Is it a purse or a handbag?

You may have noticed from my writings that I am British.  Or maybe you didn't.  I was born in the UK and lived there living a ‘normal' life for many years.  Until my husband and I decided to get away from it all and lead the lives we should have lived when we were younger.  So we became scuba diving instructors and moved to Thailand – quite a departure from real estate and accountancy in grey England.

Rum Point, Grand CaymanWe now live in Grand Cayman, in the Caribbean and have been here 5 1/2 years.  Naturally we now come into contact with very few Brits and very many Americans.  In order to make ourselves understood we have to modify our language – the boot of the car is now the trunk, a tap is now a faucet, the rubbish = trash, and there are many many more examples.

One in particular is the term purse.  In the UK, a purse is used by a woman to keep her money and cards in.  This in turn is carried around inside of a handbag.  A wallet is used by a man only and carried in his pocket.  So today, to be clear, I am making a handbag and I will use it to carry my purse !

I have some scraps of fabric left over from the two paper bag skirts I made.  Some in a brown and some in a heavier weight cream.  It seemed a perfect solution to use them both up together to make a handbag that would match either skirt.

Molly handbag

I fell in love with the Molly ruffled bag and had just enough left.  You too can get the free pdf pattern and the MOST comprehensive step by step instructions I have ever seen anywhere for anything.  For my first ever bag, this detail was invaluable and I am so grateful to Reba for making this available to us all.  You can get the pattern by signing up for the newsletter – right hand side.

I am delighted with my bag, although I think I could have got a better result with a heavier weight interfacing.  The only sewing shop here only sells one type of interfacing and its very light weight intended for clothing, so it didn't give the bag as much stiffness as the original Molly bag.  But it does OK and I suppose if I made this again, I could probably add two layers.

I've happy with my bag and may go on to give some others a try to use up left overs and remnants.  It's a great way to use up all of your fabric and get an (almost) free handbag (or purse).Molly handbag


Total cost:

Fabric – left overs – free

Interfacing – 1/2 yard? – $2.50

Button – 50c

Total cost $3.00

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8 Responses to Is it a purse or a handbag?

  1. Trish says:

    Love the Molly handbag. Would like the pattern, website seems to have been removed.

  2. Misha says:

    You poor thing – having to Americanise your English. the bag is really beautiful. your blog is really inspiring – I’ve signed up for the newsletter and I’m going to try my hand at drafting a skirt pattern.
    From Misha (South Africa)

    • Deby Coles says:

      Yes, it’s tragic what has happened to my language! 😉 It’s often so confusing when we all speak English and yet use totally different words to describe the same thing.

  3. Pam says:

    Hi, I’ve featured your handbag today… Threading Your Way Features

  4. Pam says:

    You’ve done a great job on the bag. It looks fabulous with the ruffle!!!

  5. Becca says:

    I love the ruffled front! You did such a great job on this. Using free, left-over fabric is the best! 😀

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