Hello everyone! My name is Chloe and I blog over at deadlycraft (http://deadlycraft.blogspot.com). You can also find me on Instagram as chloe_deadlycraft. I have been sewing now for about 10 years, starting with quilts, then kids clothes, then bags and also now clothes for me. I love sewing and there is nothing more satisfying than a bag project – they are usually a bit quicker than clothes or quilts, and there are no annoying fit issues to deal with!
I have chosen to review the Feed the Animals Coin Purse pattern from Straight Stitch Society – you can find the pattern here: http://straightstitchsociety.com/patterns/feed-the-animals-coin-purses/.
Straight Stitch Society patterns is a brainchild of Liesl Gibson, who runs Oliver+S (great kids clothes patterns) and produces the women’s Lisette patterns for Butterick. Their patterns are fun and cute and quick – with other wallets, a gorgeous sewing kit (shaped like fruit!), phone cases and bags.
I made seven of these purses to use as party bags for my daughter’s 6th birthday (this was a couple of years ago, so please excuse some of the dodgy stitching!). I wondered whether this was going to be too much effort, but they are fairly quick to sew if you make a production-line out of it and quite a lot of fun to make.
The pattern is good for using up smaller pieces of fabric (less than a fat quarter each for the outer fabric and lining) and very good for using up scraps of felt and buttons.
The pattern gives three designs: cat, dog and monkey. I made all three for these purses. The instructions are very detailed, with templates provided for the face features and even for the matching zipper pulls (bone, fish and banana respectively).You could very easily customise this to be other animals or even monsters I think (I have always wanted to try a panda).
They made pretty cute party bags, with lip gloss, nail polish, stickers, a small notepad and chocolate in them.
This pattern is one which you need to take your time with at points – sewing fairly small circles together then attaching the lining and main body together takes a bit of patience to get right. It’s difficult to press most of the sewing, so you are relying on being fairly neat as you stitch. You also need to set in a zip for the mouth, though that’s fairly straightforward and the instructions are clear. There is also some hand sewing and super simple embroidery to do also – for example for the cat’s whiskers.
I made a single purse first up and was depressed by how long it took with the fiddly cutting and making the face look right. Then I made another 6 as a production line, which went very much quicker! Some of my efforts were neater than others, but as these were for six year old girl party bags, I wasn’t overly worried. If you are detail oriented and not in a hurry this would suit you very well, and the additional effort to make them neat and add other small embellishments would be worth it.
I can firmly recommend not rushing it, and making sure you remember to follow the instructions (I should read myself that sentence for EVERY sewing project I start hahahaha). The picture above shows how you construct the face with the zip for the mouth. If you don’t read the instructions and charge ahead, you might end up cutting the zipper pull off when you trim the sides. Then you will have to try and reattach it. This is NOT fun and NOT recommended!!!
The only thing I didn’t really like about this pattern was the way the ears sit if you follow the instructions. You can see that the ears of the monkey are sitting very far forward. This was the same for the dog and cat ones, so I decided to pull them back a bit and then secure them in place with some stitches between the ear base and the side panel.
In conclusion, I think this is a pretty fun pattern and you could really go to town with other embellishments or additional embroidery. The fabric you pick really makes a difference too – my friend Amanda also made some for party bags and they look very different to mine – just because of the fabric choice (see here: http://ellieboo296.blogspot.com.au/2013/05/finished-6-feed-animals-purses.html).
Finally, and most importantly, the kids really loved them! We still have a dog (below) and a monkey (somewhere!) lurking in our place, and they have took up to the test of time fairly well, though my sewing skills have definitely improved since then!!!
Thanks for having me Sara – and enjoy the rest of Purse Palooza everyone!