Ah, buttercup handbag & tote

For Christmas, I received a Kenmore sewing machine from my mother-in-law. It’s been sitting in our office since then,My sewing machine giving me longing looks that both pulled at my heart and intimidated me. Only two weeks ago did I finally open it up. I love sewing, but it also scares me. The whole “cutting of fabric” part is the scariest. If I make a mistake, I can’t just unravel the knitted row.

But I took the plunge and have successfully made two imperfect bags. The first is a tote from Lotta Jansdotter’s sewing book, Simple Sewing, that I blogged about back in February when I picked up the fabric I used for both bags.

This pattern was super-easy, but because I’m still having issues reading patterns (mostly because I tend to second-guess myself, a lot), I made a few errors, the most obvious being the pygmy handles. But since the bag is so practical, I plan to make another, bigger one for all of my knitting paraphernalia that I tend to tote around.

Simple tote

The second is based on the Buttercup Bag pattern I found through SouleMama’s post about it on March 16. I realized that the other pair of fabrics would work together perfectly for this little one. (Since it’s currently cloudy in Corvallis, it was hard to get a true-color shot of the bag without a flash, so here’s one with the flash and another to show the dark plum Buttercup baglining.)

Things I would change when I make a second bag:

1) Leave off the magnetic snaps. They’re heavy, required fusible interfacing, and don’t seem necessary for this little bag when using lightweight material.

2) Use a heavier-weight fabric (like a tapestry one) for the outer fabric to lend some heft to it.

3) Create a two-toned look by making the band around the top a different color/fabric than the purse fabric (see the way SouleMama did hers).

Plum lining

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