Over the summer I found a handbag pattern online. It looked like it was scanned and uploaded, but the pictures were clear and easy to follow. The problem? It was in Japanese… If you are an experienced sewist (is that the right word?) you can sometimes follow a pattern by pictures alone. But for this pattern, I needed some assistance. Thank goodness for my MacBook Pro and Google Translate! I was able to adapt it into a clear set of instructions and maybe someday I will be able to document it a bit better with my personal pictures.
This bag was a good intermediate pattern. I used denim fused with a stiff interfacing for the main body and oval bag bottom. I also pieced five blocks of fabric to make a 3″ strip in the middle for both bag sides, using the same stiff interfacing. I used a decorative top-stitch on either side of the exterior fabric blocks to give it a nice finished look. The handles in the pattern were small like this and I wanted to keep with the pattern. It is cute for handles, but next time I may make them a tad longer. For the lining I used a pale orange cotton to compliment the blocks and added a zippered pocket and a open pocket for my cell phone. This bag used a drop-in method to secure exterior and interior bag pieces. A 1/2″ bias tape was used to seal the bag together and finish it off (the handles had to be facing down while I added the bias tape). I finished it of by top-stitching the top and bottom of the bias tape, about 1/8″ from each end. I really liked how it turned out. Not bad for the first try.
I think this has begun my love of Japanese handmade purses and accessories. Do you have handbag patterns in languages foreign to you? What are your favorites? Cindy