Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Clasp purses

Moving on from my experiments with zipped and boxed pouches, I finally wanted to grapple with clasp purses. You know those ready made purse handles that can be bought in haberdasherys?
I had saved a tutorial from the Village Haberdashery for this project: Emily's frame purse tutorial. I now see that it was written over two years ago! This is how long it takes sometimes to get around to doing projects!!!
I can't remember exactly where I bought the clasp I have, but I quickly realised it was a different style to the one Emily uses in her tutorial :(
See? Mine has holes in it whereas the other clasp has a groove where I assume the fabric gets squeezed in. I think I remember at the time I was buying it, that I had a notion it was more "authentic" to sew a purse on to the clasp than to "squeeze" the fabric in between the grips... sigh.
Ok, so now I don't have a tutorial to follow, but there was a sheet of directions with the clasp. Multilingual directions.
The English is translated from German by someone who doesn't sew, for example "stitch the left edges of both bag pouches together" - they mean "wrong sides of fabrics facing". Also the English says "Layout has a 1cm seam allowance all around", again, from reading the German, and also the French, I conclude that the pattern doesn't include this allowance but that it must be added!!!
So I get some beautiful velvet and some beautifuller satin and I set about cutting it as per the pattern instructions on the sheet.
I don't succeed with the purse. The fabrics are too unmanageable, especially considering this is my first time grappling with this purse clasp :(
Also, it appears that the clasp would be visible on the inside of the purse, that the lining wouldn't conceal it.
I decide I need to use fabrics that don't fray so I'm not dealing with turning inside out etc... This is a new thing I'm exploring in my sewing-life... fabrics that don't fray! I'm planning on making more babies bibs and they would be made much easier if I could avoid turning inside-out etc, but that's a different project!
So I go to my stash and find some oilcloth and some fleece. Oilcloth for the outside and fleece for the lining.
And I try to sew these shapes on to the metal clasp, threading through the holes.
Can you sense my frustration with this? Ok, so the thread I have looks flimsy, but when I tried to use a thicker thread (it was wool actually), the larger needle I had to use didn't fit through all the holes - the holes at the bend of the metal are squidged and misformed and smaller :(
But I persevere... and end up with this... (yes, I know it's turned inside out around the body of the purse, the non-fray concept comes into its own at the point where the fabrics touch the clasp)
The pattern cutting instructions were just not helpful, they should have addressed something about the section around the hinge. There was no help for cutting the fabric to take account of the hinge, what they said was "complete the bag pouch at the line ends as required".
So I think I need to go back to the Emily tutorial, and follow her steps for drafting the purse shape and hope that it will then fit in with the different metal clasp that I have.

Why is it so difficult?! Should the clasp manufacturer not provide an instruction booklet if it proves to be so useless? This is why we need to go to classes, to learn from each other, to share experience and avoid all this frustration.

1 comment:

  1. I tried following the tutorial on the Village Haberdashery again - but the frame I have is too different so I had to give up. The tutorial is for a 6"x3" square frame, mine is kind of 3"x2" and is roundy. And of course isn't the groove kind but has holes.