It’s been a good long while since I made myself a purse.  I’ve made a lot of other random things, but I think my last purse was the hobo bag of ‘09.  Wow.

This time I followed the Simplicity pattern #2551, wanting a compact black bag that I couldn’t load up with too much crap.  I got this pattern on sale for $1.99 at Hancock Fabrics, so already I’m feeling good about this!

Its supposed to be made with a quilted fabric, similar in looks to a Vera Bradley bag, but instead I used this awesome Saralisa fabric from Ikea.  Most of Ikea’s fabrics are home decor weight, so I knew it would make a sturdy bag, and at $8.99 a yard, its a pretty good deal.

Cutting out the pieces probably took about an hour and a half, and I know I had some unnecessary fabric waste from cutting out the patterned areas I wanted.  The actual assembly took about 4 hours from start to finish, and there were some tricky areas, but it actually came together pretty easily.

There are two little pockets on each side.  One side is a little too snug for my phone, but at least the other side works, and I don’t have to worry about it falling out.  If you have an iPhone or larger screen phone, it probably wouldn’t fit.

The inside isn’t lined, but all the raw edges are covered with bias-tape so it has a nice finished look.  I would prefer a lining and some interfacing, mostly because I’ve been used to Amy Butler’s awesome patterns.  BUT – those extra materials definitely add up cost-wise, and her patterns take a lot longer than this purse did.

AND – it has some nice interior pockets.

Overall, I’m pretty happy with how this turned out.  I went back and did some touch up sewing by hand so the handle would hang better, but otherwise, the instructions were clear and easy to follow.  This was my first time making a purse with a zipper (Victory!  I usually avoid patterns that have zippers…), and the first time I had used the technique of covering raw edges with bias tape.  Plus, the price was right:

Pattern:  $1.99
Fabric:  1 yd @ $8.99
Zipper:  Inherited from G-ma (it was actually too big, but I cut it down to size)
Bias Tape:  2 packs @ $1.76 each = $3.52
TOTAL:  $14.50

Pretty cool!