For many years I’ve carried a leather purse because I feel that they hold up the best to the abuse I put them through. I hate purse shopping so once I find one it had better last for quite a few years. My last purse was a bit of a bargain, so it only lasted for about three and a half years. I didn’t want to spend money on another purse that would only last a short length of time so I decided to make one.
I searched for patterns online, I watched YouTube videos and I looked at purses in the store. I finally decided that maybe I wanted to try a crossbody bag. I’ve never owned one before and the idea of being able to have it secured to me without it falling off my shoulder or in my hand was very appealing.
While watching a Lauren Mormino video I was introduced to Sincerely Jen Patterns. All of the Sincerely Jen bags are named after references to the sitcom Friends. When I came across the On A Break Crossbody Bag I knew that it had potential.
Of course I put cats on it. Everybody should have a bag with cats on it.
According to the pattern the dimensions on this bag are 10″ Wide x 10″ High x 2.5″ Deep. That seemed like a really nice size for what I wanted. The only hesitation I had was I wanted it a little deeper. Not a problem, though. I just added an inch to the pattern piece so that mine would be 3.5″ deep. I wanted the extra inch because I have a larger wallet and it has to go in there. My wallet is an ID Stronghold wallet that has RFID shielding, so there is no way I’m switching to a different wallet.
I don’t know if this is sad or shows that I’m prepared for the next pandemic, but I technically had all of the supplies for this purse on hand. The only things I bought were the D rings (which I had some others on hand, but they were silver) and a zipper (I had a slightly longer one on hand and didn’t want to waste almost 4″ of it).
I used waterproof canvas for the exterior, regular gray canvas for the interior lining and quilting cotton for the front pocket.
I had a blue zipper on hand so I used that for the inside pocket.
Luckily I had a white zipper on hand for my front zipper pocket. This is where I stash my cell phone and it fits perfectly.
You were supposed to use a magnetic snap to keep the front pocket closed, but since I knew I was going to keep my phone in the zippered pocket I didn’t want to use magnets. I just sewed some velcro on instead. It works fine for me.
That’s just to show how large my wallet is as compared to the purse.
Since I used waterproof canvas I didn’t need any kind of interfacing for the exterior pieces. However, I’m not sure a modern domestic machine would be able to handle sewing all of those layers. I used my Singer 301A as I knew that is a work horse and I had to at one point use the hand wheel to advance the needle when sewing through the straps that hold the D rings onto the purse. At those points you have 10-12 layers of canvas to sew through. I was afraid that if I didn’t use the hand wheel I would break the needle.
I have been carrying this purse for about two weeks now and so far I like it. I still have to get used to throwing it over my head instead of just holding it in my hand, or tossing it over my arm, but it’s nice to know that I have a bag that not only will handle some abuse but can be tossed in the washer if it gets filthy.
I enjoyed working with this pattern. Not only were the directions written out step by step, but she has recorded tutorials for most of her patterns and posted them to YouTube. At one point I was confused about what the directions were telling me, so I went to YouTube and realized what she was talking about. It really helped a lot. I highly recommend her patterns if you’re in the market for a purse pattern.