Buttercup Bag

July 29, 2010


I made my first handbag recently based on this free Buttercup Bag pattern by Rae Hoekstra.

The great thing about this pattern is that it only uses two fat quarters of fabric (one for the exterior & one for the lining). That means the finished purse size is pretty small, but it’s still big enough to fit a wallet, phone & keys for a night out.

It also means that if you don’t have old fabrics laying around, you can test this pattern out without breaking the bank at the fabric store.

I used some linen-textured, navy fabric for the purse exterior and added a coordinating fabric flower made from one of my Sizzix dies (Large Daisies 38-0208).

To create one, just line your fabric with fusible interfacing for stability, then cut out a large & small flower in contrasting fabrics with your diecut machine. (I used my Cuttlebug.) Sew the layers together with a button, then hot-glue a pinback to the assembled flower to finish. I created my own coordinating fabric-covered button from a simple Dritz button kit I found at my local craft store. Helpful hint: Add a touch of fraycheck to the ends of your flower so they don’t unravel.

On the backside of the purse, I added a small button panel with more fabric-covered buttons.

The lining is vintage (reminds me of some baby clothes I had in the 70s.) I added a simple square pocket and a bronze-colored magnetic snap closure. I’d never tried using magnetic snaps before, but found they were pretty easy to work with. I was also amazed at the selection at my local fabric store. Apparently, purse-making is having a comeback. They had a whole aisle dedicated to it with handles, all kinds and colors of snap enclosures, etc.

Before I try this pattern again, I think I’ll enlarge it a bit. I highly recommend it, though, for a beginner sewer. You can finish one in just a few hours, and I think these bags would make great gifts for friends and family. If you decide you want to sell them, Rae also offers a commercial license for only $10.

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