In addition to creating her online RSVP system and designing the sewn zigzagged programs, table numbers, ring bearer pillow, place cards and menu, I made eight super cute evening handbags for Liesel and her seven bridesmaids using retro poppy fabric. The pattern I designed for Liesel was improved upon what I’d made for my bridesmaids. Practice makes perfect :)
Each handbag was unique: I made eight different flower appliques on the handbag fronts and added eight leaves playfully peeking out of the seam on the handbag backs.
As always, free instructions to make your own are below. Don’t feel like making them yourself? Contact me and I can help.
You’re welcome to use these instructions and templates for free for your own personal use. Anyone using the template simply post a comment below or email me to track its usage.
- 1/4 yard chocolate brown wool gabardine fabric from Fabric.com (the fabric quality is fantastic)
- 1/4 yard interior fabric (I used poppy) from Fabric.com
- 1/2 yard blockout drapery liner (the secret sauce for making quality handbags; I used ‘rain no stain’)
- Iron-on craft weight interfacing
- Heavyweight sew-in interfacing (just a square for sewing your front flower applique)
- Rotary fabric cutter
- Clear fabric ruler
- Self-healing mat
- Magnetic Snap
- Good fabric scissors or embroidery scissors
- Sewing machine
Outside fabric (I used chocolate wool gabardine from Fabric.com)
Front (cut 1): 8.5″ wide x 16″ tall
Straps (cut 2): 4″ wide x 14″ tall
Inside fabric (I used retro-inspired poppy fabric)
Inside (cut 1): 8.5″ wide x 16″ tall
Inside fabric lining (cut 1): 8.5″ wide x 16″ tall
Straps interfacing (cut 2): 4″ wide x 14″ tall
Blockout drapery lining
Outside fabric lining (cut 1): 8.5″ wide x 16″ tall
Make your handbag inside. Iron your interfacing onto the wrong side of the floral fabric. Fold it in half, right sides together and sew 1/2 inch seams on the left and right sides.
Now this part is sort of hard to explain. Make your handbag bottom by creating a triangle where the side seam meets the bottom. Your triangle should be 1.5 inches wide and 1 inch tall with the seam flattened open. Mark with a pencil and sew across the bottom of the triangle. See how it’s already creating a soft handbag bottom?
Sew your appliques. So here’s the way I do appliques. Iron interfacing onto the back of your flowers and leaves. Cut out once the fabric is cool.
Cut a square of heavyweight sew-in interfacing slightly larger than your applique. Fold your chocolate brown piece together in half, wrong sides together, and place on your mat. Place your flower where you want, being sure to put it at least 1 inch from the side and 1.5 inches from the bottom account for seam allowances and the bag bottom.
Now this step will help avoid puckering on your applique. Carefully put your square of sew-in interfacing on the wrong side of the chocolate brown fabric so that it’s right behind your applique. Sew your applique using a zigzag stitch, sewing through both the chocolate fabric and interfacing.
Cut away the excess interfacing. Repeat these steps for any appliques you want to put on the handbag back. And you can embellish your applique using straight stitching like I did on the veins of the leaf.
Sew your handbag front. Drapery blockout liner is the secret sauce in making high-quality evening handbags because it adds weight while remaining pliable. Place your drapery blockout liner on your mat (or on the floor like I did). Put your chocolate handbag front on top, right side up. Fold the whole thing in half top to bottom, right sides together, and sew 1/2 inch seams on the left and right sides.
Create a soft bottom by repeat the triangle step that you did for your lining (see triangle photo above).
Make straps. Iron the strap interfacing onto the wrong side of the straps. Fold the strap in half lengthwise and press. Open the crease. Now fold each side into the middle crease. Fold in half again to enclose the raw edges. Sew the long edge of the strap, about 1/4″ from the side. Repeat on the other long side. Now repeat to make the second strap.
Attach straps. Pin one strap to the front of the handbag, 1.78″ from the left side seam. Sew 1/4″ close to the edge to secure the strap to the handbag. Repeat on the right side and now the front strap is attached. Now repeat to attach the second strap onto the back of the handbag.
Attach handbag outside to handbag inside. Remember the triangles that you made? Line them up, matching one triangle from the outside to one triangle on the inside. Sew. Now your front is attached to your back. I did mine assembly line, above.
Put in metallic snap. Metallic snaps come in four pieces: front, back and two washers. Fold the poppy inside down 1/2″ towards the wrong side around its circumference. Measure and find the middle of the bag and put a pin to mark the center. Cut a small piece of iron-on interfacing and iron in the middle of the wrong side of the front lining (I interface it so that the metallic snap is even more secure and wears better). Position the top edge of the snap 1″ below the folded side of the lining. Mark where the two snap pins hit using a pencil or pen. Cut two small holes in the front lining at your markings and slip the snap pins through to the other side. Slip on the washer and fold down per the package instructions. Now line up the back snap onto the back lining, being super careful to make sure the back snap is in the middle so it will line up with the front snap. Repeat instructions above to put the back snap on the back lining piece. Now your snap is in.
Close handbag and enjoy. Fold the handbag inside out. Pin the lining to the wool outside. Sew close around the circumference of the handbag, about 1/4″ from the edge. Be sure to backstitch.
Happy Wedding, Liesel and Barrett!
Like this theme? Then try our sewn poppy fabric invitations, sewn return address envelopes with custom stamps, table numbers, guest towels, ring bearer pillow, place cards, sewn zigzagged programs, menu, reserved signs, whimsical flower garland “altar” and bridesmaid’s handbags.
Don’t feel like making them yourself? Contact me and I’ll help.
COPYRIGHT NOTE: You’re more than welcome to use this project and pattern for your own personal use. Please post a comment below or email me if you use this project so I can smile when I see that it’s being used. Craft and pass it on!