A while ago my boyfriend Kelly and I came up with a mythical beast called a storage fox, which specifically holds shoes, but (for the sake of this post) can hold other things. This is the story of the creation of the storage fox purse.
A couple weeks ago I came upon a clutch bag pattern and sewing contest at so-sew-easy.com.
Here are the contest details and also the pattern:
So, I don't usually make purses. They're too fiddly. But when I saw this pattern for some reason I kept thinking it looked like an animal face and suddenly I wanted to make it. These were my initial sketches:
I asked my boyfriend which one he liked better (fox or kitty) and he said fox, definitely, and the once forgotten storage fox was remembered.
I wasn't sure what to do for a strap at this point, and then I got the idea to use a chain, leading to the next sketch (also note elongated snout, and how I crumpled this in my pocket while shopping for materials). I don't use clutch bags so some kind of strap was definitely needed.
I brought this with me to buy fabric, which took way, WAY longer than it should have because for some reason fabric stores around me carry short pile fur in orange and black but not white or even cream. I had to settle for corduroy, and beg someone else who was purchasing everything the store had for a small piece because I didn't grab it right away and she beat me to it. I wanted a finer wale, but yea, she got it all. I'm glad she was kind enough to let me have this piece.
The contest specifically states the bag cannot be altered to a point of making the pattern unrecognizable, and I really hope mine still fits that criteria. If you look past the colors, the only alteration to the shape is the snout (and well, some ears).
I cut the pattern apart on the fold lines to make sure I could get the fox colors where needed. I also added a zippered pocket to the lining because I'm not a fan of bags without zippers. Here's everything cut out, except I cut the pocket wrong the first time and had to re-do it, so that's not correct here. The photo is also missing some quilt batting I added to the ears to make them squishier and more cuddly.
At this point the bag looked like the one in the pattern instructions again.
I had a hard time understanding how to sew the lining and outside
together. I couldn't do it in the order it asked because I would not
have been able to flip my bag through the small opening on the front
flap. Instead I sewed the lining to the flap first, leaving the bottom
edge open, then top-stitched that closed after flipping. It was also
troublesome that the pattern doesn't account for "turn of cloth." This
probably isn't an issue for someone using lighter materials, but with
the added thickness of the fur, I ended up with some extra lining
bunching on the inside.
There you go! The storage fox! The contest will be open for voting in early June. Perhaps I will link to that then.
PS. I also carry a fox-faced wallet, meaning I store a storage fox in my storage fox (hey we heard you like foxes so we put a... oh you know.)