Quest for a Professional Purse

I’ve been using my current purse for almost a year and a half.  I made it before I got my serger. Before I really cared about things like interfacing and reinforcing my fabric. Before I cared about using quality thread.  In other words, before I really believed that I could make things that were worthwhile and good enough to really be used. In spite of all of that, it quickly became my favorite purse.  I used it year-round, even though it was a heavy blue/beige woven, wintery-looking home decor fabric, and got compliments on it all the time.  I loved everything about it.  However, it has finally lost its shape and begun falling apart.  As I’ve been interviewing, I started thinking that maybe it wasn’t quite the most professional looking bag I could be using.

Since I love everything about this bag, there wasn’t a doubt in my mind that I would use the same pattern.  What is this pattern, you may ask?  The Evelyn Handbag by Chris W Designs. Evelyn is really the perfect size bag for me.  It is small enough that it doesn’t take over my petite (4′ 10″) body, but large enough to hold all of the stuff that I haul around on a daily basis, including my HP netbook.  At one point, I crammed my netbook, Kindle, portable GPS, wallet, phone, and a reusable shopping bag into this little bag, and it all fit more-or-less comfortably, without straining any seams.

I knew I wanted a neutral color and fabric for this bag, one that would look good with almost any outfit.  I found this cool faux suede at JoAnn several months ago that I bought with the intention of making a case for my new (then) Kindle Paperwhite.  I haven’t yet managed to create or find a Kindle case pattern that does exactly what I wanted, so the fabric sat in my closet.  I have a huge stash of home decor fabrics that would make a great Evelyn bag, but none spoke to me quite the way this suede did.  It’s a kind of brown, kind of black blend of colors that changes depending on the way the light hits it (which you can easily see in the following pictures, all taken at the same time, in the same spot, with the same lighting and same camera settings).

Brown Faux Suede Evelyn Bag Front

Although I tweaked the pattern a little, changing the types and amount of interfacing,  width of the strap, interior pockets, the finished purse looks almost exactly like the designer’s pictures of the bag.  I did miss a step (step 7d, sewing the straps to the body of the bag), but it didn’t render the bag unusable.

I love all of the pockets in this bag.  Between the three large patch pockets on the lining, the two elastic pockets on the sides, and the zippered pocket on the back, there is plenty of room to keep all of my stuff organized.

Evelyn bag interior


Evelyn bag back


I love my new bag.  It is everything that I hoped for when I started, nice/neutral enough that I can take it on an interview, yet casual enough that I can carry it when I go on errands.  I am looking forward to making yet another Evelyn bag in fun spring/summer colors.


2 thoughts on “Quest for a Professional Purse

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