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Completed Presidio Purse

I know this has been a rather dry blog these past few months but I promise I have been sewing in between school and work.   And I have a completed Presidio Purse to prove it!


Actually, I’ve made several things I still need to write blog posts for but those will have to wait because I’m super excited to blog about my purse since it’s the first one I’ve ever made.

I originally intended to follow Seamstress Erin’s sew-along but that lasted all of a post or two and I wound up charging ahead because I got into the zone and didn’t want to stop. To give you an idea of how far behind I am in blog posts, that was back in January.  Yes, I know already!  That was, like, three months ago now.  No judging, please.


Okay, so the details.  Well, this purse is HUGE!  A person can fit a lot of necessities in it.  For example, I can easily fit my wallet, my lunch, my knitting and a book in it at the same time with a lot more room to fit in plenty of other things as well.  It’s awesome!

I opted to make View A.  I think it was the gathered inset panels and the hardware for the handle that caught my eye.


I used a hemp canvas, which has a texture that kind of reminds me of canvas with a bit of burlap, though it’s much softer to the touch than either of those.  It’s quite stretchy and was quite uncooperative when it came to holding it’s shape after cutting out the pattern pieces but I showed it who was boss by fusing some lightweight woven interfacing to the pieces.  Hi-yah!! *throws karate chop into the air* Take that, you stretchy fabric!


Since the hemp fabric is rather blah-ish in colour, I added some navy blue piping to spice it up a bit along with navy blue top-stitching.  I think it turned out rather well, no?  And I can’t resist giving a quick blurb about the piping.  I made it myself out of a linen-cotton blend, which gave it quite a textured look.  So much so that it almost looks like a canvas.  Definitely gives the purse a sturdier look to it.




I think the lining is a great opportunity to have some fun and the truth is, I struggled with making a decision on what to use.  I couldn’t make my mind up if I wanted something bright, or floral or sassy or all of the above.  In the end I played it safe and used a plaid quilting cotton in the same colours with navy blue zips.  Even though the colours are essentially the same, which is frankly a little boring, the plaid/check pattern does still give it a little pop when I open up the bag.


Now, the one area my machine and I did battle with was the thickness of sewing handle around the hardware.  The hemp is rather thick and the construction of the handle uses the main fabric for the top side of the handle as well as the underside.  Once stitched wrong sides together, the handle is turned right side out, which I managed to do but when it came time to sew the ends where they wrap around the hardware (D-rings), my machine was rather stubborn with the thickness of all that fabric (ultimately, four layers of the hemp fabric and two of the quilting cotton).

I even tried several different larger and sharper needles and while I did manage to finally get the ends stitched, the final stitching lines looked terrible.  So, I decided to make a new handle using the lining fabric on the underside of the handle and we all got along quite nicely after that.  While I’m okay with the final version of the handle, I do wish the underside was in the main fabric.  But, I also don’t think it’s a deal breaker either.  What do you think?

Why yes, that is an oncoming train you're seeing there in the distance.

Why yes, that is an oncoming train you’re seeing there in the distance.

Overall, this purse was easy-peasy to make and definitely rewarding so if you’ve never made yourself a purse before, I highly recommend this one.  Check out the Flickr group to see pictures of other makes – totally inspiring!  (I’ve added the sew-along badge to my sidebar for easy access to the sew-along.)

Will you be making one?  And suggestions on how to convince my machine to sew through all those layers?

7 Comments Post a comment
  1. It’s beautiful!!! Love the piping contrast on that hemp canvas. Simple, but lots of pop! Great job!!!

    March 28, 2014
    • Thank you! I had so much fun sewing this purse and I’ve had many people asking me when I’m making one for them – which for the record is probably not going to happen anytime soon. Just sayin’. Great job on the pattern!

      March 28, 2014
  2. Vera Enshaw #

    I saw the purse in living colour – it is a super cool bag! It is the kind of purse to take when you are having a serious “me” day – or a “mom and child” day. The kind of day when you don’t want to struggle with multiple containers. It really does flip nicely onto your back – makes it great when picking up that toddler 🙂 Wonderful job, Corinne 🙂

    March 29, 2014
    • Thanks, Vera! It is a great purse for sure – I’d have loved to have something like it when my kids were little.

      April 2, 2014
  3. Seriously, we have A LOT of catching up to do!!!

    April 2, 2014
  4. I love this, Corinne! I actually really like the lining fabric on the inside of the strap – it gives the bag a little something extra. Great job on the piping and topstitching too – your stitching is SO neat and tidy! And man, that bag is HUGE. 🙂

    May 5, 2014

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