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A fun purse project

PostPosted: Apr 16, 2005 9:34 pm
by Squash Blossom
I make a lot of purses but today I did something a bit different and thought I'd share the idea.

I'm addicted to Chinese pugs and always on the lookout for anything with a pug design...but there's not that much in the line of fabric. Then a friend sent me two matching 100% Egyptian cotton hand-printed pug kitchen towels from a website any pet owner would love.

The design was too cute to stay in the kitchen so I first ironed on heavyduty Stitch Witchery, then cut out one complete design, then fused it onto cotton decorator-weight fabric and made the purse. I don't know that I had to, but I outlined the cut edges of the design with Squiggles fabric paint AFTER I had the purse totally finished.

The finished purse actually looks handpainted and you could use the Stitch Witchery on any design and create a different look than just using a purchased fabric alone.

PostPosted: Apr 16, 2005 11:45 pm
by patsue53
That is just adorable! Good job! :D

I love pugs too.

PostPosted: Apr 17, 2005 6:55 pm
by Hoosier Gardener
That purse is so cute. In the picture the pugs almost look 3-dimensional. You'll get so many compliments on the purse when you carry it.

PostPosted: Apr 17, 2005 9:50 pm
by Violet_Skies
That is totally adorable! You did a great job!!!!

PostPosted: Apr 18, 2005 9:56 am
by Squash Blossom

I'd give anything to sew or craft this morning but my house looks like a tornado hit it!! :lol: I get so frustrated when I want to do something fun but duty stands in the way of creativity! :lol:

Several years ago I made some cute denim shirts and aprons by disassembling silk flowers, pressing them flat, and then using Stitch Witchery to fuse them onto the fabric. I think I used aluminum foil as a pressing cloth so I wouldn't ruin my iron, then peeled the flowers off and fused them onto the shirts.

I want to try that with a purse and see how it works.

That Fiddler's Elbow site has some of the cutest pet collectibles, they actually have something like a dozen artists who are all good with pet pictures but I also want to find something similar with flower designs.

I know anyone who saw me at Michael's yesterday examining silk flowers from one end to the other wondered what I was looking for but I couldn't find anything I thought would work except the geraniums, which would be beautiful on a ticking or gingham fabric.


great idea

PostPosted: Apr 18, 2005 12:12 pm
by Hoosier Gardener
I love the idea of using silk flowers. I think I'll try it on a purse and use a pretty button as the center of the flower. Now I need to find some gingham fabric.

I know what you mean about crafts. I've been doing laundry and working in the yard today. My pile of sewing seems to call to me each time I go down the hallway. :o It's supposed to rain in the next couple of days. Maybe I'll get some sewing/crafts done then.

PostPosted: Apr 18, 2005 3:59 pm
by Squash Blossom
My JoAnn's has 45" wide decorator-weight fabric in an apple green ticking that I want to well as numerous other colors and some gingham-looking patterns. I have better luck with the 100% cotton decorator fabrics than 100% regular cotton material and I interface everything, even the pockets, with Pellon fusible fleece.

I put 7 pockets inside my purses and one outside...I even have a little lipstick pocket. :wink: Until I started making my own purses I NEVER had an organized purse.

I like the idea of using buttons in the centers of the silk flowers - I used rhinestones before but the buttons would be perfect. Thanks for the hint!! With Fabric-Tac you could actually glue the entire flower (without the stem) to a purse. I glued 2' of feather boa to a purse recently with Fabric-Tac and it did well.

I've also had fun with that paper napkin stuff Allene's's kinda' tedious and fragile at first but it holds up beautifully and also looks hand-painted on fabric.

I've washed clothes, changed the bed, fertilized the backyard plants (including the Jewels of Opar I'm now nurturing for Victoria :lol: ), bathed 3 pugs, cleaned the bathroom and I'm gonna' play until time to fix supper!! The warden is playing golf...he'll never know!



PostPosted: Apr 18, 2005 5:51 pm
by Hoosier Gardener
Thanks for the tip on using decorator weight fabric. I love having a unique purse that is different than everyone else is carrying. I also love having lots of pockets. Have to have one for cell phone, one for notepad and pen, one for credit card case etc.

What is this plant you're nurturing? I have a tiny yard and keep planting "one more thing". Pretty soon I won't have any to mow. :roll:

PostPosted: Apr 18, 2005 8:33 pm
by Squash Blossom
I was griping in the General Discussion Forum about a cute perennial called Jewels of Opar nearly taking over my yard and how prolific it was and Victoria asked if I'd save some seeds for her, that the plant is fine in her area.

I'm anxious to see your finished project!! Purses have been huge around here for a year or more. Once you get used to having something so spacious and comfortable to carry it's hard to go back to anything else.


PostPosted: Apr 19, 2005 1:55 pm
by Violet_Skies
Once my daughter was cleaning something when she was around 10 and she got soft scrub with bleach on her denim shorts...they had bleach spots on them. Instead of throwing them away, I laid them flat and used more soft scrub to paint with. I made a whole scene involving Botticelli Venus, Van Gogh's Starry Night, and other things like that. Then I rinsed it and washed it. EVERYONE wanted a pair of those shorts.

PostPosted: Apr 19, 2005 5:43 pm
by Squash Blossom
Violet_Skies wrote:Once my daughter was cleaning something when she was around 10 and she got soft scrub with bleach on her denim shorts...they had bleach spots on them. Instead of throwing them away, I laid them flat and used more soft scrub to paint with. I made a whole scene involving Botticelli Venus, Van Gogh's Starry Night, and other things like that. Then I rinsed it and washed it. EVERYONE wanted a pair of those shorts.

I am absolutely amazed!! What a neat idea...although I can't draw a thing! I thought you were going to say you covered the damaged area not that you painted the entire garment.

My retired husband has a thing about bleach...he loves it!! Paul washed one of my white T-shirts in so much Clorox it basically disintegrated! When I tried to remove it from the washer it was dissolving in my fingers!

The cutest pair of jeans I've ever owned (in my opinion anyway) looked like they'd been dipped in bleach only the top edge wasn't straight, it was like a flame stitch.

I think Clorox or one of the bleach companies now sells something like a bleach pen. I think I saw it at the grocery store but didn't see a need for it, unless I could sell Paul on the concept!! I'll bet you could take something like that and really do some cute stuff.


PostPosted: Apr 20, 2005 11:13 pm
by Patrushka
Your purse is just adorable! :cool: Beautiful job! :D

PostPosted: Apr 23, 2005 3:29 pm
by janey
Do you do these purses for yourself, or do you also sell them? If not, you should!!

Great ideas here....I used to craft....Then I crafted 4 kids and the rest is history. Would love to get back into something fun.... :D

PostPosted: Apr 24, 2005 9:20 pm
by Squash Blossom

I used to stay up all night sewing because there wasn't a minute in the day when I was working and raising a family. Now that we're retired and our daughter is grown, I try to sew some every day.

I've only sold one purse - the first one I ever made. It was another pug design, a tapestry, and a woman in a restaurant said she absolutely had to have it for her daughter. I went home carrying my wallet, lipstick and keys in my hands!

I donate purses to pug rescue fundraisers and give them as gifts. Christmas before last I gave away probably 25 as gifts. It takes me about a week to make one unless I can pretty much stay with it all day for a couple of days.

I have a lifelong friend and neighbor who makes the same purses and does sell them. Vivian has a website and she and her husband also travel to craft shows and festivals. I believe her website is

Vivian does a beautiful job and she has top of the line equipment - I sew on a 40 year old Singer portable, but I wouldn't take anything for it. Her husband does EVERYTHING...cooks, cleans, shops, gardens, etc., so she can sew.

If I've still got them, I'll post pictures of some of the cotton shoulder bags I've made, most with fabric from WalMart.


PostPosted: Apr 24, 2005 10:00 pm
by LucyGoose
That pug purse is just to cute!! I checked out your friends purses, and found two that I liked.....I think I would ask to leave the beads off, though.....But there were a couple I liked and her diaper bag with the hands is adorable....I tried you link for the pet owner, and it wouldn't work. I saw that there is a comma at the end, so I took that off and it works...going to go look at the site now......Here it is..

Thanks!! :D

PostPosted: Apr 24, 2005 10:27 pm
by Squash Blossom
Thanks! I usually check a link but must have forgotten. That Fiddler's Elbow site has a world of cute stuff, most pet-related but not entirely. Everything I've ever ordered has been extremely good quality.

I'm not much into all that beaded trim either and I imagine omitting it would lower the price substantially. Some of that stuff is $20 a yard. It's also rather tedious to apply it.

I wear bright colored T-shirts and jeans or slacks most of the time and like my 100% cotton, bright colored shoulder bags. :wink: