Sunday, November 28, 2010

Wool Plaid Purse

I've had this idea for a new purse knocking around my head for a while now. This weekend I finally went to Value Village to get my "material" so I could go from this:

to this:
Wool plaid purse

The coat seems to be from the 70s or so but I could be wrong on that. The label seemed really old anyway. Deconstructing the coat was really interesting, in the most dorky way possible. I'm pretty sure it was constructed by a tailor, not a sweatshop (or similar) as the details were really precise. The interfacing in the front and lapels was burlap and cotton and there was a lot of hand stitching tacking the interfacing in, or the overlap for the welts. The matching on the plaid was especially impressive. I didn't even notice it until I started cutting into the coat:


I actually felt a little bad taking it apart when I realized how well-made it was. Obviously I didn't feel bad enough to stop or change my plan but...

Wool plaid purse

It's a basic tote type bag with a lining with pockets. I rounded the corners on the bottom and used a very short shoulder strap so it would slouch in the center when carried. The shoulder strap and tab closure are leftover leather from my purse I made from a leather coat. The tab closure has a magnetic snap to keep the bag from gaping open. I used a lightweight woven fusible interfacing on both the outer and lining fabrics which now I'm not sure I needed as it makes it a little stiff. I think it will hold up better this way in the long run though so I'm glad I used it.

The only thing I'm still not sure of is whether I should have inserted a gusset for the sides/bottom to give me more room. I think it probably looks more polished this way as I would (will) be likely to carry a bunch of stuff with me and would have done more so with more room in the bag.

In all I'm really happy with it. It's almost exactly what I had imagined. It was one of those mornings when I wake up with an idea and I don't stop until it's done. It's always nice when those ideas come on days when I actually can work on the idea!

Now back to Christmas gift knitting... What are you all (all y'all?) working on? I may need ideas and would love to hear what everyone else is making.


  1. For Christmas I'm working on a scarf, hat, shawl and a vest, maybe some hand warmers, another shawl and a flannel pillowcase if I have time.
    I love reading your crafting adventures.

  2. That is a fabulous bag! How nice that you have an appreciation for the workmanship that went into that coat - the bag is a nice tribute to the coat's creator.

  3. I have already made three sweaters, three hats and I'm doing lots more in my mind but whether they'll ever get into reality I don't know!!!

    I've said it before, you are one clever lady!!

  4. I've been neglecting the ol' Christmas knitting pile! What a lovely bag! Plaid + Wool = LOVE.

  5. Great bag! I've taken some coats apart too (still haven't made the things I planned to, though) and also felt a little bad once I saw the construction. Breathtakingly well-made - quite a lesson in tailoring.


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