The challenge at my Designer group for this month was to make a handbag from men's suit jackets. Not only should we use the fabric from the suit, but the pieces, such as collars, lapels, pockets., etc. should be visible on the handbag.
The pattern I chose is B5197, View D.
I went to the thrift store and found two suit jackets that coordinated. One is black with a very narrow burgundy stripe and the other is a burgundy/black hounds-tooth. Threw them in the dryer with some Dryel and then cut them apart.
I began by cutting each piece of the bag from muslin. Next I cut the same pieces again out of fusible fleece, eliminating the seam allowances. Fused the fleece to the muslin, which became the foundation for the bag. I used the black stripe fabric for the main part of the bag, and sewed the muslin foundation to the wrong side of those pieces. Then it was a matter of decorating the bag.
Here is one front/back. I made a pocket the width of the bag from the hounds-tooth. You can see the collar and lapel, trimmed with black lace. There's a black lace applique and a ribbon flower on the lapel. At the bottom right-hand side of the bag is a label and a small sequin flower. There's a sew-in magnetic snap inside the pocket to keep it closed.
For the sides of the bag, I made small pockets (cell phone pockets) using the sleeve cuffs. I removed the buttons on the jacket and replaced them with rhinestone buttons. The little tab you see above the cuff is a "zipper pull"--a piece of fabric you hold to make using the top zipper easier. Both sides of the bag are identical.
I'm hosting the next challenge, so for the next month I'll be busy working on that. Also, I have a two day workshop coming up-- deconstructing sweaters and making a handbag from them. I have two yucky medical tests in May. Throw in my babysitting days and running to concerts with my husband (he plays a trumpet in 3 bands) and that pretty much fills up the calendar. Those of you who are working--don't quit. For some reason, when you retire, you get busier than ever!