I belong to several Yahoo! groups that deal with sewing and/or boutique clothing for children. Most of the sites highly recommend the patterns from You Can Make This. I decided to purchase this purse pattern and give them a try.
I ordered this pattern in the middle of the night and the file was immediately available for download. The instructions were very clear and there are lots of photos to help you along.
I chose several prints with chocolate brown, pink, and a light teal green. I added the teal fabrics at the last minute because I felt my fabrics were too "matchy-matchy". With the exception of the lining and backing fabrics, it takes less than a quarter yard per choice.
This pattern introduced me to fusible quilt batting. It's the coolest thing since sliced bread! It makes the pieces easy to handle and machine quilt (all straight stitching) because the layers don't slide! I can't wait to try this stuff with other projects.
The purse also uses a magnetic snap. It was very easy to install and makes the finished purse seem so.....finished! This little detail gives it a professionally-made appearance.
I did deviate from the pattern just a little. The main thing I did was to NOT make the strap. The strap instructions that come with the pattern are great, but I had a purse with a removeable handle that matched perfectly. I made little loops and sewed them in then sewing the lining onto the outside then clipped the handle on. This way I'll be able to make more purses in lots of colors and just clip the handles off and on. (I'm thinking of looking at thrift stores for more purses with handles like this that I can use!) I also put two pockets on the inside instead of just one.
While this pattern is fairly easy, you do need a little sewing experience to make it, in my opinion. The batting-backed pieces along with the interfaced pieces make for some bulky handling (but that's what gives the bag structure). I plan on using up my scraps and making a few more of these gems in the near future!