Birthday Bag

29 May

My big sister turned 32 this week.  I took a stab at a pleated purse for her birthday.  The good thing about making gifts for my family members is that even if the final product doesn’t turn out the way I had imagined, they still make a good show of liking it anyway.

I loosely followed a pattern I purchased from Etsy.  The final bag looks only remotely like the pattern (this is because the pattern I paid $10 for was worthless…the pattern does not print out to the proportions specified and the directions contain dark, grainy pictures and the text is mostly in incomplete English).  I’m totally disappointed that I spent real dollars to get such a crappy pattern.  I mostly just winged it, trying to make something that looked like the picture on the front of the pattern.

Eh…it’s still a cute bag, but not exactly the look I was going for.

And without further ado…


I found the fabric in the outdoor section of Jo-Ann’s.  It’s a lightweight canvas which hangs well and was easy to sew on my machine.  I like the light brocade design…it’s subtle and summery (I think).


I like how the gathers turned out (this is my first attempt at pleats…not as scary as I thought, but I think I need more practice).  I wanted to dress it up a little, so I stitched a Victorian-esque button onto the front.


She’s a little sexy, but still classy.  Oh yeah.



On the inside, I included a small pocket and a little swivel clip for a keyring…I stole those ideas from a purse I have and I like how these little details give the bag more functionality.  I used a magnetic clasp closure, which I’d never used before.  It was surprisingly easy to “install”.  Again, I’m not happy with the pattern I intended to use and I pretty much made up my own pattern as I went, but I think it still turned out pretty cute!  I hope she’s surprised and that she likes it enough to use it at least a little.

Happy Birthday, Betsy!!!

mandy and Betsy


One Response to “Birthday Bag”

  1. Megan May 30, 2009 at 1:49 pm #

    Wow! I think that turned out great! You would never know that you struggled with a crappy pattern. Nice work, chica. 😉

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