How I Make My Purses

I make my purses with commercially-available fabric and materials. I use cotton a lot. Some items are made from brocade or silk, both of which are difficult to work with because they are slippery and they fray. Some of my fabrics are vintage and therefore out of print and no longer available. The price of each purse generally depends on the price of the materials and the difficulty and complexity in making it. Recently, I've started designing my own fabric. The printing process is expensive and that adds to the cost of the item, but also gives the purse a unique look and feel.

Silk, brocade and vinyl seem to be the most expensive. A lot of vinyls are made to look like fine leather, which is very pretty Dimensions of the end of the pursebut recently I've discovered brightly colored vinyl, so I hope to be producing some new items from that.

Most of my purses are made with all new materials including the interfacing inside that allows the purse to be somewhat rigid. However, occasionally, I like to use recycled fabric from clothing such as denim jeans. All recycled fabric is washed thoroughly in hot water before being made into an item to sell. This serves two purposes: it cleans the fabric well and it also shrinks it so that it will not shrink after it's made into a purse. All of my items made with recycled fabric (including beads) will be stated as such in the description.

Textile waste is a problem on our lovely planet. According to the Environment Protection Agency, Americans generate 16 million tons of textile waste each year, equaling just over six percent of total municipal waste (for context, plastics make up 13 percent of our waste stream).

I put standard interfacing inside the purse. The rigidity of the purse is determined by the interfacing I use. For my lightweight purses I use a very thin interfacing or no interfacing at all. Lightweight purses are foldable/crushable and the rigid purses are a little heavier.

The zippers are Nylon Coil Zippers with metal zipper pulls. In addition I usually add something to the zipper pull to make it easier to grasp. My zipper pulls are usually made out of an enamel charm, a crystal charm or a leather string. The purse hardware is metal and sewn into the fabric so a strap can be attached to the purse. purse hardware

Diagram showing purse dimensions

I try to communicate the look, feel and size of each purse by giving you a diagram with dimensions.