Thursday, September 20, 2012

Motorcycle Inspired Purse

Sorry for the absence over the last few weeks. I was busy traveling 5,227 miles...and getting married. I'll post more about the big day later. Right now I wanted to share my latest purse creation with you all.

Following the idea of my motorcycle inspired vest upgrade, I thought I should have a purse to go with that vest. During our 5,000+ mile trip out west, we stopped at several Harley Davidson motorcycle dealerships to pick up poker chips in memory of our trip. While we were at these dealerships, I perused the women's clothing and accessories sections and I saw several, very expensive purses that I thought were cute in their construction, but not in their price tags. So I thought I could try to recreate the essence of these purses.

I used the same template that I used on the lace insert of my vest to create a burlesque type of orange and fishnet inset zippered pocket. Here are some closeup shots of the pocket section.

I began by copying the bar and shield design onto the wrong side of the denim material, similar to the way I made my lace vest insert. I then sandwiched this denim layer on top of another denim layer, right sides facing, and stitched around the design. When I was done, I began clipping away the interior of the bar and shield design. Some of the corners are pretty tight and I found that if you clip as close as possible to the stitched line, it makes turning the project much easier.

Next I basically turned the layers so that the right sides were now on the outside. I basically took the theory behind inserting a zippered pocket and changed the shape a bit. I pinned down the border of the open section and used some orange accent thread to stitch around the bar and shield design and to help it hold its shape. All that was left was to put the denim layer on top of my orange zipper section. 

The orange layer of the zipper section consists of about 4 separate layers of orange tulle material and the fishnet layer is actually two layers of black fishnet type material. I also added a layer of white cotton underneath the orange layer to help the orange color pop a little more. When I had it sufficiently lined up, I restitched over my original orange stitching line to secure the zipper section to the denim layer. I also used another layer of the same white cotton to complete the other side of the pocket, but I stitched this layer to the external border of the entire purse front so that the pocket itself would be the size of the entire purse front.

For the handle tabs, I simply sandwiched them in between the back denim layer and the zipper/lining layers. I made sure to measure the distance between two of my belt loops on my jeans and placed the handle tabs accordingly. You'll see in the pictures later why I placed them so specifically.

For the removable handle, I had a sort of gaudy looking chain necklace that my mother gave me from one of her many garage sale adventures that I thought would be perfect since it was sort of a mixture of orange and black links. I simply removed a couple of links to open up the chain, then I added a couple of decorative washer links on each end of the chain so that it would be easier to add/remove them from the little clasps that I had put on the handle tabs.

Here you can see why I measured the handle tabs so that they would line up with the belt loops of my jeans. Now when I ride on the back of the bike I can have my purse handy instead of always having to stow it in one of the saddle bags. This pic also shows my little zipper pulls nicely too. I thought the little motorcycle one was fitting for this application.

When I'm not using my chain shoulder strap, I can stow it securely away in my little orange zippered pocket.

And the cap on the whole purse is the lining. I had bought this black skull material from Wal-mart ages ago and it's been in my fabric stash collecting dust ever since. Did I mention it had glitter on it? Maybe that's why it was collecting so much dust. Not much use for glittery skull material. Anyway, I thought that this would be as good an application for the skully material as any. The nice part is that the glitter doesn't appear to come off on everything, like I was assuming it would. I added two pockets, one on each side, to separate my wallet and phone and anything else I might need with me when I get to go out on a spontaneous bike ride with my new husband.

My sewing machine did fight me a little bit on this purse, especially since it was going through about 4 layers of denim and a couple layers of interfacing in a few spots. Sounds like a good excuse to find a new machine. Hmm....

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