I don't carry a purse every day. I carry a backpack to work, with a big square insulated lunch pack, a spiral notebook for making (personal, art-related) notes, a snack bag, a coffee travel cup. I have no room for a big purse in my backpack. So, shortly after I started working at IU, I put my 'essentials' into a cloth drawstring bag (the pink bag below). I just need my wallet, pill bottle, lip balm, nail clippers and spare hair ties. On weekends my mini-purse goes into a larger backpack-style purse.
Long ago, after I was done quilting, I had a lot of fabric left over and began making cloth drawstring bags. I am not a great seamstress - I just folded over the edges and sewed them down, making a sleeve for the drawstring, then folded the bag in half and sewed together. I thought I was clever for figuring out how to make the bottom square (I had a cloth lunchbag I bought and I analyzed it to figure out how that was done). I sent some to my sister who uses them for shoe bags when she and her husband travel. (I thought I had an old blog post about the fabric bags but I must have deleted it during my Blog Purge - let me know if you want to know how to fold the bottom for a flat square bottom in a bag.)
Also, while we were in Misery (2003-2006) I found a very handy use for a cloth bag. I was on my way to the bathroom with a feminine napkin in my hand, wearing a suit with no pockets when a male coworker called to me from his office to ask me a question. WHAT TO DO WITH THE NAPKIN? Luckily I was wearing a long sleeve suit jacket and pulled my hand up my sleeve, but was still caught off-guard. (Like: Seriously? I can't even go to the bathroom without answering a dumb question? Anyway-) So. I put my feminine products into a little cloth drawstring bag and from then on that is what I used - carrying the little bag with me down the hall.
Recently, I found some Zippered Pouch tutorials online (links below) and decided I would like one for my purse, rather than a drawstring bag, which is kind of difficult and messy, with everything a jumble. For Admin Professionals Day this year someone in the office gave me a $10.00 JoAnn Fabric gift card, so I went shopping for fabric and zippers. I will say that I wasn't happy with the fabric I bought - thin and cheap, very thready. But I don't know of a quilt shop here where I can get good-quality cotton quilting fabric.
I set up the sewing machine on Saturday and look what happened:
Symon, you can't sleep here! I need to sew!
He finally decided to claim the Computer chair:
I didn't take any progress pics while I was sewing, but both of the tutorials have excellent photos and instructions. I used the pattern in this tutorial for my purse (squares are cut out of the corners so it has a wide bottom and sits up). I used the pattern in this tutorial for the white and pink pouch. These pouches were surprisingly easy to make. I had never sewn a zipper before, and it was quite easy. The difficult part was sewing it all together and getting the zipper tabs to lay neat - my corners are a little wonky. I am sure neatness will come with practice.
One thing I didn't do was buy fusible cotton batting. I just bought regular. While sewing I realized why they recommended fusible - the batting and fabric shifted a bit during pinning and sewing.
Here is my former Purse, on the left. It was so filthy I washed it, and it came apart in the laundry so I just threw it away. The bag on the right is my current feminine product bag.
And here is the little white and pink bag. I made two of these, but they are so small I wasn't sure how to use them (if I wore makeup it would make a good makeup bag). I am using one for my cell phone charger in my backpack (better than a Ziploc bag). I didn't realize I cut out enough fabric to make two of each bag - I thought I only had two sets for the small one, so I bought an extra white zipper but not an extra for the other. I don't want to make another zippered pouch so I'm going to see if I can make a simple cloth bag for Steve to carry his cell phone charger.
Symon napping in the chair on Saturday.