Friday, March 7

Sophie's Purse

After I made a purse for Heidi, of course Sophie wanted one as well. Looking through my stash, she quickly picked out the "hula girls" print for the outside. Then I vetoed her first choice for the inside and picked a black fabric instead (heavyweight to add some shape). But really now, Mom! What 3-year-old wants any black on her purse, even if it does coordinate?!? Both girls vetoed my selection! Then I remembered the stacks of fabrics that I'd used a while back for a project and hadn't put away again. Sophie was much happier with my next suggestion: a bright bold pink!

Like last time, the fabric choice strongly influenced the construction. For lil' ol' indecisive me, it was great! I based the dimensions on the height of the stripes and the width of the pattern repeat. It was like putting puzzle pieces together -- the seated hula girls became the body of the purse and then the standing ones became the flap, with some rows of hanging lanterns here and there.

Added bonus: I was able to make it reversible. So easy!!! If anyone else ever actually reads this and wants some directions, let me know. It really is so easy!!! So now Sophie has TWO purses... "beach purse" (as the girls were soon calling it) and "pink purse" (which is crying out "Embellish me! Embellish me please, or else I won't have a fighting chance against the colorful eye-candy-for-3-year-olds known as Beach Purse"). Maybe I'll have to try my hand at a few crocheted flowers or something...

Start to finish: about 2 hours (excluding interruptions and "help" from Heidi and Sophie, I think I could've whipped it out in 45 minutes or less)

Thursday, March 6

Heidi's Purse

Heidi is on a "Mama, let's sew something" kick. Today she wanted a purse. A soft fuzzy purse. Fleece ought to fit the bill. But looking through my stash, we didn't find any. Then Heidi saw this wavy chenille. "Oooh, that one, Mommy. Please!" For the liner, she picked a toile-type dark pink on white. Size-wise, we decided it should be around the size of her doll diaper bag, 8"x6"x3", though she did want to edit one thing: "that shtrap it too long!" So we designed her purse strap to be a shorter 27".

With a larger hand guiding her own, Heidi did a surprisingly good job cutting the straight lines, considering the size of my big ol' fiskars shears compared to the size of her little bitty hand. (I thought it would be cute to follow the contours of the chenille for the bottom of the flap, so I cut that part.) And whoa, when I started pinning it together without her help! In Heidi's mind, "sewing" is pinning things together. Or more accurately, sewing is wadding a piece of fabric into a ball and then impaling it with as many pins as you can make stick into it. So anyway, with me holding the fabrics together, she able to put the pins in, not at all sure that 3 pins per side would be anywhere near enough! Once at the machine, she stood sentry at my side, pressing down the reverse lever at the start and end of each seam. "When can I use the machine?" she of course asked. Hmm, that's a good question. I'd ask for comments about that, but that would be assuming someone other than me reads blog. : )

Start to finish: about 1 1/2 hours? Actually, it's not totally finished. As I was sewing the bottom of the strap closed just before sewing the it onto the purse, my needle broke when I tried to force it over a hugely thick corner. Oops. And since Lucy had just woken from her nap and I wasn't sure where my needles or the mini-screw driver were, I just pinned it in with safety pins. **UPDATED: I'd vowed that this purse would NOT be like everything else I safety-pin "just for now" so after finishing Sophie's purse the next day, I changed the thread quick and sewed this up properly. Yay me for not leaving it "almost done" forever.**


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