Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Boho Bag is Done

I am going to call this my Henry Ford Boho Bag.  Henry developed the assembly line, and that’s all I could think of as I was making this first prototype; how can I break this down into manageable steps, assembly-line style?  The boutique I am making these for begins in 22 days.  But who’s counting?

This is how it finished out.  Basically, black and gold/tan with some off-white laces. The big vintage button with rhinestones that I wanted to feature on the center came apart (stone from setting) as I was applying it. It can be glued (thank goodness for E6000) and used later, but it missed the boat for this first experimental purse. And these pictures tell me that the button needs some black lace around it to soften the transition to the almost-white lace.

Inside lining is patterned satin. The portion under the flap is intentionally VERY simple. All trims were machine sewn with invisible thread.

The outer trim of the bag is three layers, although the lace part doesn’t show much on the front. The fringe trim and beaded trim are edged with a small hand-dyed venice lace trim.

On the back, the larger lace trim shows.  All trims were added AFTER the purse was assembled.  I sewed the purse with wrong (lined) sides together because everything was so thick that I knew that turning edges to the inside would not be pretty. Therefore, the raw edges are between the front and back trims, which was a decent solution for this purse, but something that needs to be addressed in future assemblies.

The vintage black velvet strips cover raw edges and meet at the back center, where they are tied and left to dangle.

Lessons I Learned  /Changes I Will Make:

1.  The piecing onto a fusible background is great.  I match up edges as well as possible, but gaps are covered by lace/gimp/trim that are stitched on later by machine.  
2.  The fabric used for the back of the purse is mid-weight home decorator fabric and does not need to be stabilized, just lined.  I will save a layer there.
3.  I need to use a bit sturdier lining to avoid such a contrast in fabric weights between the outside and the lining.  Tone down the weights on the outside, beef up the lining weights.  I need to be able to stitch right sides together and turn (“birth”) the purse through an opening.  (I hope this makes sense to you experienced seamstresses).
4.   Add trims to the outer bag edges AFTER purse is constructed.  There are too many layers to try to keep straight if you baste them to the inside before stitching and turning.  God Bless Invisible Thread.  I believe adding one layer of trim around the flap will be fine if added before stitching/turning.
5.   Deal with purse handles BEFORE stitching and turning, not after.  I need to get creative, like dear Gerry (see her awesome bag here).
6.  GET WILD.  This purse is too tame.  I’m thinking too much like a Utahn instead of a Californian. I just realized I have lived more of my life here in Utah than I did in California.  Your condolences are noted..... LOL  :-)  Seriously, I need to use bigger and bolder laces, trims, and colors.   Maybe I should just go smoke some marijuana and see what happens.  JUST KIDDING!  (just wanted to see if you were still reading, LOL).

I have started the second and third purses and will have some results to show before the weekend.  At least that’s the plan.

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My stitching time has recently been curtailed because we had a yard (tag) sale a couple weekends ago and then a booth at a flea market this past weekend.  Whew!  I love it - our quantity of Junque is much lighter and our wallets a bit heavier.  We were really busy, even with our makeshift display.

I got rid of sold  all my lower-end laces and many of my lower-end vintage linens.  So now I can focus on listing the nicer things to sell online.  And the fabric.  I sold a lot of fabric, which is great because fabrics are generally heavy and a hard sell (postage-wise) on Etsy or Ebay.

See that bright blue, red, yellow fabric next to Raggedy Ann (below)?  It’s less than a half yard and I never really “saw” it until I hung it there.  I kept looking at it, drawn to it.... and after a couple hours had to take it down and hide it away so it wouldn’t sell.  And I only did that with 3 or 4 things, LOL.  :-)   I sold most of the vintage clothes I had, too.   Bruce sold lots of his old radio and electronic parts and old cameras.  It was a great, fun day, but hot and very physically taxing.  We may do this one more time in October.  If we lose our sanity again.

And then yesterday (Tuesday) we had DGD London all day - until her dad got home from work at 8pm.  These pictures are from last week.  She discovered that my sideboard (where linens are stored) had a great hiding compartment.

Hehe ....  Hi Dammy!  (her way of saying “Grammy”).

Let’s just use this vintage hand-crocheted tablecloth for a stepping stone ...

And so, I am back to the madness.........  thanks for stopping by!!

Cathy maroon


  1. London is a beauty and my goodness how she is grown.
    Thanks, Dammy for sharing all the gory details of the purse creation. I wondered about the thickness if that would be a problem. I made one from a felted cashmere sweater a couple of years ago and that was a struggle to get it under the pressure foot. I know what you are saying about the "birthing" of the purse it makes everything look much neater, if that can be accomplished. That afore mentioned felted bag had to be a "c-section", for sure.
    How did you attach the handles.
    I like the back of the bag and with so many to make, piecing and embellishing front and back would double your work.
    I like the colors too, as they will go with most anything.

  2. Hi Cathy, love your bag! Just beautiful....I need to collect some tapestry to make one of these.....London is cute as ever......

  3. Bag looks great but needs MORE stuff...Susie and I kept saying to each other "knock it up another level" and we did. For what it's worth I treated all exterior layers of trims as separate units and once sewn together then attached them to the bag. worked well..

    I think I birth my bags a little differently and I think it is easier... and might be easier for old henry ford... I'll see if I can diagram it.

  4. Your London sure is a cutie-pie!
    Love the Boho bag, and thanks for all the info re its creation.

  5. The bag is great but I agree with Gerry, it needs more stuff! I always find my prototype to anything takes me a) far longer than it should b) always find better ways to do things. Overall, an interesting process. LOVE the flea table photos - those linens and other goodies.... I agree with Deb, London sure is growing. In closing, have a puffer for me LOL.....

  6. Oh, you have the cutest little fairy to help with organizing the linen :) Love the bag, I think I'm getting the virus, too...

  7. Love your bag just the way it is!! Don't get too crazy or you will have to go to Calif. to sell them!!

  8. Wow, what a great handbag Cathy! I really like it very much and you've made it so neat and pro looking! I love handbags! Wish I could produce tons of those lol only the sewing part always scares me! And what a cut little granddaughter. You're one lucky Dammy LOL ;-))


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