I finally got my handles in and finished this cute pleated purse which I mentioned in my last post. The pattern for this bag is offered for free on the U Handbag website. CLICK HERE FOR LINK
I have to say I am thrilled with the outcome. I made this for an upcoming craft show but will no doubt make some more for holiday gifts. The leather handles and pleats give this bag a “store-bought” look yet you get the satisfaction of making it yourself in your favorite fabrics. A one-of-a-kind love!
The tutorial is available as a pdf download – a huge plus! The directions are pretty easy to follow although I had some challenges with the conversions. The pattern was originally created using centimeters, and while the designer provides the American conversion to inches, it makes for some funky measurements. For some reason I just couldn’t get the pleating right following the instructions. The tutorial calls for the width of the bag to be 21″ wide and 15 5/8″ high….by following her pleat spacing I had way too much fabric left on the bag after making the 6 pleats….I ended up trimming the width of the bag to 16″ and the pleats fit perfectly. So….ultimately I started out with four 16 x 16″ square pieces of fabric instead of the 21 x 16 she called for. I’ve read and re-read the instructions and I STILL can’t figure out what I did wrong! But it really doesn’t matter as the end result came out perfect!
Despite the pleating issue, the bag is quite easy to assemble. And, as you would guess, I had to add some interior organization which the tutorial lacked. I added a center divider and two small pockets for phone/keys on one side of the bag. Perfect!
The fabrics I used for this bag are Michael Miller’s Scattered Lantern Pods by Laura Gunn and Robert Kaufman’s Dill Blossom Tossed Mini Leaves. I used 20″ strap handles which were sewn on after the bag was complete.
I have a feeling this bag will be swooped pretty quickly at the Craft Show and if not, it may end up in my personal collection much to the chagrin of my husband!