A couple of years ago, I bought some gorgeous furnishing fabric swatches from a charity sale. The charity rescued greyhounds, so I very happily bought quite a few pieces of fabric. I have used some of it for making doorstops and beanbag frogs but have been meaning to make a handbag for months.
A few weeks ago, I was in a charity shop and found a thin leather belt that not only had complimentary colours in it but also had a similar design to the fabric. I realised it would perfect for a bag handle.
I finally sat down today and made the handbag. I knew I wanted a single handle and a puffy style but other than that had no real plans. I didn't even have a size worked out, the fabric really dictated how the bag was designed. As the fabric was a colour swatch, the large piece of fabric was made up of squares in a huge array of colours which gradually blend into the next square.
Each side has two pleats to give the bag a puffy shape and the belt has been used as a single handle, as planned. I have kept the belt buckle so that the handle length can be adjusted to three different length settings. This will allow the bag to be carried in your hand or on your shoulder. The inside is lined in pink and has a magnetic clasp to hold the top edges closed.
I am really pleased with the final result. It is always a bit of a gamble when you don't follow a pattern or have any firm idea in mind. Having said that it is quite exciting to see how it will turn out. I was worried I was going to ruin a really great piece of fabric, but I think I have managed to do it justice.