Wednesday, January 7, 2015

A tale of 2 handbags

Before heading to tea in my 1920's outfit, I needed a handbag.  Obviously my giant modern handbag would not work.  I ran across a tutorial for 2 1920's handbags on Your Wardrobe Unlockd. This tutorial was based on 2 surviving bags owned by the author of the article and were just perfect!  (For those who are members of Your Wardrobed Unlockd, I used the tutorial for Bag 1)

My only concern is that the handbag looked very small and I was worried it would never fit the amount of stuff I needed to carry. So what is a girl to do?  I made a mock up of course!  Since I figured there is no point in making a bag I wont use, I made a steampunk version of the handbag first. I used some left over silk velvet I had dyed red for a different project, a cute eyeball themed cotton remnant and some faux bamboo purse handles I had laying around.  The original bag had fancy carved jade tassels, so I used some sculpy, 2 antique glass eyes I had laying around, some gears and 2 black tassels to make tassels bits.

The whole handbag is deceptively easy to make! It is basically a rectangle with some pockets sewn to the inside.  The shaping is due to the handles and some gathering on the side.  The final bag is also deceptively small looking.  I put 2 pockets inside, one for my cell phone, one for my keys and still have room for a wallet, fan, glasses and makeup.

OK, with the mock-up done I assessed the plan.  The only real issue I saw with the mock-up is that the bamboo handles are way bigger than the original handles and i think it makes the purse a bit floppy.  I knew from the original article that the bamboo handles were too big, but I had them in my stash so I went with it.  For my recreation for the 1920's event, I wanted smaller handles closer to the original size.  I found a purse at the thrift store with handles that were close so I bought it and tore the cheap purse apart.  For the final bag, I used some of the silk left over from the 1920's slip and a fancy brocade remnant from my stash for the outer shell.  A fancy cotton remnant from my stash for lining and the handles from the cheap purse.  I am still on the lookout for some good tassels and will add them when I find them. The pictures below are of the 1920's bag and I think the smaller handles are much better, although they are really hard to find.  Also, I think the details of construction are easier to see in these photos. 


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