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Friday, February 24, 2012

Pam's Purse: A Talbot's Knock-Off

I haven't sewn much the past couple of weeks, but last Saturday, I devoted my day to making a purse pattern and then the purse.  I've had this black leather Talbot's purse that has become pretty worn from years of use, but I love the bag and can't seem to part with it.  So, I decided to just make a new one.

You see, I inherited this purse from my late mother, Pam, who passed away unexpectedly five years ago.  Her favorite things were accessories--shoes, belts, and purses--and from time to time, she would let me borrow some of her things.  I had borrowed this once and then returned it, but after she died, I carried this Talbot's purse for well over a year!  It's large enough to hold all my stuff and the opening is big so I don't have to remove everything to find something that may have fallen to the bottom.  The handles are long enough, too, that I can wear it on my shoulder or just hang it on my arm.  For me, it's just an ideal purse!

With all that use, the bag has started showing considerable wear, especially on the bottom corners on the piping as well as a few marks that won't wash off.  It's made of leather, so it has been very durable, and I'm sure I'll continue to use it.

I've been wanting to make a pattern of this purse for a couple of months now, and Saturday morning I decided it was time.  I had this black and white hounds tooth wool blend fabric that I bought as a remnant months ago, and since my mom loved black and white hounds tooth, I knew I had to use this fabric for this bag.  And to top it off, I added this beautiful rhinestone heart pin that my mom gave me on Valentine's day when I turned 12.  All that said, it was obvious that my version of this Talbot's bag had to be named Pam's Purse after my mom! I'm sure she would have had me make her one, too.

I didn't have any fabric I really liked for the lining, so after a quick trip to the store, I picked out this medallion fabric with black, white, red, and olive green.  

The purse was pretty easy to sew together, but for some reason, the fusible interfacing didn't want to stay stuck onto the fabrics very well this time.  For all my bags, I've been using Pellon 809 decor bond for the linings and Pellon 71f fusible fleece for the outer bag.  I've never used the sew-in kind of interfacing or fleece, but I'm thinking that that may have worked better on this purse considering the type of fabric I used.  If you make purses, please leave me a comment or send me an email telling me what interfacing and fleece you use and why.  I would really appreciate it!

The handles were store-bought at Joann's and are made of a synthetic fabric. I haven't been able to find any leather or faux leather handles locally.  I like these though, especially since they do have a little decorative braid on the ends.

Pam's Purse also has a magnetic snap closure just like the original; however, because my version is made of all fabric and not leather, I've got some issues with the top edge of the bag due to the weight of the tab for the snap.  Does anyone have any suggestions on how to correct this on my current bag or for future bags that I make?

I've been using Pam's Purse all week, and I really love it.  I've got a matching tissue holder and zippered pouch all cut out, but sadly, they are still sitting in my sewing room waiting to be put together.  My goal for tomorrow is to get those made so I will have a complete ensemble!  I need the zippered pouch to organize all my coupons and receipts!

So, there you have it.  Pam's Purse.  I hope I made my moma proud!  I miss her so much!

My moma--Pam


  1. Houndstooth was very popular in the 50s and 60s. Pam's bag looks fabulous made with this fabric. You've done an awesome job of making the pattern from the original bag. Like the original, it will be a very special bag for you, especially with the rhinestone heart pin.

    Up until recently, I've only ever used sew in interfacing, as that's all that used to be around and so I'm used to it. I'm now trying the iron on interfacing and am trying to sort out when to use each type. Still haven't worked it out. Maybe you could use some heavy interfacing to hold up the weight of the magnetic catch.

  2. The bag is beautiful and I am sure your mum would be very proud of you. As for interfacing I am still trying to figure out what is best for bags but to be honest I am not sure.

  3. Stopping by from the Girl Creative Blog Hop! http://queenofsavings.com

  4. Your purse looks good. I miss Pam also.

  5. Hi won't don't you go to YouSewGirl, Nicole Mallalieu is the author. She is a professional pattern maker and she gives you excellent information around the different types of interfacing to use.
    She also has an awesome book full of clothes/bags etc with clear instructions and step by step pics.
    Hope this helps

  6. http://nicolemdesign.blogspot.com/
    just thought to add the address!

    1. Thank you! This site is very helpful, but I'm still a little confused. I'm going to check out the store for some of the products she recommends.

  7. Pam's purse is awesome! You did a fantastic job of replicating the Talbot's purse and I'm a sucker for houndstooth also!

  8. You know - I cannot endorse hounds tooth! :) But your mom would've have loved the purse! She did love her accessories! I am impressed by your work! And for all who wondered, I have watched Veronica make crafts since I can remember. I think cross stitching was one of the first or was it friendship beads for our tennis shoes!

  9. Your bag looks lovely.. I make a lot of bags myself but I use an iron in interfacing called buckram in all my bags... For me it holds well and strengthen the fabric... It is very thin but stiff when used.. I have used it in all different types of materials and are pleased with the results..


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