Handbag Mess

29 Apr

After a week of carrying about my handmade handbag, I need to make another one. That’s the problem with the whole “design your own” deal: you really do have to do the project a bunch of times, to make it work out right.

Problems that I will resolve in the next bag:

-the body fabric is too lightweight. If I use linen or dressmaking fabric, I need not only to line the bag, but also layer the top fabric over a stronger fabric. It’s too floppy, and the vinyl pulls down heavily on the soft and flexible linen. Even interfacing isn’t durable enough for daily purse wear.

-the snaps keep coming off. Snaps are not an appropriate way to close the top of a handbag, where one must open and close it dozens of times a day, reaching in repeatedly for keys, subway card, phone, change, etc. For the revision, I’ll use magnets, and set them right into the plastic canvas that gives structure to the top flap.

-the top flaps also have too much flop and wobble, especially when I carry the bag in the “tote” manner where the straps pulls each side at a slight angle. Particularly when the snaps aren’t holding tightly (which is always), the whole bag skews slightly from the weight pulling unevenly from the straps.

Back to the drawing board!

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4 Responses to “Handbag Mess”

  1. nkd April 29, 2012 at 12:31 pm #

    Timtex and other fusible stiff stuff and even fusible fleece in the fabric store next to the interfacing might help with the fabric weight/sturdiness issue if you can’t find upholstery weight fabrics you like. I find plastic canvas flimsy so I like the Timtex style stuff, though I have seen people saying that dollar store vinyl placemats can make good bag bottoms.

  2. Cheryl Marie April 29, 2012 at 9:16 pm #

    Thanks for sharing what you’ve learned. I’ve been making a few purses/totes here and there and I am finding the same issues – the stiffness of the fabric is huge. No wonder so many bags are made of leather!!!

  3. saltymom May 1, 2012 at 1:23 pm #

    Getting the thickness just right is a tricky one.
    Waiting to see v. 2 of your bag !

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