I started off the new year with a brand new handbag:
It’s corduroy, it’s gathered at the bottom with rows of gathers and at the top with elastic. It’s based on the bag pattern in the Burda Style Sewing Handbook, “Chie’s Variation”.
I changed some things–adding a silk scarf instead of the sash of the same bag fabric (although I made a sash, as well, if I ever want that look.) I removed the extra detachable strap, using the D-ring tabs instead for my main strap, but changing the proportions of that a little bit.
I also added extra pockets–this variation comes complete with a zipper pocket in the lining as well as two extras on the other side, which I appreciate, but I also added a pocket to the inside of each end panel, as well. I’ve never heard of a handbag with too many pockets, after all. (I laugh imagining it: “Oh, no! So many different perfectly designated places to put all my many various things!”)
And I changed the lining a little bit, making the elastic casings continue in corduroy so that the lining isn’t easily visible. I never did resolve my differences with the book’s pattern instructions, and largely because of this issue. The way I made it conforms with the illustrations on p. 175, diagrams 14, 15, and 16, which do not conform with the written directions, which are depicted in diagram 12 and the project photos. This contradiction (and others like it) are why I would not particularly recommend this book to beginning sewers who want to use it step by step for its patterns: it’s tricky to puzzle out the “creative differences” inherent in a pattern written this way.
But I like the bag in spite of this. I can trade out the scarf for other colors and make it coordinate with various outfits. The shape is slouchy and casual, and holds a good bit of stuff inside without looking lumpy or misshapen.
And it starts out my “make everything for myself” challenge, at the beginning of the new year, with a firm declaration. For this one step, at least, I can make it myself.