Saturday, June 11, 2011

I made a purse!

Way back in November, my Aunt sent me one of her husband's ACU shirts from Germany and a link to this website for inspiration. I'm still not sure why I told her I could make her a purse from his uniform. I had never made a handbag before and didn't have a pattern for one that seemed fitting for this material. Also, do you know how hard it is to cut into ACU? I went through rotary blade just on this project, even though the shirt was worn thin in spots. I couldn't imagine trying to cut up a new one! But all that aside, this probably has be the project I'm most proud of to date.
I finished it in December, after procrastinating when I realized how much this would challenge my sewing skills. But I didn't blog about it back then, because I wanted to make sure a) she really liked it first and b) that it wouldn't fall apart the first time she used it. I'm glad I waited to show you all, because it looks WAY better now that she's used it and put all his patches on it.
I just made up my own pattern for the bag based on the size she wanted, and the size that would be most logical. I used the front of the shirt for the front of the purse, which put some great pockets and the name tapes right on the front. I wish I'd have been brave enough to put a zipper into the purse, but I think I would have needed a stronger machine, or at least way bigger needle. The fabric is seriously so tough! But I found some large snaps that match the look of the bag, and work just fine.
I used the shoulder pockets for the sides of the purse, which worked perfectly for the dimensions of the bag, and just sewed a single strap. Which I love! I was so happy to see that she came over using it, as I was a little worried at first that my maybe I was way over my head with ambition that didn't match my actual skill level. Yay! that it hasn't fallen apart. :)
I'm definitely not itching to make more of these anytime soon, but I am so glad I made this one. It really makes you stop and think when you're holding a shirt in your hands that has been to places you can't imagine going. 

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