I have a really sweet evening bag. It was my Grandmother’s and it dates from the 1920’s. It has been my companion for many a night out but at some 90 years old, it’s looking a little worse for wear. It’s fabric is worn and torn, it’s missing more diamantes than it’s retained. I adore it and I will keep it always. But I needed new bag! It had to black and it had to be velvet. It needed to be small enough to be evening-y but big enough to accommodate all the stuff I need plus whatever is ‘ruining the line’ of Mr Asks suit pants. I also wanted it to have a wrist strap so I can free up my hands for champagne and canapes. As so often happens, it was off to Pinterest for some inspiration……
So when you are drafting a bag that has a frame, there’s a few guidelines to go by. I took the advice in this blog post. I used it to draft the basic shape where the frame would sit. Because I wanted extra space, I needed to create gussets each side of the bag. I drew a line 1.5” out from the bag and did some origami! Mirroring the pointy shape at the bottom worked perfectly. However, I ended up squaring off the top.
I cut out two pieces of sassy hot pink poly satin for my lining. I pinned it up and stitched around the sides and bottom, leaving a turning gap on one side. I turned it right side out so I could give it a good press and press the gusset inward.
It’s almost rinse and repeat with the velvet outer. This time, no turning gap and also fringe! Because fringe is awesome! I picked fringe with a wide braid, for easy sewing. As you can see in the photo, I placed it between the two layers of velvet, starting and stopping just inside the gusset area. I pinned well and stitched around the sides and bottom. I flipped everything right side out. I undid the basting stitches that came on the fringe and put fray check on the cut edges of the braid (it frays badly).
It seemed painfully difficult to shove both lining and outer fabric into the frame and sew it while the two layers were separate. So I left the bag right side out and turned the lining inside out and sewed them together along the top. I turned it all right side out via the gap in the lining and hand stitched it closed. I’m sorry there are no pic of the next step but it was impossible to do and photograph on my own! Basically, I shoved the top edge of the bag into the frame and stuck a few pins through the sewing holes to hold it there. I started in the middle and backstitched to hinge. I repeated until it was fully sewn together. This blog post has way more detail on sewing a frame purse!
I found the strap stuff in the jewellery making isle of Spotlight. It’s a satiny cord that has no wrong side and its quite tough. I cut it to length, treated the ends with fray check and hand sewed it into a loop at each end. I used jewellery rings to attach it to the bag. Which was a big mistake! They kept coming undone! I have replaced them with small split rings used for fishing! They work a treat! I also grabbed this sliver teardrop pendant, which I just stitched on with a few hand stitches.
I love this bag because it is deceptively large! Mr Ask and I attended a wedding and I had a lipstick, hand mirror, cash, credit card & ID, my phone, Mr Asks ginormous bunch of keys and oversized iphone 6 plus, a small camera and a pair of sunglasses! It didn’t even look bunchy or full! This really is the Tardis of evening bags… Basically, it’s perfect and I love it!