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Sunday, March 23, 2014

A Reversible Echino Purse

A couple of days ago, I showed you the beautiful new purse and zipper pouch I made for myself using Japanese Echino Fabrics.  Of course, as soon as I finished my new ensemble, my daughter, Ella, asked if it was for her!  Since I had two more prints from the cute fabric shop, Modes4U, I decided to make her a reversible Echino purse of her own!

Side one was made with Echino canvas fabric Buck Stag with Glasses in Blue.

While Side Two was made using forest hart owl turquoise Echino canvas fabric.  I love the patchwork designs on this fabric!

Modes4U sent me four half meter Echino prints in all to try out.  It was a tough decision deciding on just four!

Disclaimer:  I was provided with the fabrics in exchange for my honest opinion about these products.

Some of you may recognize the wooden purse handle I used for this bag.  These were pretty common back in the 1970's, and in fact, this handle is from my childhood purse.  My mom had a larger one just like it that I plan to eventually make a new cover or two for me to use with it.

I wish I had taken a picture of my original purse, but when I found it a couple of years ago among some of my childhood things, it was so deteriorated that I took it apart, traced the original cover, and then trashed it.  Plus, this was before I was into blogging and didn't even consider that I would some day need a before picture!

Since Ella insisted on me making her a new purse as well, I thought now would be the perfect time to reuse the old wooden handles.  I thought for a brief moment about painting or refinishing the handles, but then I saw the wear on the finish that my little hands had created over 30 years ago. Immediately, I decided to leave them as is and let Ella's use of the purse add to its charm. Someday, I hope she'll appreciate the journey this little bag has taken and know how much I enjoyed using it when I was her age.

First, I sewed a new lining using muslin and then had my husband staple it onto the wooden handle. I then stitched eight 1/2" black buttons to it to hold the purse cover in place.

To construct the new reversible cover, I simply cut out two pieces of fabric for each side and fused Pellon Shape Flex 101 to all four pieces before sewing them together.  Lastly, I sewed eight buttonholes (4 on each side) so that the cover could be easily attached and removed from the purse lining.  Simply flip the cover inside out to showcase yet another interesting Echino fabric.

These Echino fabrics are a blend of cotton and linen and are a dream to sew with!  I'm not sure why I waited so long to actually try them, but now I am definitely hooked! They are perfect for making bags and purses and feel very similar in weight and thickness to a lightweight home decor fabric.

Ella loves the deer wearing glasses since it's so silly, but I am partial to all the beautiful colors and shapes used on the reverse side.

It feels great to have used these little wooden handles finally.  I know Ella will love her new bag as much as I did years ago.  I think I'll made her a few more covers to use with it.  They don't take much fabric and are so easy to make.

Be sure to check out Modes4U for all kinds of Japanese fabrics and other fun items like Hello Kitty, washi tapes, bento boxes, and more!

Here's a pic of my entire Echino ensemble!  Be sure to read my earlier post about the purse and zipper pouch I made for myself!

Thanks for stopping by!  Have fun sewing!


  1. I loved your post. Your wonderfully worn Bermuda Bag handle juxtaposed with the modern fabric was brilliant. Made me wish I still had mine. Thanks for sharing!

  2. I love the stag with the glasses! And I love the story behind the wood handle. Things like that make what we sew for our kids so much more special :)

  3. I love those handles - the history behind them is so wonderful! The best reason for sewing - making these special pieces that you could never find anywhere else, pieces with a history and love in them!
    And that fabric is amazing, the deer with glasses is so not my usual style but for some reason I want it! It made me laugh! The patchwork design is beautiful.

  4. Wow! I love the fabric and all the different prints and pattern. Can you only purchase the fabric online or is it available in a store? I think this is a neat way to upcycling! Thanks for sharing.

    1. Megan, thanks for stopping by and commenting. The Echino fabrics are sold in stores, too, but usually in local fabric shops (not a chain store).

  5. That's so neat that you reused a purse handle from your childhood! Loving the funky fabric too, great picks.

  6. I LOVE that stag fabric. I am pretty sure I could find a million ways to use it. Such a fun purse!!

  7. Oh! How cute! Love the fabric and LOVE the handle!

  8. oh my goodness, I totally forgot about wooden handle purses like this. And I was a kid in the 1970s, too! Yours looks great. What a fun thing for your daughter to have, a purse with many different covers!

  9. I love that you are able to share your purse with your daughter!!!! How sweet!!!! The purse turned out super cute, I'm sure she loves it!

  10. So darn cute!!! The fabrics are adorable. Love!


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