Thursday, April 26, 2012

Is It a Suit?

No!  It's a handbag, made from men's suit jackets.

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.



The other front/back is again a pocket running the width of the bag.  This one utilizes the jacket flap/welt pocket, which is a working pocket also.  It's trimmed with lace, a ribbon flower and a label.


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 stacked the jacket buttons and sewed them to the bottom of the bag for "feet".  The lining is black and plain except for another label off of one of the jackets.  I bought a black and silver beaded handle and attached it to the top.  This handbag, although made from masculine materials is very girly.  It has a Victorian look.  As soon as someone gets a post up on our Designer blog, there will be photos of other bags from this challenge.  That website is:  http://designersiiigroup.blogspot.com/

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!








27 Talk to me:

Carol said...

Your pictures are great, but the bag in person was beautiful. Yes "girly' and lady-like. I love your style.

KID, MD said...

That. Is. Fabulous!! I love the way you incorporated the suit elements and the lace is a great touch. My favorite part is the labels though. Great touch!

Faye Lewis said...

You are to be commended that is beautiful!

Martha said...

What a fun project and fun result! Way to go!

Carol said...

Gwen, you are brilliant! I love this bag. I love the label, too. Well done.

Karin said...

Cute bag!
I'm glad to know you are "up and running" again. Sorry about the medical tests, good luck!

Lori said...

That is a fabulous bag, great job using so many trims and parts of the original jacket. Have a great time with all your activities.

Corrine said...

Gwen, this bag is amazing! Not like I need another project, but this really is an inspiration!

I agree, retirement is something of a joke. I am so busy that I have to schedule my sewing time, just like before.

I hope your testing is not too difficult and the results are positive. Take care. Be well.

Linda T said...

What a cute and fabulous bag! So glad you are back to enjoying life again. Oh, and I'm with you on retirement; never enough time!!!!

Belinda said...

Oh Gwen, I just love it! It's just perfect!

Ann said...

A perfect marriage of jackets and patterns. It is perfect. Masculine with a very girly girl look to it. I love the use of the lapel with the black lace applique.

Uta said...

Glad you're busy and sewing again. Your bag looks great!

BeeBee said...

What a great idea for a bag and your execution was unique - you're right, masculine materials turned into a girly bag. Glad you're up and sewing again.

Sister said...

I guess I'll keep my day job, but that 2-day Betzina course last week made it tempting to retire early. Your bag is fanTAStic! I bet people do double-takes when you carry it.

Fran said...

Love it! So creative.

Kyle said...

Working interferes with my gym and sewing schedule--so my eventual retirement will interfere too??

Bunny said...

Love it, Gwen! You sure made great creative use of your jacket and parts.

Aminat said...

This is so creative, I love every detail

Anna Christina said...

I couldn't be happier to see that you are sewing and posting again. I love to see what you are up to. Your projects are always so fun. The bag is adorable, and I really like the fabric choices. I will keep praying for your health to improve.

Rose said...

Now, this is a creative bag! I'm sure that it will get lots of use. Since I retired, I wonder how I ever had time to work. It's a busy life, but I love it.

The Slapdash Sewist said...

What fun! I love the way you used the collar as a decorative element.

Cennetta said...

Super cute bag. You are so creative to come up with this design.

Ann's Fashion Studio said...

WOW it looks awesome!

I was hoping to have "more" sewing time when I retired :)

Sherril said...

I love how creative you were with the parts from each jacket.

Diana said...

This is truly magnificent Gwen. I'm almost speechless at your creativity! I love,love.love it!

MushyWear said...

This bag is so inspiring! What a creative use of old suits. The bag looks so fresh and modern with lots of fun details.

jessica said...

Its just fabulous! Lace make it more pretty although in customised bags I love red and maroon colour.

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