Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Charming Handbag: Tips and Tricks

Anyone have any tips, tricks, or advice when it comes to sewing the Charming Handbag?

Here's my hint... this is a very small bag, so small that you can get both outer panels from one fat quarter. Something to think about when selecting fabric. If you love a certain fabric line or designer, but don't love the price, the Charming Handbag gets you a great bang for your buck.

What's your tip?

11 comments:

Adrienne said...

I like to use a magnetic closure - helps keep the bag shut and all your stuff in!

I also made the handles a few inches longer than called for.

froghair said...

I haven't made one yet, but I may have to try it out this weekend, just to see what I find out!

Hermione J. Schwartz said...

I also like to add some type of closure. I have used a magnetic snap yet, but agree that would be great. I have added little string ties and a big button with elastic cord (similar to the clutch). I still haven't found velvet ribbon that I love, but the simplicity of the design allows for the addition of other types of ribbon or strips of other fabrics. =]

lorna doone said...

I suggest doing a "test run" with your handles by slipping the folded (but unstitched) handle pieces through the casing prior to sewing in case you want to make adjustments. You might also want to cut the strips longer than the book suggests, that way you can find the perfect length.

When I made the handles initially, they were too short and didn't feel natural in-hand, so I redid them. I made them long enough to slip over my shoulder. I also added some interfacing so the handles would feel a bit more substantial.

Soja said...

I've added pockets to the inside, mobile phone size, pen size. And found that it's a great size to add embellishments, applique, embroidery to... although of course this means it takes a lot longer to make - I must admit it has taken me a lot longer than an hour to make the bags. Mind you, it can take me a week to get hold of the fabric - no fabric shops in my town :-(. PS, how to we know if our emails to join the swap have been received?

Soja said...

Ahh! Just seen the list on the right hand-side! I'm in, I think! I'm Amanda C., but the blog link isn't quite right - It's www.handledcarefully.blogspot.com with a 'd' in the middle, (not handlecarefully). Looking forward to the swap!

vamp designs said...

i just made my first charming handbag and thought i might be able to leave the flannel part out and just use thicker linning, mm not really a good idea, it really needs that stability and i think lorna doones tip about interfacing in the straps is a good idea. thanks for the tip about the fat 1/4 too.

Hermione J. Schwartz said...

Going off Adrienne's tip to use fat quarters, I noticed that a lot of shops are offering discounts on FQs this month. While browsing through the JoAnn circular I noticed that they are having a 99 cent sale on FQs this weekend. It may be a great way to get some super cute fabrics super cheap. Then you can throw a few more in the basket for good measure and not feel guilt! =]

annie said...

Adding pockets is never, ever a bad thing. Pockets are definitely what it is all about. I've made a billion pleated beauty handbags but this will be my first of this pattern- thanks for all the tips!

erika~ the inspired mama said...

this was the first time i had made this handbag. it is adorable and i LoVe it, but i would definitely add pockets, a closure of some sort, and interfacing in the handles next time :)

oh, and here is another tip :: be very careful not to touch your hot iron to the velvet ribbon when your are pressing everything nice and flat for top stitching *sigh*

xo,
erika

Marion said...

Wow, you weren't kidding about the dimensions of the wallet. Has anyone tried doing it by cutting it out 1/4" past the pattern piece so that the pattern is the actual size of the wallet?