June 10, 2011

Flower power :: a tutorial

flower power :: a tutorial

I most definitely did not need another purse. As a matter of fact, this week while carrying around a way too heavy purse I made the remark I would so much like to be "free" - I want to live a purse-free life. Why is it that men can leave the house with just a wallet and a set of keys and we carry around entire survival kits? Do I really need all this stuff? Let's face it: right now, I have in my purse

- a wallet
- another purse with change
- keys
- car keys
- sunglasses
- small pencilcase
- handsanitizer
- paper tissues
- several packs of chewing gum
- paper wrappers
- loose change
- organizer (although small, really heavy!)
- MOO cards (that's right! I didn't mention them yet but I ordered some MOO Mini Cards a little while ago - so cute!)
- pass Navigo (Metro travel pass)
- cell phone - which I usually can't find when it rings, because obstructed by all of the above
- a small umbrella
- card holder for store fidelity cards, membership cards ...
- a notebook
- a little pouch with medication and band aids

Surprisingly, I do not carry around any make-up, not even a lipstick.

But seriously: do I really need all of this? When I take out the umbrella you can rest assured it will start raining. And the girls only fall or get hurt when I don't bring any band aids. But one pen would do, wouldn't it, instead of a pencil case. And how about all the plastic cards from stores where I come only once in a while. And the organizer?

With that in the back of my mind and the upcoming vacation I thought I should try to go light again. And is there a better way of doing so with a brand new, cute little purse?

The inspiration for this one comes from a little purse my dad brought me from a business trip to Ohio - I was about twelve when I received it and I still have it. It was just the perfect size to hold a wallet and a set of keys and I used it way into adult life. It was handmade and all seams where sewn with leather strips - something you see showing up everywhere again lately (see also my bohemian belt). Hence the leather shoelace stitched seams. In addition, I decided to have a flower closure and since I liked the rough edges of the leather I chose to integrate these as well into the design. The body of the purse is made out of a single rectangular piece which makes it a really easy project.

What you'll need:

- a rectangular piece of leather
- leather scraps for the flower
- leather shoe lace for binding the edges (2), strap (2), closure and flower attachment (1)
- leather punch
- scissors, rotary cutters
- ruler and marker

flower power :: a tutorial


1. Cut your leather to size for the body of the purse. ~ pic.1

2. Make flower from leather scraps by cutting two flower shapes, one slightly bigger than the other. Punch two holes in each one (make sure they correspond to each other).

3. About 1 cm from the edge, mark where the holes should come, one every cm. Also punch two holes at the top fold (for the strap), four holes (two by two) near the bottom center for the closure loop, and two near the bottom of the flap for the flower (same distance between holes as in flower). ~pic.3

4. With leather punch, punch holes as marked. However, on the side seams skip the one at the bottom fold (marked with a cross in pic.3 - enlarge picture) on either side (left and right). ~ pic.4

5. Sew seams with shoe lace. Start and finish with a knot ~ pic.5

6. Attach the loop for closure as shown ~ pic. 6-7

7. Attach flower to the flap and secure with a knot at each end. ~ pic.7 and 9

8. Attach strap (I used two shoe laces for that, knotted together) ~pic.8

Designer notes: Except maybe for the punching part, this would be a perfect craft for the (older) kid. If you don't have any leather handy or do not want your kid to ruin some precious leather, try using felt or denim. In the latter case, no punching is required as one can just sew the seams with needle and thread. The flower can be made out of any material, really or replaced by a button.
Use your imagination and more importantly - have fun!

This little purse has exactly the right size to hold a small wallet, keys and a cell phone and will keep me company on the beach, hopefully soon!

Flower power :: a tutorial

As with all of my tutorials, please note, this tutorial is intended for personal use only. Therefore, do not reproduce, sell or commercialize in any form without permission. Thanks for understanding!

If you made something using a tutorial found on this blog or if you got inspired by something you found here, make sure to post your pictures here.


jane said...

we basically have the same things in our bags. and on top of everything else i can never find anything. :) the purse is lovely!
happy weekend!

virginia said...

beautiful bag, both elegant and whimsical - perfect.

blue moss said...

My husband laughs because when he calls me when I am out and about he can count on my having to call him back because I can never find my phone in time to answer it (in my mess of a purse) !
When I go to my favorite thrift store....I hate taking my purse ..all I want is my phone, keys and some money. I usually just stuff them in my pocket...this is the perfect answer! ... and its so pretty.

casserole said...

This is gorgeous!! I linked to your tutorial on Craft Gossip Sewing:


nicole/brussels said...

mooi zoals altijd en echt verzorgd, en de papa is fier dat zijn dochter nog altijd haar tasje " from Ohio " heeft, zoals de broer nog altijd zijn T-shirtje heeft met het insigne en vliegtuigje van de Brothers Wright museum

Leslie said...

I have been looking for bag ideas for a leather coat I bought at the thrift store. Thanks for the tutorial.

Carolyn said...

So elegant!

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" me " said...

gij maakt toch altijd zo'n mooie dingen hé !!!

Maize Hutton said...

lovely, lovely, lovely....

Ricochet said...

Super chic purse! Love the natural edges. Great photos too! Inspiring me to step my game on my blog photos.

Rachel@oneprettything.com said...

That's so beautiful! The edges caught my eye too. What a fun conversation piece! Thanks for sharing the how-to, I'll be linking.

Mindy said...

What a great purse! I love the rustic/artsy feel of it!

I'm constantly moving from a huge almost suitcase back to a basic wallet on a string. I have the same dilemma if I don't take it I need it, if I do, then of course I don't. I haul way too much junk around, and it wears on my shoulder.

coolgirl said...

i could not understand how to add a loop for closure nad i needed to ask is the closure for the flap of the bag and i did u insert the flower it would be great if u could explain me that :D

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Elaine Lawton said...

I must admit, this is inspired! I currently have access to a whole heap of scrap leather so I will give this one a go :)

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