Friday, February 7, 2014

Uptown Girl Bag - Pattern testing

I took a break from the Necessary Clutches to test the Uptown Girl purse from ChrisW Designs.  It is  designed for Pleather/leather, but I wasn't adventurous enough to do it with those materials!  Thanks for giving me the chance to try this one out Christine!

(Pay no attention to the dead grass.  It's winter!)

Instead of trying to force my little machine to slog through the pleather, I picked some fun quilting fabric from Joann's and just added interfacing to all the outside pieces for durability.  I used headliner foam for the structure of the main part since I didn't have enough of the soft and stable, and it worked nicely!  One tip I should have followed was to cut it out of the seam allowance, but other than a little struggle, it still worked fine.  The other thing I screwed up on, er did on purpose, was not getting enough lining fabric.  I didn't take the time to convert the inches to yards, so I only got one yard of lining.  I was able to cut the outside pockets from my contrast fabric (I got extra of that for some reason!) and I think it worked out even better.  Yeah, I totally did that on purpose. 

(Inside has a zippered center divider, plus slip pockets on each side, lots of organization!)
Once again, a GREAT pattern and easy to follow!  The trickiest part for me was sewing on the handles I picked.  My finger tips are still recovering because I was too lazy to run upstairs for my thimble.  It was my first time using pre-made handles, there were some pleather ones I also picked up at Joann's (Yay for 50% off coupons because those suckers are EXPENSIVE!)

This was also the first time I've installed purse feet, which was so easy that I don't know why I haven't done it before!  Once again my husband's leather punch came in as the perfect tool!
(It's like putting brads in, once you punch the hole!  Just make sure the long bits don't get too close to your seam allowance or it could get caught on the sewing machine.  I ended up turning them after I took this picture so they were more horizontal)

(Gives it a little professional touch!)

(The headliner foam - those binding clips are great for this step!)

(If you don't trim the foam out of the seams, it's not very pretty!  Also make sure you catch all the layers of the fabric, which I didn't here.  Time to bring in Jack and redo it!)
(Top has a recessed zipper, so it closes everything in nice and secure!)

(Both ends have these nice slip pockets which hold my phone and car keys!)

All in all, a great pattern and relatively fast!  There are 2 zippers, but they really aren't that hard to install at all!!  The purse is not a difficult one, but the results look great! 


  1. Interesting blog title Rachel! LOL I have already said...LOVE your bag! :)

    1. LOL, all the 'good' names were taken, so I went the crazy name route. :D Thanks!! I really do love this purse, you did an awesome job on the design!!

  2. Rachel, when you use the headliner foam, do you have a problem with it not being tight up against the fabric? I usually use heat n bond to firmly attach it to fabric, but that can get expensive. I ask because I recently used it on the uptown girl bag, without fusing it to fabric, and it just doesn't look right to me. Any tips you could offer would be greatly appreciated!!! Trish

    1. Did you attach it anywhere or just stick it in between the front and back? Mine has some good structure, but I noticed I have a wrinkle line along the bottom of the side pockets. I think If I make it again, I would probably do another layer of stiffer interfacing on the outside side panel.

      I was using the clips to hold it in place while I sewed, and I went over my topstitching on the front and back to attach it. It did sink the stitches in a bit, but you have to look closely to see it. I didn't use anything to glue the foam on, but I ended up catching the foam in the side seams. I also interfaced every fabric piece, the inside with a lightweight fusible one and the outside with a stiffer one. I'm pretty sure it was the Pellon 808 craft fuse for the outside. I use that when I make the clutches and it gives some good structure without making it too stiff. You just have to be really careful not to get wrinkles when you fuse. I put mine on each piece before sewing them together and it helps keep the shape.

      Let me know if you have any other questions, I hope that gave you some ideas to try!

    2. Thanks for the quick reply! Yes, I sure my mistake was not interfacing the outside fabric the foam is against. I usually interface everything or put fusible fleece on it. I will have to take it apart to fix it, i knew I would, but wanted to know for the next one. Thanks - your bag is gorgeous, by the way!!!

    3. Good luck on your next one! And thanks!!


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