I just can't wait to share part of this bag, on one hand because I need some serious help figuring out a little problem, and on the other hand because I'm just so excited about the little "extras" I added. Yes, I realize these are just practice bags, but I figured if they turned out nice enough (hey, I'm optimistic!), I wanted them to be a little less plain.
I've made two versions so far, varying only slightly. The one on the left ("flower") doesn't have a top band because I added a pocket panel to the front side and I used bias tape to bind the edges. This one isn't lined yet because I'm not entirely certain the best way to do it. The one on the right ("heart") has a top band (and pocket on the back) and I sewed the pieces right side together, then flipped right side out.
One side on the heart bag turned out really nice & pretty:
The other one (on the right, here), not so pretty:
Any bright ideas on the best way to add a gusset? I'm really attached to the idea of this purse & don't want to give up on using it for the bag swap. I do know I could do square corners instead of having them rounded, but I'd prefer not to. And I could keep the general shape of the bag & use darts instead of a gusset, but I like how this is the full depth all the way up the purse. It makes it surprisingly roomy for a smaller purse.
I can't figure out quite why, but one side was also higher than the other. So when I tried to sew in the lining, the top seam was super angled going from one side of the strap to the other. To fix it, I just patched in another piece of muslin (wasn't too terribly concerned about how it looked for now since I was just going to carry it to check the functionality & sizing. Although, it's really growing on me). I wasn't able to get the original edge in the seam, so it's a little messy in this corner.
I had to add this little heart to hold in the patch. But it turned out kind of cute, so it was totally on purpose. :)
Oh, and don't mind the ugliest topstitching in the universe on this, I wasn't too particular.
And now for the fun pretty stuff.
I just hand drew this heart (as well as the little one that's on the other side for the patch). It's nothing spectacular, but I like the simplicity. And yes, I do draw my hearts with that line going from the bottom back up to the top. It was on the little one too, but I chose not to stitch it because it looked funny on such a small heart.
And my favorite part:
I found the flower pattern over at Needle'n Thread, and there are a ton of other really great patterns, including a couple alphabets. There's also a lot of other good embroidery info over there, so check it out!
I did a simple stem stitch for all the lines, a French knot at the end of each vine, and French knots to fill the flower centers. I mixed colors for each part so it was a little more dimensional, and I really love the way it turned out.
Oh, and don't mind those faint blue & purple lines, apparently not all the ink has disappeared yet, and I obviously didn't completely follow all the lines.