Let’s talk about purses!

Someone I know said recently that she’s not a “typical girl” because,  among many other things, she does not enjoy talking about purses.  I tried to conjure up a time that I had talked about purses to see if I am or am not typical girl.  It seemed like a rather silly thing to discuss, really, and I ridicule even the idea of “wearing a handbag”.  I might read some shopping and fashion magazines that use such terminology but I will never say that I would “wear that handbag” with any outfit to really make the colors pop (more fashion speak). Purses, clutches, and bags are carried, held, used, but never worn.  I would be insulted if you suggested I do such a thing or discuss the pros and cons of “wearing” any particular purse.  But oh my gosh I am so excited about these two evening handbags I am going to make!!!

 I made an apron with skull fabric a few months ago (see http://www.rabbitstylenews.com/coolest-apron-in-the-world) and I have quite a bit of leftover material.  I haven’t been able to get the idea of my head to make a fancy purse with it because the juxtaposition of dark skull fabric and elegant lady handbag would amuse me.  Finally, this evening after work, I went to Joann Fabrics and gave myself up to the joy that is a fabric store.  Bolts upon bolts of colorful fabrics in so many different materials, lined up in rows to touch and look at and fantasize about and enjoy.  In high school I had my two prom dresses made for me by a wonderful seamstress (is there a more gender-neutral, less-loaded term I could use?) and every time I go into a fabric store, caressing all the satin and silk and crepe and taffeta and tulle and brocade and more satin makes me want to get to design dresses for myself again, except instead of prom I would be going to affairs like charity galas and high-powered awards shows and opening night parties.

I sat myself down at the pattern-perusing table and looked through this season’s books from McCalls and Butterwicks’ and Simplicity and Vogue Patterns to find the patterns for handbags that would best suit my needs.  Once in awhile I would catch on a sleek backless gown or an officey pencil skirt and start to wonder if I could really make that for myself and I would have to focus again at the objective at hand: a simple evening purse to give to a friend whose recent birthday came and went with nothing more from me than a “happy two days after your birthday” text message.  After I had chosen the patterns came the time of a real design crisis.  What colors, which textures, should I go with the beautiful brocade or buy the clearance pretty crinkle satin that is half-price?  (Oh crimson and black brocade, I will be back for you…..)  Will there be ribbons or buttons or zippers or hook & eye closures or hook & loop closures, and what is a hook & loop closure compared to a hook & eye closure?  What exactly is interfacing and is it going to be a problem that I have never used it before? 

I was in the store for over an hour and I came away with the supples for what I think will be two amazing purses, assuming the cotton skull fabric will provide enough structural support.  If not, turns out that’s what a double layer of interfacing is for.  I came home all a-flutter and eagerly displayed the pattern photos and each piece of material to Boyfriend, who said “What’s the crap hanging down off there?”, pointing at the layers of tulle on one of the designs.

Where’s a “typical girl” when I need one…

October 25, 2006. Words.

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