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The Sugar and Spice Purse Sewing Project and a Gift for Sis this Christmas

The Sugar and Spice ePattern from ChrisW Designs

My sister now wants a bag to go with her new winter coat.  It's purple.  I said what sort of bag, and she said the same as usual, a 15% smaller Stow-it-All.  I said no way, I have made 8 now, and it was time for something new! After showing her a few patterns she chose another of Christine's designs, Sugar & Spice.  So I bought, downloaded and printed it, next we are off to find purple fabrics!

After walking round and round the store we eventually decided to choose something that would go with purple rather than be purple, and this is the combination we finally decided on.  I suggested I used the black for the piping and handles to highlight the Roses print, and the pink stripe for the lining.  This is actually the same linen effect rose print I used for the red Stow-it-All I made her, just in another colorway.  That's the tough bit over, I had a long black zipper and a set of 1 1/4" silver rings so the hardware was no problem.

The construction was straightforward.  The only change I made was to the lining.  The pattern has two slip pocket and a pen slot on each side.  After conferring we decided to add a zipped pocket on one side instead as she said she found that more useful.  It also includes a separate removable bag base made using Pellon which I didn't have, so I tried the nearest thing I had in Vilene.  I have to say it is not much good, far too thin and flimsy.   I think I will have to make her another one, maybe using Soft and Stable over some plastic template instead.

I started out with a 16" zipper and forgot to trim it down to 14", so I had to go back and do that when I realised the tabs were sticking out of the top of the bag.  I made my own piping as I had a piping foot, and even if I could buy it ready-made from somewhere, that would have meant waiting!  That said, it was time consuming.  

I had to remind myself how to make a continuous strip of binding (to avoid having to match up all those little seams) before actually adding the piping cord, which seemed to go on forever!  You might find this McCalls video handy for that, and there are step-by-step written instructions with it here. Then when it came to applying the piping I realised my new Janome sewing machine did not come with the universal piping/zipper foot, so I ordered one but rather than wait I used my old machine.  (I really don't like waiting!)

The only real snag I hit was adding the rivets, over where the piping ends on the top slip pocket.  I swear I did measure and mark the positions, yet every time they came up wonky!  I marked the instructions so that if I make another one I will stitch it in place and/or put the rivets ABOVE the piping.  I hope my sister can live with them, otherwise I think it would be easier to make another bag from scratch than unpick the straps and replace them!

The finished bag is very pretty, when she collected it tonight she sent me a message "Bag is beautiful!! I'm over the moon yet again, thank you very much".  Makes it all worthwhile doesn't it.

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