Tuesday 24 May 2011

Two Pretty Purses

If you are here for the Sew Mama, Sew competition, you need to go to this post.

If you've already commented on my last post to win the booty I have put up for grabs, stay a while!

For the last 10 days, when I've not been worrying about the giveaway, I've been obsessing about what to wear for my boyfriend's sister's wedding, in a few weeks.  The wedding is split over two days.  The first day involves the wedding followed by a meal in a pub.  The next evening is when the night-time party is held.  This means I definitely need two outfits.  This realisation panicked me somewhat, as I am currently (very slowly) trying to lose the weight that I gained after changing tablets a couple of years ago.  I really didn't want to splash out on two smart outfits that I may never wear again - as I don't get out much.  I have lots of lovely dresses in the next size down from where I am at now and it seemed wasteful to buy two new dresses for one event.

My wonderful friend Rachael stepped in to help.  Rach is the same size as I am and she goes out to posh functions quite often as part of her job.  She also loves frocks, so she opened her wardrobe to me and I had a trying on session.   I found the perfect day-time dress in black and white, but the other dress I fell in love with was sadly far too smart for the second night.  It was more like a ball gown, but I adored it.  Rach said I should hold it in reserve, just in case I couldn't find anything else, but at least I had a lovely dress for part of the weekend.

Now that I had the first dress to think about, I started to think about accessories.  I have some wonderful red wedge sandals that would go perfectly with the borrowed dress and I decided to match my shoes with a new clutch purse.  I knew I had the perfect fabric in my stash.  I had bought it on a whim last year and it matched absolutely nothing in my fabric stash, even though I loved it.  This wedding had given me the perfect occasion to use it.

Using my Easy Peasy Purse Pattern from Lisa Lam of U-Handbag, and a purse frame I had already bought from her shop I made this little beauty.

Isn't the fabric great?  The other side of the purse shows a different aspect of the fabric.

I was really surprised to find that the fabric I used for the Amish Puzzle Ball last week, actually matched the yellow on this fabric perfectly, so I used that for the lining.

It was when I was showing this purse to my friends at knitting group that I remembered an old red dress I had.  It was from the last time I was my current size. I loved so much I could not bear to give it away and it hung at the back of a wardrobe in the spare room.  I had forgotten I still had it, but I dug it out and tried it on, and it was as lovely as I remembered!  The problem of the second dress was solved!  And the new purse would match this dress too!

I also remembered while putting this post together that I had made another one of these purses in March and hadn't shared it with you!  In fact, it was made for Rachael's birthday! (My memory really is appalling these days.  Drugs really take their toll you know!)

As I don't have the same materials, that came with the original kit that I bought, I now use different materials.  I apply a medium weight fusible interfacing on the exterior fabric and then add a layer of medium weight fusible fleece interfacing, also from U-Handbag.  It makes the exterior more sturdy.

Having a more structured exterior means that the purse can stand upright, even without being stuffed with contents.  It also means that it will be more robust when being used, so it will hopefully last longer.

I love the spotty interior of this purse.  I chose these fabrics as Rachael had always loved them, but never got round to buying them and making them into something.  I thought giving her the purse would at least let her accessorise with them!  (Just in case you're interested, I got the little personal labels to sew in the purses from Cash's.  I can recommend the service and the quality.)

I am so happy that I now have my outfits planned for this wedding.  It means I can relax and think about other (crafty) things.  I'm also pleased that I saved all the money that a new dress would have cost, and I can now spend it on other (crafty) things!


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