Blackcabbit (aka. Dionnie Takahashi) is an illustrator living in Japan. She loves drawing whimsical animal characters, as well as doing handmade crafts to beautify the world she lives in.
A few months back, I made a sewing kit pouch. It was my first attempt on doodle stitching as well as making a purse with a kiss-lock frame. I really love it and was about to brag but was put out of mood when a string of bad events happened to Japan in March. All my handmade and blog activities came to a sudden halt. Well, I’m back to my chatty self and now I’m ready to share. Step by step, here we go…
The kiss-lock frames are my favorite of all sewing notions! I simply adore them. In fact, I’ve collected quite a few types of metal frames, all waiting patiently for me to complete them into purses. Initially, I was clueless. Then, I came across these fantastic tutorials that provided me great revelation of how to create my own purse patterns. They had given me the confidence to kick start this sewing project. Kudos to these wonderful ladies who generously share their wealth of knowledge.
Since it was my first attempt, I decided to practice on a 95mm purse frame from Daiso the 100-yen shop. Next, I worked out the shape and size for my pouch, and sketched an illustration to fit it.
When I came to Japan, I was wowed by lots of impressive handmade works where embroidered illustrations truly compliment the handicraft. That’s when I got hooked. Cos now I realized that I have a new medium to doodle with! Anyway, back to the topic…
Initially, I traced my illustration onto the fabric with color carbon paper but I can hardly see any lines. So, I went over it with a purple water-soluble pen. Yet, it was just as faint. I decided to proceed anyway since I was familiar with the art. I used my PRE-WASHED Cosmo dark brown embroidery thread and started stitching. After completing the stitch-work with three other color threads and bits of fabric, I used water to clean off the tracing marks.
I traced the purse pattern four times onto fabric “A,B,C & D,” twice onto fusible interfacings, and cut them out accordingly. The thick interfacing were ironed onto fabric “A” & “B”. Subsequently, I placed the right side of “A” onto the right side of “B” before sewing them together.
Before I flipped over to the right sides of “A+B”, I’d cut out V notches to reduce bulk so that I can have nice rounded corners. “C+D” are linings, the inside of the purse. Similar to “A+B”, the right sides of “C+D” touched each other. The only difference, I left openings at the top and bottom, and used overedge stitch to neaten the remaining seam.
Next, I tugged the “A+B” into “C+D”. Making sure that all my edges aligned nicely before separating/grouping the layers for pinning. After that, I sewed “A” with “D” (and “B” with “C”) using the overedge stitch.
After sewing the seam, I pushed “A+B” out through the opening of “C+D”. That took a while but it was really exciting for me as the pretty (right) side of the fabrics started to emerge. Once everything was reversed inside out, I stitched up the opening. Finally, the last few steps were to push the linings into “A+B” and work to get the shape right.
After completing the fabric section of the purse, it was time to apply the metal purse frame. The tools I used for this project were a long nose pliers, an awe, and a glue with long tip. First, I applied generous amount of glue onto the groove of the frame as well as the pouch opening. After fitting the frame to the fabric, I gently stuffed a paper string (cut to match the frame size) into the groove using the awe. Now to the most thrilling part… I compressed all four edges of the frame with the plier, whose teeth was cushioned with fabric scraps to prevent any scratches or accidental damage to the frame.