revealed that most bags I have were an average of 1 3/4 inches shorter than the Presidio Purse. Not really that much of a difference, but I still felt that the size was not right for me.

With that information, I started to modify the pattern by overlapping the bottom portion of the pattern by that 1 3/4 inches. Then I made some adjustments to the combined side/bottom piece and created a muslin. I knew right away that this was not the “look” I was going for, either. There was still something that was “too big” but progress was being made!

Then I decided maybe I could eliminate the side/bottom piece altogether and create depth to the purse by adding darts! Ding ding ding…We have a winner!

Here you can see the pattern changes in order:

Overlap the bottom portion of the front/back pierce 1 3/4″ and shorten the bottom portion of the zipper pocket piece by the same amount. (I just folded it under). The darts are 1″ long with a total take-up for each dart at 1 1/2″.

 

On the front & backI used a woven fusible interfacing and also on the following lining pieces:

  • 1 lower zipper pocket piece
  • 2 handles
  • 2 handle anchors
  • small pocket piece*

* I cut the small pocket on the fold, interfaced half of it and sewed it right sides together, leaving an opening to turn right sides out. (No raw edges ).

 

A close-up of sewing the darts: To eliminate the dimple at the point of a dart, stitch off the point and continue stitching a thread chain. Lift your presser foot an re-position the needle within the dart fold and tie-off.

Sandwich the zipper between the 2 lower large pocket pieces, having the one with the interfacing on the bottom. Repeat with the remaining top pocket pieces and neither of these pieces is interfaced. (This is the same technique used for inserting the main zipper in the Presidio Purse.)

 

Cut pocket lining the same size as completed zipper pocket.

 

Place WRONG side of this piece on top the right side of the zipper pocket. Stitch together with 1/4″ seam on 3 sides, leaving top open. Trim corners & turn to right side & press. When this pocket assembly is stitched to the lining with 1/4″ seam, there will be no raw edges inside, and the right side of the lining is visible when you unzip the pocket!

Small pocket stitched to lining (reinforced with bar tacks).

 

Once the pockets were stitched to the front & back lining pieces, it was time to stitch the front & back together. After doing this, I pressed the seams open and used a 2-step zig-zag stitch along the seam to keep it open.

Now, onto the bag, itself! I was able to find some 10 oz. wt denim at Joann's and that was perfect, because I wanted to make this bag very casual and do some machine embroidery on the front! (I'll get to that, shortly!)

Embroidery done and bag assembled, here are a few details:

  • Top stitched the seam using a 6.0/100 needle with regular thread. I have not had a great deal of luck using top-stitching thread in the past. If you like more definition, you can thread the needles with two of the same weight thread to get a slightly thicker appearance or use 2 different colors in the same needle for an even different look!
  • For top stitching handle & anchors and construction, a jeans/denim size 100 needle was used.
  • Bar tacks were added on the handle after I attached it to the ring for extra security, and it goes along with a jeans style!
  • The 2″ rings were ordered from Pacific Trimming.

 

Here is the finished bag!

The design is from “Worth Every Penny”, a collection found here.

And here is the bag in action!

 

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Presidio Purse Pattern

Seamstress Erin has just released her first pattern, The Presidio Purse! In fact, she is currently hosting a sew-along, so you still have the opportunity to join her in making one of your own!

Presidio Purse

Early last month Erin selected a group of volunteers to test this pattern. With a 2-week deadline and the holiday rush, I quickly got to work. The pattern is downloadable for either a copy shop or home version. I printed it at home and was done in no time.

Next stop: The Large Fabric Store Chain.

Now, the original description given was that this purse could be carry-on luggage size, and the recommended interfacing would be firm. I chose to interface my lining with a fusible that is recommended for handbags. Although it worked-out fine, it was not easy to sew and difficult to maneuver under the machine. I had to wrestle with it, like working with a life vest! Check-out Erin’s discussion here outlining fabric selection choices.

Presidio Purse

The directions and illustrations for making this purse are well thought out. I did make a couple of changes to the pockets by interfacing them for sturdiness & functionality and lining them so there are no raw edges, but these are my personal preferences.

Presidio Purse interior

For the hardware I used a 2″ D-ring which was not rectangular and I’m very pleased. One thing I really like about this purse is the length of the handle and its orientation on the bag – it feels very comfortable slung over my shoulder!

What’s next?

Well, I’m going to be making a second Presidio Purse (pre-shrinking fabric as I type), but I’m going to experiment with scaling the size down a little as this bag a lot larger than I am used to using regularly. Plus I have a few “embellishment” ideas percolating.

The shape of this bag just beckons playing around with design elements like color blocking, jeans recycling, embroidery, fabric stamping, pleating, tucks…

Is there a Presidio Purse in your future?

Cranberry Creativity

With Thanksgiving fast approaching, I have just completed these additions to a set of dinner napkins I made as a Christmas gift last year.

Cranberry wreath- Dancing Threads

Cranberry wreath Dancing Threads

This cranberry wreath design is one I fortunately picked up  from a site which is no longer available.  The digitizer, Dancing Threads now markets her designs here, but this design is not among her current collection.  I keep checking back, hoping to see any other “cranberry inspired” designs as they are perfect for gift-giving to friends involved in the cranberry industry!

And while we’re on the subject of cranberries and Thanksgiving, I thought I’d share a “traditional” favorite:

Cranberry nut bread

Classic Cranberry Nut Bread

Ingredients:

2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup orange juice
1 tablespoon grated orange peel
2 tablespoons shortening
1 egg, well beaten
1 1/2 cups Fresh or Frozen Cranberries, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup chopped nuts

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350ºF. Grease a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan.

Mix together flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and baking soda in a medium mixing bowl. Stir in orange juice, orange peel, shortening and egg. Mix until well blended. Stir in cranberries and nuts. Spread evenly in loaf pan.

Bake for 55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool on a rack for 15 minutes. Remove from pan; cool completely. Wrap and store overnight. Makes 1 loaf (16 slices).

PER SERVING (1 slice): Cal. 211, Fat Cal. 54, Protein 3grams, Carb. 37grams, Fat 6grams, Chol. 18mg., Sodium 313mg.

The recipe can be found here, along with many others…

Before I forget, you still have time to leave a comment on my last post if you would like to win some “crafty patterns” in the Craft Pattern Pyramid!

Happy Fall Y’All!

Today was such a beautiful day here in southern New England- a cloudless blue sky, shirt sleeve weather and the trees pretty close to “peak color”. It was the perfect day to bring a couple of my “friends” outside for a photo shoot!

Scrabble Jack

Meet Scrabble Jack from Happy Hollow Designs. His usual place of honor is in the front entrance to our home, but he agreed that today was just the perfect day for soaking up some warm rays of sunshine!

Not wanting to miss out on the field trip outside, My Mummy begged to tag along too!

My Mummy

Mummy

Scrabble Jack is made using a fusible grid fabric and your own choice of fabrics. I purchased some fat quarters and cut them just shy of 2″ square and fused them to the grid, as directed. Once all of your pieces are fused, you sew the rows in 1/4 ” seams! I tried to duplicate the colors and shading of the original, and am very happy with the result. In addition, I purchased the accessory kit which included the raffia, buttons and scrabble tiles to make Jack come to life.

The Mummy comes in an Espresso coffee cup with all the parts necessary to complete him. There are several other cute Espresso designs on the website Including some Christmas kits. I'm thinking cute ideas for a holiday swap.

Next up is my pumpkin table runner. My quilting experience does not extend much beyond what I show here. This is done completely by machine, including the blanket stitching around the star applique.

Pumpkins

Pumpkins

Applique

Applique

Now that the sun has set (a beautiful pink and orange sky) my friends have returned to their customary posts in the house, very important, and very festive!

 

 

The Sew Weekly Reunion

 

The Facts

Fabric– linen/rayon blend

Notions– 7 buttons $6.50

Pantone Color Challenge Color – Emerald

PatternThe Frayed Jacket from Favorite Things (2005)

Time to complete– longer than anticipated- off an on over 2 weeks, 24 hrs??

I made the quilted version of this jacket circa 2005 and anticipated making the tailored view soon after, but a lot of water has flowed under that bridge and it didn't happen. Suffice it to say that this jacket has a different fit without the batting between the layers so I needed to take the seams in, throughout. The sleeves are still not as close fitting as I would like. I am planning a future post to compare the two jackets.

First worn– for photo shoot

Wear again – yes

Total cost– Pattern-($14 on hand)

Fabric- ( on hand $30-$45.00 based on JoAnn's fabrics prices without using a coupon, but most likely, I took advantage of sale & coupon pricing.)

Total recent expenditure was only for the buttons – $6.50

 

 

I used two different cameras to try and capture the true color of this jacket. IRL, the jacket matches the Pantone Emerald. The first photo was the closest color match.

 

Laptop Satchel

One of my favorite machine embroidery designers is Kara Sutton of Kreations by Kara.

Occasionally, I find myself wandering over to her site …(ok, maybe more often than occasionally).

Anyway, while I was there one time, the most beautiful collection of Dandelions just jumped into my shopping cart! Amazing. It all happened so quickly!

Deciding on a suitable project to showcase these designs took much longer…

Laptop Satchel#1

I found the perfect canvas for my embroidery with this Laptop Satchel pattern from Vanilla House designs.

The satchel interior features a divided pocket and an additional zippered pocket for holding keys, phone, pens etc., alongside your computer and other documents. It makes a great gift too.

I had so much fun making one, that I had to make another!

Laptop Satchel #2

The first one I donated to a silent auction family benefit. It's always a good feeling being able to turn your hobby into something to help others.

The second satchel was my daughter's choice.

Lets see, now…I have a “few” more designs from Kreations by Kara, but I do not yet have one of these satchels. Hmm, I wonder what I can do about that??

 

Avoiding the Hot Seat

My car has leather seats. Needless to say, recent high temperatures and humidity have made the whole “being-in-the-car” experience a little uncomfortable, shall we say?

I have been looking for a simple solution in the way of a seat cover and adapted this idea (Click the link on that page to get the PDF directions)

Instead of using fabric, I substituted a bath towel (30.5″x52″).

Next, I interfaced the contrasting patch fabric and centered it on the towel approximately 8″ from one of the ends.

I did not add any further fastenings or ties to hold the cover in place on the seat, as I didn’t feel it necessary.  As a result,  the towel does need to be “arranged and re-arranged” upon getting in and out of the car. Not a big deal. 🙂

A big plus to me in addition to the fact that these seat covers are easy to put on and off, is that they can be easily used outside of the car for impromptu picnic or bleacher sitting and easily laundered. (Yay)

I noticed lots of other sewing ideas on the Husqvarna-Viking site. I think I’ll go back and look around a little more. How about you?