Vintage handbag

I am struggling a bit to explain how I did this but I will give it a try 🙂

A few weeks ago I made this vintage style bag:

Vintage handbag

I made it with some left-over fabric, lace ribbon (i love it), bag handles and a button. I also used some fabric for lining (not on the photo). I got the bag handles on Ebay. Alternatively, you could use this shop: http://www.sewwhoareyou.co.uk/store/products/triangular-bag-handles/

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I started off by cutting a big rectangle from the fabric. I folded the fabric first. The side where the fold is, I used as the bottom of the bag. For the width I measured the length of the bag handles, and doubled this. For the length I left about 10 inches, this includes some extra for the hem at the top. I first used the zig-zag stitch all around the fabric to prevent it from fraying.

IMG_0561Then I stitched the sites together, after turning the fabric inside out, to make it into a bag. Leave about 3 inches on both sides open at the top, otherwise you won’t be able to open your bag!

Then I turned the bag outside-in again (can you say that?) and started pleating the fabric through the hole of the handles from the outside in. Try to do it as evenly as possible, and attach with a pin. Also bear in mind to pleat into the direction that you will be sewing it (if using a sewing machine). So if you are sewing it from left to right, you pleat it like this:

Pleating the fabric

If from right to left, you pleat it in the other direction.

IMG_0553Continue with the second handle. Then stitch the pleats with a needle and thread or the sewing machine. Make sure that you fold in the end as well and stitch them together as well.

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Now you are going to make the lining. Measure the bag as it is now and use the measurements plus half an inch extra, at the top, to cut the lining. Again, use the side with the fold as the bottom part of the lining. Again, use  the zig-zag stitch all around the fabric to prevent it from fraying. Then stitch the bag together inside out, leaving two inches at both sides open. Turn the lining outside in. Start pinning the top of the lining to the bag, whilst folding the hem. You can start with the top side that was left open. Once you have pinned it, start sewing it by hand. Using a very small stitch at the top of the hem and try not to let the needle go entirely through the outside material. If you manage to do that, you can make this stitch a bigger one, since you won’t see it.

If you look closely, you can see the very small stitch at the top of the hem

If you look closely, you can see the very small stitch at the top of the hem

After this, you can attached the lace ribbon, pleating it evenly again and stitching it with a small stitch where visible and again not letting the needle pass through the fabric entirely …

To finish it off I attached the button in the middle … And that’s it!

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