purse replacement

About a year ago I made myself this purse using the Date Night pattern by Dog Under My Desk, but expanded to 120%. I’ve been using it every day and it has been perfect for the stuff I always want to have with me (probably still more than I should require but JUST IN CASE is always on my mind). When I made it, I just used some random fabric from my stash, and it was not a very high quality quilting cotton.

Former purse strap unraveling

Just recently the strap has started to fray. I really don’t think this would happen with a higher quality fabric, but as it is this gave me an excuse to make myself a new purse. 🙂

New DUMD Date Night at 120%

This time I chose an apparel fabric, a sturdy grey and black houndstooth that is a bit heavier than quilting cotton, but not a lot as I didn’t want to add a lot of thickness (this is what has kept me from using a duck or similar heavier cotton). This fabric is super my style and I am really pleased with how it turned out.

New DUMD Date Night at 120%

For the inside, I couldn’t find any nerdy fabric that suited me – so much of what Joann has is male-focused and I am sort of tired of everything always being either men or princesses. My kingdom for some Phryne Fisher fabric! This bird fabric is cute, though, and who can resist putting a bird on (in) it?

New DUMD Date Night at 120%

I did the same double-inside-pockets that I did last time. They have been perfect for my needs! On one side, I can carry my phone, a bottle of lotion, and my favorite pen, and on the other side, my reading glasses and my sunglasses each in their own compartment. I love being able to customize my purse like this!

New DUMD Date Night at 120%

Here’s a close-up on the fabric. Isn’t this print elegant yet practical?

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FO Friday: 120%

I really like the Date Night purse I made, but it’s just not quite big enough for day to day use. So I decided to take matters into my own scanner/copier’s hands and enlarge the pattern!

Date Night purse at 120% -  Dog Under My Desk pattern

(apologies for the flash on that image – I was having trouble getting the very subtle fabric print to show up.) I chose to do it at 120%, which may be a tiny tad larger than I truly need, but it works really well and the purse doesn’t feel stuffed when I have all my necessities in it.

Date Night purse at 120% -  Dog Under My Desk pattern

I also love this lining fabric – so fun and reminiscent of the days when I was sewing from paper patterns (not that people don’t still do this – I just happen to use mostly online stuff right now). There’s something romantic about paper patterns illustrations.

I also put in an extra pocket, so there’s one on each side of the lining. I really cannot ever have too many pockets in a purse! This way my pens have a special spot, as do my sunglasses, phone, reading glasses, and lotion. I can also fit in an Essential Wristlet (minus the strap) containing the little stuff (gum, mints, advil, etc) that tends to get lost if it’s not contained, as well as my wallet and whatever small items I need that day. I’ve already gotten a few compliments on this bag!

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FO Friday: even more sewing!

I am addicted to sewing lately! Not that I don’t normally enjoy it, but I’ve been super productive lately. I attribute this to a few factors: K is working so I have more hours at home when he’s not around to be available to do stuff with, I have a few trips coming up for which I’d love to have choices for The Perfect Bag(s), and lastly, we are in the final stages of buying our next home and I have a lot of extraneous anticipatory energy that I am channeling into sewing as opposed to fretting/obsessive planning. (Not that I’m not still planning like a fiend.)

I’m also in the market for a new everyday bag/purse. I would love to downsize a bit – I am accustomed to carrying a rather huge bag containing every possible thing I might need or want – BUT I also want to be able to take my laptop with me when I need to (which is fairly often) and I don’t know that I want to be carrying two bags on those days (SO, if I have a larger laptop-accommodating bag that I only use when needed, then I need my everyday purse to fit inside it, while still containing all the stuff I want with me all the time). (I only want my bags to be everything or all situations!) I am so far from the woman who refused to carry anything more than a duct tape wallet! But how can I live without room for sunglasses, wallet, keys, phone, emergency nuts, gum, mints, reading glasses, small notebook, pen and emergency backup pen, checkbook (I could live without this, for all I use it these days), and whatever else I’m forgetting at the moment?

Anyway. It does seem like I might be able to survive quick jaunts around town with slightly less baggage, so I made the Date Night bag (pattern by Dog Under My Desk – the best patterns I’ve found).

Date Night purse (pattern by DUMD)

It’s cute and a great size for a minimal amount of stuff (wallet, sunglasses, keys, phone). I have used it on a few quick errands and *gasp* survived without all my extra crap! Of course I used a fun Star Trek print for the lining.

Date Night purse (pattern by DUMD)

I’ve also been thinking that, while I’m on my upcoming work trips, I’d like to have some smaller mini-bags to store specific things inside the Take-Off Tote I posted about last week. For instance, my iPod and headphones. I have an ancient-by-today’s-standards iPod (5th generation classic), and I like over-ear headphones, so they actually take up a little bit of space.

Star Trek large boxed corner Essential Wristlet

The larger version of the DUMD Essential Wristlet with boxed corners is perfect!

Star Trek large boxed corner Essential Wristlet

You can’t tell in this photo, but the lining is a neat tonal dye that is somewhat variegated throughout. Plus, more cool Star Trek fabric.

Feeling adventurous from all this bag sewing, I took a chance and got a wallet pattern by a different designer. It’s okay but not up to the standard to which I’ve become accustomed.

Ultimate Wallet pattern by So Sew Easy

It’s the Ultimate Wallet by So Sew Easy. The directions weren’t bad, but definitely didn’t give the level of detail or precision I’m used to with Erin’s DUMD patterns.

Ultimate Wallet pattern by So Sew Easy

I was pretty unimpressed by some of the construction details – there are a lot of big, heavy, thick areas that could/should be trimmed down in ways not included in the directions, and it’s just not as precise as I’d like in both measurements and instructions. I had more than a few moments along the way of thinking, “but what if I…” but I chose to trust the pattern and not second-guess it. I should have gone with my gut in this case!

Ultimate Wallet pattern by So Sew Easy

On the plus side, it has a zillion card pockets and plenty of space for paper money, as well as an internal zippered pocket. Overall, I’d say: great in theory but not so great in execution. It’s not a bad pattern and I didn’t see any errors, it just wasn’t what I was hoping for.

Back to the safe, happy terrain of DUMD patterns for my next one! This time it’s the Day Tripper.

Dog Under My Desk Day Tripper

This is obviously not a smaller bag, but I still wanted to make it. I wanted to try using home decor fabric AND doing a bag that uses traditional batting rather than Soft and Stable (much as I love Soft and Stable, it’s somewhat pricey and not sold locally so I have to order it online).

Dog Under My Desk Day Tripper

This bag is awesome for a person like me who loves pockets! You’ve got the zippered exterior pocket, sectioned open pocket on the back, sectioned open pocket on the interior – and I added another sectioned open pocket on the other side of the lining. Pockets for everyone!

Dog Under My Desk Day Tripper

This may become an everyday bag for me. When I bought my big splurge Coach bag, I expected that the quality would be top-notch and that it would essentially last forever. NOPE. It has frayed on one of the straps where a big bit of the covering on the strap peeled away JUST LIKE a bargain imitation-leather purse would have done. BOOO. I can of course trim off the fraying bits as they happen, but one should not have to do that with a big-name expensive purse. Anyway, I can always use this Day Tripper for an everyday bag instead, until I wean myself down to a smaller one.

In the meantime, I’m feeling pret-tay good about all this accomplishment.

Hermione gif

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