Thursday, 20 October 2011

Purchase in haste, repent at leisure...

I spent some time both yesterday and the evening before grappling with the task of adapting an idea from a magazine and realising that I shouldn't just look at the pretty pictures in magazines, but read the accompanying information.

It all started with this copy of 'Mollie Makes'...

(Issue 4 available digitally from Zinio)

...which had this very tempting little project in it...

...which led to this tempting you-might-like-to-buy-this page....

(which I didn't read properly)

...which led to this lovely purchase...

(which I waited patiently for, for about six weeks, winging their way as they were, from China).

But what I had failed to realise was that the pattern in the magazine was for 10 cm clasps...

...but eight of mine were a mahoosive 25cm, and the other two a more-than-generous 15cm.

So I set about creating my own pattern, based on the one in the magazine.  I was full of confidence.  How difficult could this be?

I chose one of the pretty fabrics I acquired recently and a complementary  clasp...

...drew round the inside of the clasp to get the right shape for the top part, added seam allowances, cut a long strip for the gathered puff part and a nice oval for the base, then set to.

But once it was constructed it was clear that all was not well.  It looked very odd... 

...and it would have been very difficult to get your mitts inside it to grab whatever lurked at the bottom...

So I kicked myself for using good fabric for a first attempt (don't worry, I will recycle it!), found a piece that I was less fond of (it's pretty but is a man-made fabric that frays very easily and doesn't have the cotton-crispness I like best) and set about version 2.  

I decided that what was needed was a flaring out from the base of the clasp, so created a bell shaped pattern for the top this time.   I overdid the length of the gathered part, so it was very full and quite difficult to stitch in place.  But I succeeded and was pleased with the highly gathered look, but not with the elongated shape of the bell-shaped piece, which was actually odder still than the first attempt!

And of course it still wasn't very practical in terms of opening up nicely to reveal contents. 

I then realised that if I placed the clasp low on what I'd created, it was approaching what I had in mind... I set to with the seam ripper, and will adjust and

If I ever succeed, believe me, you will see the results here!

Meanwhile, next time I fancy a project in a magazine, I will buy exactly the right materials and notions specified!


  1. Don't you just hate it when that happens, so frustrating. Good luck, I know you'll get there in the end, can't wait to see the end result xx

  2. oh dear I know that feeling! Those clasps are lovely though, I have often thought about a project using those but then think it will be complicated!

  3. I do hope you work it out - it would be beyond me! Those clasps are so delicious!


  4. I think you are very clever to work it all out - very tenacious too!

    Pomona x

  5. How annoying for you ,hope you get there in the end.....One of those little purses was a free project in Mollie Makes a few weeks ago and I must admit the sewing bit was fine but the attaching the clasp bit was a little triky.Good Luck Alix
    XX Manda XX

  6. You have the patience of a saint is all I can say. I would have thrown the lot out of the window in frustration by now. They are very pretty clasps though! M x

  7. Oh bless you!
    I bought some purse clasps and set to work on making up a pattern.
    I managed to make 1 and then lost the will as it was so complicated.
    Good luck and hope you manage to work it out

  8. A very good try, and those clasps are beautiful!
    Don't give up. There may be a way round it.

    Enjoy your day.

  9. It looks lovely, the clasp is so charming.

  10. You are very clever just to try to make your purse well done,love the clasps good luck look forward to seeing your result.Love Jill xx

  11. Oh dear but you seem to be making the best of the mistake & I'm sure the finished purses will be lovely !