Monday, July 18, 2011

First Purse

The cardigan is done! Shipped it last week, and mom loves it!  Have yet to get a nice photo of her wearing it though.  Hey mom, get on that!

Got yet another custom request from mom, this time for a mesh tank top.  She wants two, in fact, and her coworker wants one as well!  So, while waiting for *that* yarn to arrive, I had to do something to keep my hands busy, so I flipped through my small project patterns.  I decided to give Laura Irwin's Pleated Denim Purse a go.

I cast on with white Cascade Luna, and actually got about halfway through the first side of the purse before I realized this just wasn't the right yarn for the project. Something about the texture wasn't pleasing me, and anyway, the true white was just too bright and would get dingy too easily. Also, it seemed like I was running out of yardage a bit too quickly.

I thought and thought about what else I could use.  I certainly didn't want to start a busy work project that I had to actually *buy* yarn for, but I don't keep a lot of cotton in my stash.  Then it struck me that I still had about two thirds of that giant ball of ecru dishcloth yarn I'd bought.  I wasn't sure if dishcloth cotton would make a good purse, but what the hell, I cast on.  And it worked up like a dream.  Lily Sugar'n Cream is a bit softer than the Luna, and the ecru tone still gives me the pale purse that I wanted, but in a more natural shade. 

I wrestled with how exactly to do the buttons.  The pattern calls for six 1/2" buttons all around the flap.  But really, who wants to have to undo and redo six freaking buttons every time they need to get into their purse?  So, I dug around in my grandmother's button tin, and selected several buttons of various sizes and in various brown, black, and shell shades, that I thought might work well.  I settled on a 1.5" espresso brown button.  It's shaped like some sort of flower, I think, although I have no clue what kind.

Anyway, since I had chosen the button, all that was left to do was figure out placement, and then do the row/stitch math to get the buttonhole in the right place.  A run through the wash and dry with hot water and high heat shrank the stitches a bit so the purse fabric is nice and sturdy (I was already using size 5 needles on a worsted weight cotton, so the fabric was leaning toward dense), and it was ready for some light blocking and its button to be sewn on.  I attached an old chain bracelet I found in my jewelry box as a handle.  It's got cute, heart-shaped silver and green charms on it.

And voila! It fits my phone, keys, sunglasses, and Burt's Bees like a pro! I may line it with fabric at some point, but for now, it's looking great.