My New Bag

What you’ve all been waiting for – a finished La Rue Messenger!

And for the purse view:

This was my first ‘successful’ attempt at using pleather. It is not a particularly forgiving fabric to work with – early on in my sewing adventures, I had attempted to sew some very pretty blue pleather for a jacket and it turned out miserably. This time, I was more prepared – I used a small gauge needle, a teflon foot, and lots of patience. The only part that I believe turned out ‘meh’ was my strap. Since I couldn’t really press my pleather (not that it stayed anyway when ironed), my center seam is very wonky. In an attempt to keep your eyes away from that line, I sewed two rows of contrasting stitching on each side of the strap.
The bag itself sewed up wonderfully. I found the most difficult part to be the strap (because of my fabric choice) and adding the binding to the handles. The handles aren’t hard, just take your time sewing the curves and trim the seam allowances before attaching it to your lining. I should also note that I used 1/2″ seam allowance for the handles – this just gave me a bit more binding material to work with. Originally, I had decided I wasn’t going to add a tassel, but after seeing the completed bag, I thought that it needed one. I had a bit of trouble figuring out how in the world I was going to sew through all that thickness, etc, so I used some ‘fabric’ type glue and held it down with clothes pins. I’m not sure how well this will hold in the long run given my fabric choice, but it looks great now! I also ‘winged’ the directions to this one….I think because I was in a rush to finish I had no idea what I was reading.
Would I make this again? You bet – but my fabric choice would definitely be different. I would choose a fabric that didn’t need underlining since this just created another layer to try to wrestle with and not pleather (even though I love the way it looks) and I would shop Hobby Lobby for the notions, not only were they less expensive, they had more variety in the sizes I needed.
So how is everyone else’s bag coming along?

7 thoughts on “My New Bag

  1. Amy

    I remember feeling supersticious about that pattern last week after the printing was wacko. …but seeing it “live” on the web…makes it look less threatening. It looks awesome!
    Please tell us about that hot pink number on the dress form! oo laa laa!
    You are the energizer sewing bunny! I’ve never seen anything quite like this! I can’t wait to see what you’ve produced on your machine every day! Go Stacy go Stacy!

  2. Stacy

    The dress is a Marylin Monroe “Diamonds Are A Girl’s Best Friend” costume. I had made it several years ago (Bret was Elvis that year) and liked it so much I keep it on my sewing manequin…. I’ve even dubbed her Marylin!

  3. bernadette

    The bag looks good. I love the shape. The tassel is key, I think. I am considering trying it in a low-pile fake fur (cowskin print, or maybe just plain black).
    One thing that might help out with the binding of the handle opening is to use ready-made, folded edging such as that used on boiled wool jackets. It’s a bias woven braid, so it fits around curves easily. Does pleather have stretch on the bias? If it does, cutting the binding on the bias might work.
    Source of cheap fake leather: One of the women in the cloth doll club I belong to just told me she goes to thrift shops to find vinyl (pleather) jackets, coats, etc to cut up and make new things. I guess it could also be a good source for handbags that could be “raided” for their hardware and chain or leather straps.

  4. Linda L

    I am just reading your PR review and came here to see in more detail. Nice job!!!! I have got several colors of pleather, I should get on the band wagon and make this purse.

  5. Quilley

    Hello Everyone!
    I am in the process of ordering supplies to make my LaRue Handbag. I’ve decided to use real leather and to make the tassel from a pearlized bronze sample remnant that I found on ebay for around $10.00. I must admint I’m intimidated by the directions on the pattern, so I decided to make the tassel first while I’m finding the other components. I don’t understand the instructions on the tassel. Did you print the pattern off and work from that or did you take it to Kinko’s to sew it from a true to size pattern? I’m new to handbag making, so any assistance you can offer is greatly appreciated.

  6. stacy

    The original pattern can be print out on A4 paper from your printer at home (and then taped together) or taken to Kinkos and they can put it on one big sheet like the pattern companies do. The resized PDF can also be printed from home on a standard sheet paper.
    After taping everything off, I then cut out the tassel pattern piece. I think using a rotary cutter and mat helped with this, but if you don’t have them available, scissors work fine. After cutting out your tassel piece from the leather and making the fringe, insert the on the wrong side of the leather where it’s marked and roll it up. I had to use glue to keep mine in place since my material was too thick to stitch in place.

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