Another week, another project. Actually, two projects! I was really excited about this one. A few weeks ago, I picked up the purse handles on one of my trips to Joann Fabric. (Yes, it’s an addiction. No, you’re not allowed to judge.) A friend of mine also posted a link on my facebook about making your own fabric garment labels. I’ve never used labels for my hats because aside from being expensive, attaching them seems like a pain, and I suspect that most parents would probably cut the scratchy thing out before it even made it onto their kid’s head. Anyway, I figured I’d give it a try for this particular project so that I could “brand” the purse.
First things first – the labels. I whipped up a little graphic in Photoshop, then copied it to a new document and spaced out each label. I chose to use color just to see how it would turn out. Next, I took some plain white cotton fabric that I’d prewashed and ironed, and I cut it to 8 1/2″ x 11″ to match a sheet of paper. I used a glue stick to stick it to the paper (a little dab’ll do ya), then I loaded it into the printer and said a prayer. The fabric and paper did slip a bit going in, but all the labels printed onto the fabric. I used a hot iron to set the ink and cut the labels to size, leaving a little room around the edges for stitching. I’ve heard this method will only work with natural fibers because the ink will bounce right off synthetics. I think it was beginner’s luck. I fully expected my printer to jam.
The purse – Granny squares come in about a billion different varieties. I strayed from the traditional square in favor of a floral motif. I’m hung up on pink and green lately, so I incorporated the colors into the flower. I used a size F crochet hook because I wanted the squares to be a bit more compact and dense without a lot of large holes. I used the join-as-you-go method to join the squares together to form the body of the purse. That was the easy part.
I wanted to line the bag and add a little pocket. Have I mentioned my lack of sewing experience? I learn as I go. Sometimes it works, sometimes…not so much. I used the bag as a template to cut the fabric to size. I had a nice chunk of striped fabric leftover from the puff quilt project, so I used that. Once it was cut to size, I folded the edges in about a 1/2″, pressed them and then sewed them. For the pocket, I sewed two pieces of the fabric, right sides together, turned it inside out, pressed it, added my label with a zigzag stitch, then sewed twice around the edges with different seam allowance to attach it to the lining.
I’ve never tried to sew fabric to a crocheted piece. I couldn’t find my black thread and decided to use the pink that was already in my machine. Not a great idea. I had a few places where the bobbin thread kind of looped out on the front and it just looked…ugly. I ripped it out and just hand-stitched (rather sloppily), the liner into the bag with black emroidery floss. I added the handles last, but to be honest, they’re too big for the bag. I think if I make another, I might try some kind of yarn handles instead.