Click for complete sewalong with step-by-step instructions & customization ideas.
For my December Minerva Crafts Network Project, I’m thrilled to show off my Presidio Purse. I was carrying my purse for the first time yesterday and plopped it down on the counter of a craft supply store while I dug out my wallet to pay for some last minute stocking stuffers. The gal behind the counter exclaimed “What a wonderful purse! I’m a total purse junky. Where did you get it?” I was pretty stoked to be able to say “I made it! The pattern is mine and I will be releasing it on January 1st!” A pattern release, you say!?! Yes, I say!! Check back into my website on January 1st for the official release of my Presidio Purse pattern. I’ll have some gorgeous photos of gorgeous finished purses from my wonderful pattern testers. And over the course of January, I’ll host a full step-by-step sew-along. The pattern is written for the intermediate sewist but a beginner should be able to sew the purse by following along with my sewalong. There will be lots of additional information to supplement the pdf pattern as well as instructions to sew a secret hidden pocket for the more advanced sewist. For the outside of the purse I used this gorgeous plum tweed coat weight wool (although it’s a bit redder than I typically picture plum, it’s still delicious). I lined the purse in this gorgeous floral print cotton lawn. And of course when they arrived in the mail I immediately wanted to make clothing out of them instead because they were so very, very yummy. But I’m glad I resisted the urge because I am thrilled with my new purse! Minerva has put together a kit of these fabrics and the notions that you will need to sew the purse, so put in your order now so you can start sewing along in January! (Or buy them and make something else, because they fabrics are seriously yummy). The wool, while thick, is quite drapey, so you will need to interface it to use it for a purse. I added piping to my purse which is not included in the Minerva kit or the pattern (but instructions will be included in the sew-along for the intermediate to advanced sewist). I also added rectangular rings to the purse handle. Minerva doesn’t carry any large enough, but the pattern also includes straps that are all fabric without hardware. Most of the purses that I have sewn in the past were from upholstery fabrics scrounged from my stash, usually given to me from someone else’s stash. Functional, but never particularly inspiring. Sewing a purse with such gorgeous fabric was dreamy and now when I oggle fabric I’m oggling it with more purses in mind. Ha! This hobo style purse features decorative front inset panels (either gathered or un-gathered) and an over-the-shoulder handle that can be all fabric or use hardware for a more ready-to-wear look. The fully lined inside has a large zippered pocket and, inside of that, a smaller subdivided pocket for pens and a cell phone or wallet. The back is undecorated and, of course, you can choose not to put the decorate panels in the front for a very simple and totally functional purse. I asked my pattern testers to describe the purse for me and got some great responses. My favorite? “A functional bag perfect to fit everything INCLUDING the kitchen sink.” I am a total sucker for a giant purse, and this is an iteration of big ol’ purse that I’m super proud of! I’m always lugging around way too much and this is the perfect bag to hold it all. I usually have an extra cardigan, a notebook, knitting, a snack, and all the things you’re actually supposed to carry in a purse like a wallet, keys, cell-phone, make-up kit (when I actually get around to putting makeup on), glasses case, kerchief, etc.”