How I Design Bags and Purses Part 5: Twists and Turns and Unexpected Endings

How I Design Bags and Purses: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5

When I finished sewing the bag together and let it sit for a few days, I realized I didn’t like the box shape. It was a little too … well boxy.

How I Design Bags and Purses Part 4: Sewing the Bag Together

So I unpicked it and reshaped the bottom edge into a curve which is much more interesting I think.

How I Design Bags and Purses Part 5: Twists and Turns and Unexpected Endings

To go from a square or rectangular shape to a curved shape is quite easy. Simply redraft the bottom of the pattern adding a nice even curve that meets the side edges. This is easier to draft using a drawing program.

How I Design Bags and Purses Part 5: Twists and Turns and Unexpected Endings

Then while I was considering how to attach the handles, I folded the top edge over to inspect the inside, and all at once the final design fell into place. I love the folded top edge and and the way the fabric contrasts with the textured bag body.

How I Design Bags and Purses Part 5: Twists and Turns and Unexpected Endings

I decided to attach a twisted shoulder strap using lengths of fibers and yarn in colors that matched. See below for a quick tutorial on how to make a twisted should strap using fibers and yarns.

How I Design Bags and Purses Part 5: Twists and Turns and Unexpected Endings

So this bag ended up being nothing like the original sketch but I like it so much better. This is a fun purse that I would wear with jeans when I’m off to lunch or a quick trip downtown. Plus it has several features that I really like and which I’ll keep in mind when designing a bag pattern such as the rounded bottom and the fold-over top edge.

How I Design Bags and Purses Part 5: Unexpected Twists and Turns

How to make a twisted fiber bag strap – a quick tutorial

Gather together a bunch of decorative fibers, yarns and threads in different textures, colors and thicknesses. This bunch has approximately 20 strands about 3 yards long. Gather all the strands together at one end and tie a knot.

How I Design Bags and Purses Part 5: Twists and Turns and Unexpected Endings

Split the bunch in two with the knot in the middle.

How I Design Bags and Purses Part 5: Twists and Turns and Unexpected Endings

Tie one end of the bunch to something – I tied it to the pole of my floor lamp – then twist the strands until they begin to twist up on themselves.

How I Design Bags and Purses Part 5: Twists and Turns and Unexpected Endings

When they begin to twist up on themselves, hold the knotted end which is in the middle, and allow the strands to twist together into one thick strand.

How I Design Bags and Purses Part 5: Twists and Turns and Unexpected Endings

Then tie the other end in a knot.

How I Design Bags and Purses Part 5: Twists and Turns and Unexpected Endings

Trim the ends, hand-stitch to your bag and you’re done!

How I Design Bags and Purses Part 5: Twists and Turns and Unexpected Endings