alterations for a popular purse pattern to make it your own

Creative Twist on Purse

Tags: bag, how-to, pattern, strip piecing

Candy Sweet purse pattern - the original

Any excuse to make something for someone is always high on my list of things to do especially when it comes to Birthdays and Christmas so knowing my granddaughter Sarah loves purses like any other little girl, I just had to make her one for her birthday. I used my Candy Sweet Purse Pattern to create it, changing the style somewhat. The original pattern as you can see, has two applique designs that can be used.

I figured every little girl loves butterflies so made Sarah's purse with butterfly fabric and omitted the applique.... now as I write this, I could have made it like the red purse above and appliqued a butterfly! (here's a free tutorial to make one)

Sarah's purse made from the Candy Sweet pattern

I made another purse a few years back for my other granddaughter making hers out of strips.

Amy's purse made from the Candy Sweet pattern

So today I wanted to include instruction on how to make these alternations.

There are a number of ways you can make these different styles. For example, instead of cutting out the sections required to make the purse, piece fabrics together to make the sections - you could crazy piece them or strip piece them as I did for Amy's purse. Or simply cut out one whole section with a favorite fabric as I did for Sarah's.

Here's how I strip pieced Amy's purse: First I decided on a strip width of 1" (it can be any and they don't need to be the same). Then I checked the pattern to see what size sections I needed to make remembering to deduct the seam allowance before calculating how many I would need. 1" strips make it really easy to divide into so for example a 12" piece would require 12 strips. Before cutting though, I need to remember to add seam allowances to those strips therefore I'd cut 1-1/2" wide strips however there is one more step first to get that jagged strip effect.

To create a staggered seam, I needed to use different lengths of strips so I made the strips longer than was required for the finished purse. The quickest and easiest way to do this was to cut a large section of each color (that is larger than the height of the section needed, say 3-5" after joining), join the two sections together, then cut my 1-1/2" strips from that. 

I made two sections and lay both blocks together, then used my Shape Cut Plus to cut 1-1/2" strips which makes quick work of it.

Using a Shape Plus Ruler to cut strips

The Shape Plus Ruler makes an easy job of cutting strips quickly

1-1/2" strips cut from fabric blocks

1-1/2" strips cut from fabric blocks

Now I set the strips out mixing them up and staggering the seam line before sewing them together and trimming it to size.

Two sections of joined strips with staggered seam

My two sections - main purse section and end

In both the bags, I added a inner zipped pocket. Another easy feature with just a slight adjustment to the lining. The lining is cut the same size as the bag sides however I added 1/2" seam allowances to create a little wiggle room. The zip is added in flat and I make sure I stop sewing the end 1/2" from the raw edge so the tail can be tucked down inside.

stop sewing 1/2" before raw edge so zip can be tucked inside

To add in the pocket, I needed to make a seam in the lining ends so all the edges are sewn in. I didn't make the pocket the full height of the bag about 2/3 of it.

zipper pocket inside purse

On Amy's purse, I tipped the lining over the raw edge at the top to form the rim and on Sarah's I used a matching trim. Both include end pockets on the outside, extra pockets on the inside and handles of course. I had the perfect matching bead for Amy's purse....

Amy's purse made from the Candy Sweet quilt pattern

Amy's purse

While I filled Sarah's with all sorts of goodies for her 5th birthday - something in every pocket and then some!

lots of girly gifts inside Sarah's purse

This pattern is very easy to make and alter.... and ideal for any little girl - or big girl! You can also add surprises in the pockets if you wish. You'll find the pattern here: Candy Sweet Purses

Perhaps you'll make another little girl happy too!

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