Monday, May 14, 2012

Raindrops Keep Falling On My Purse

Hold on . . . it's another Stitch &  Slash Purse project!  I call it "Raindrops Keep Falling On My Purse." 

I was inspired by Carol Ann Waugh's Stitch & Slash online class. I've been sewing 50 years, and I say that in muffled tones with my hand over my mouth . . .  And in those 50 years I've had quite a few sewing instructors, but none so brilliant in personality and knowledge as Carol Ann Waugh.

I highly recommend her online class. 

Here's the link the CRAFTSY Online Classes:

A note to Carol: Wow Carol, you are a great teacher. Your online class at really got me going--and now I'm constantly thinking about stitching and ripping fabric to make funky fabric.

Yesterday--Mother's Day, I challenged myself to use the ugliest fabrics in my stash and create this handsome large purse. Making this funky fabric is a beginner sewing project.

Below: are samples of the fabrics I used.  The top fabric was an olive brocade, then a layer of turquoise/blue batik cotton, then a coarse cotton weave that raveled well--giving a feathered edge to the shapes, and the bottom layer was the orange cotton upholstery fabric.

Below: a close up of the layers torn away 1/4" from the stich line with a seam ripper.  I used the tip of the seam ripper to scratch at the raw edges to create texture.
I ironed copper metallic lame' to a double sided fusible web (Stitch Witchery) and cut out large circles, and then cutting those circles in half to make comma shapes for RAINDROPS!

The idea for the title of the purse came from listening to the radio yesterday and hearing a Burt Bacharach song from the 60s "Raindrops Keep Falling on my Head."

Above: this photo shows texture--as the coarse weave cotton fabric boldly unraveled.  After a haircut with scissors--I snipped away the long cross weave unraveled strings.

I had a little more orange cotton fabric, and re-introduced the high contrast orange as margins, and shoulder straps. 
The function of the bag is really fine-tuned for me.  Inside the gold brocade lined bag are two water bottle pockets, and a zippered pocket big enough for a checkbook and cell phone.  Mom sent me her stash of old zippers, and I easily found a zipper for $0.  Thanks Mom!

By the way, Happy Mother's Day Mom--my Mother Lorraine is an extremely talented seamstress who was and still is my primary sewing instructor.  When something ain't working right on the machine, my first call is to my Mom Lorraine.  She always begins, 1) did you try re-threading the machine?  2) did you try using a new needle?  3) when is the last time you cleaned the bobbin case?  She's my go-to sewing expert.

One year Mom made 63 garments for us kids.  She kept the number count circled on the kitchen blackboard.  I'll never forget all the beautiful prom dresses she made for us girls.  Thanks Mom, for teaching us how to sew.  Think what we would have missed out in life--if we had not been seamstresses like you?  We'd have to take up bass fishing like Dad, eh?  What a disturbing thought!

I made the bag from fabric leftover from other projects . . . except the key clasp I purchased (2) in a package for under $3.  How economical is that?

The layered fabrics make this large purse (shopping tote) very sturdy.  The orange theme will work for a summer purse and well into the autumn. 

My next purse will be called, "Bubble Yum- I'ts Bubble Gum" 

Using color theme of grayed blue/green wall color, white trim, and the vintage bubble gum machine in my upstairs bathroom. 

Got a quarter?


  1. I think your purse with the "see-through" fabric is very chic. That orange was the perfect complement! I think you should be selling on Rodeo Drive!

  2. Thanks Mark,

    Wish you would reply to my offer to make an personalized shopping bag for you. I have an idea rolling around in my head that would be perfect for you. No charge. Just a thank you, for being a friend.

  3. Wow! How could I possibly refuse — or ignore — such a nice offer! I suggest a cultural exchange. And I'm thinking that you might have fun using some antique buttons for your projects ...

  4. Oh my Mark. Antique buttons? Why I'd give the price of a concert ticket just to hold an antique button in my hand. Yes, yes, I like your idea for an exchange!

  5. Great job, Linda. Your artistic eye is evident in your choices of fabric colors in this and the prior project. I don't know where you find the time to do so many things. I love seeing what you make. Keep up the good work. You're and inspiration in creating.