Monday, March 16, 2009

Ottobre Pea Pod Purse, not Linen

One day last week I went up to my sewing room to clean up the scattered remains of the blue Vogue jacket, but instead of cleaning I sewed this handbag. And now the floor of my sewing room is littered with jacket scraps and purse scraps...I'm so messy when it comes to sewing.

The Pattern: From the 2/2009 Ottobre Woman magazine, pictured in the magazine and a free download at the Ottobre website. Shown in green in the magazine, the purse is named Pea Pod Linen Purse. This purse is currently featured on the Ottobre blog, and anybody who makes it by March 30th and sends in a photo will be entered into a drawing for a prize. :-)

The Fabric: I used Stash Fabric, Stash Zippers, Stash batting, and even Stash thread. The outer fabric is leftover from a skirt I made one daughter several years ago, and the pockets and binding are leftover from another skirt I made another daughter. The pink came from nowhere-somewhere-who-knows-where. I barely had enough of any of the three fabrics, and the binding/pocket fabric really does not go with the outer fabric. But both outer and binding/pocket fabric match okay with the pink fabric, so I decided that everything would go together just fine. Follow that?

Likes/Dislikes: I like the style; I like the many pockets; I especially like the elasticated pocket on the outside; I like the zipper closure; I like the large size; I like the vintage metal zipper on the inside pocket; I like just about everything about this bag.


I don't like the inner layer of batting. The pattern calls for fusible batting, but I didn't have any so I used quilt batting. The batting I used is TOO thick in my opinion. In retrospect, I should have used the thick interfacing or canvas that I typically use when I make purses. This purse reminds me of the small-appliance covers I made in the 1980's. Take off the handle and the bottom of the purse, and voila, it could be a toaster cover. :-)

Other Changes I'd make: I constructed the handles as the pattern stated--by interfacing the fabric strips, sewing a tube, turning right side out and stitching along the length. Okay, I've made enough purses over the years that I should have followed my instinct and reinforced the handles more by interfacing them, adding canvas or several more layers of fabric, and generally making the straps more heavy-duty.

The instructions: were good. In fact, I thought the instructions were more detailed and thorough than usual for Ottobre. This could be because the pdf download had more available room for instructions than can fit in a magazine.

Conclusion: I'm going to give this bag a test-run as a purse. But if the "thickness of the batting-problem" irritates me too much, then the bag will become a knitting bag. For that matter, I think this bag would make a wonderful knitting bag--it's a good size without being too big, and all the pockets could hold all kinds of knitting goodness. Hmm...I think I like this bag more and more each passing moment. Thank you, Ottobre!


The elastic-topped pockets are featured on both the front and back of the purse.

The inside of my bag---I love the brightness and the pockets.

Pea Pod Linen Purse as shown in the 2/2009 issue of Ottobre Woman


  1. Cute bag. I love the little girl's shoes!

  2. Ooh, that looks good. Everything you make loooks so professional! I LOVE that lining!

  3. Looks great Ruth! I need a new purse as do my sisters. I had a Tanya Whelan bag to do, but like all the pockets on this one.
    I've never used fusible batting, so I'll have to give it some consideration...

  4. That turned out very cute!

  5. WOW it too cute i got pea pod coupon & bought a bag but that is not cute like that.