Edgar Allen Poe, writer of mystery and the macabre. Born 1809 and died too young in 1849 under mysterious circumstances. His death certificate disappeared! He is considered the inventor of detective fiction and credited with contributing to the emerging genre of science fiction. His short stories and poems caught my attention as a teen. The Raven, The Cask of Amontillado, The Tell Tale Heart. I remember my son reading The Tell Tale Heart in 8th grade and being creeped out! But it held his attention!
Anyway, when I spotted the Edgar Allen Poe Nevermore fabric by Michael Miller I knew I had to have some and I didn’t want it to just be added to my stash, or another quilt. (Nevermore is the title of an Edgar Allen Poe musical that I have not had the opportunity to see yet but hope to!) I could not see myself wearing a Nevermore dress- that’s just not me, so, I decided to make a purse. I am not usually a big handmade purse fan. I want my purse,for lack of better words- looking NOT handmade! Haha. Which meant challenging myself to use hardware and leather like accents. Because this was a first venture into purse making I decided against the cost of leather just in case it looked like crap!
I spent several hours deciding on the right pattern and went with the Harriet purse by Swoon. (af link) Some of them still looked a little “handmade” to me but after perusing all the pictures I decided I needed to use a real clasp on the front and rivets.😀
Best way to make a purse is to gather everything together and cut it all out at once. As a non-purse sewist I also had to do some hardware (ETSY) and Pellon shopping. After a big debate on IG whether to use silver or gold hardware, I went with antique bronze.
Making a purse is not hard. You just follow the directions step by step, keep your seams even, and you can make yourself a pretty cool purse.
One of my favorite features of this purse is the two side zips. If I need more space in my purse I just unzip the side zips and it becomes more of a tote! For this reason I made certain I had a good coordinate. (Which is also my lining.)
I was impatient and kept putting the clasp on incorrectly but finally managed on the 3rd try. So, I advise avoiding being too excited and practicing patience! And reading the directions if you have never put a clasp on a purse before!
One of my biggest concerns was whether my little machine would be able to handle the “pleather.” Single and double folded it actually did! When I made my handles though I needed to use a leather needle and adjust my tension. In my dreams I have an industrial machine- one day!
Another new “skill” for me was adding rivets. Heck, I had trouble BUYING rivets because I had NO CLUE what size to buy and despite combing the interwebs for information on other sewing blogs no one really mentioned what SIZES were good. So, I guessed. I went with 6 mm and bought the tool. I had to buy 100 rivets, but, well, I guess I can make a lot of purses now! I highly recommend you practice!! I broke a few in the beginning and finally figured out exactly how much pressure to put on the hammer. Those rivets help make my purse look less homemade. Fortunately, the 6 mm worked perfectly. Unfortunately, I won’t always be using antique bronze so I just ordered a batch of silver!
I LOVE my purse. Have you ever made or done something that just makes you proud? This did! It is not perfect. I have one issue I need to fix for my next one, but sewing is a learning process right?! The biggest thing that bothers me is I failed to get the Nevermore centered. I was using a paper pattern on the fold- so for future I traced that piece on to see through interfacing as one full piece. That should help me center better next time, and will hopefully help you if you decide to make a purse. Other than that, well… It is pretty perfect and I am pretty pleased. I am searching high and low for an antique bronze raven charm to add to the side zipper but have only found silver so far.
Check out the sides! Isn’t it fantastic? In reality I will probably never need a bigger sized purse. I have been carrying a small cross body style purse for the last two and a half years. It barely fits my sunglasses, cell phone and a case for my ID and cards. I like having a tiny purse! But I still like the contrast of my new one and suppose I can carry my Kindle in this one now!
Here is a peek at the insides. There is one small zipper pocket. I think I would like to add an extra panel inside to separate and add another section. But this will do!
After this successful purse project I have decided that I am going to become a Bag Lady… I have already planned out a Batman, Minnie Mouse, and Snow White purse. And that is just the beginning! I also have an 80’s style leather coat my mom gave me (those 80’s shoulders make it unwearable!) that I can re-purpose the leather for. (Once I get it out of storage!)
If you are in the mood for a short, dark story here is a link to the Tell Tale Heart. I finished up this purse watching the latest episode of Wayward Pines! LOVE that show. The first season was pretty creepy. I hope they can keep up the creep factor!
~Listening to Jimi Hendrix