The first step is to choose what you want the purse to look like. For me, that was a slouch purse, but i also wanted it to have a little structure so it didn't flop over if i set it down. I had seen a tutorial at http://theboytrifecta.com
in which he made a purse using inspiration from an Anthropology bag he liked. I loved the ruffle pattern and i knew i definitely wanted to use it, but the purse itself was much to small. Also i wanted to make a square bottom finish ( ill explain later)So my pattern was designed keeping that in mind.
Next, creating the pattern: I have never taken a pattern making course, so this was a challenge for me. I am sorry that describing the pattern process is rather difficult for me. I am not sure how many of you will be able to follow. Plus, I didn't take any photos because i forgot :(. Creating a pattern is kind of like creating it in reverse. You have to have an image in your head of the finished product. Imagine every detail, where to put pockets, how you plan to close the purse, body details like darts to give it structure. Then mentally going backwards from finished product to create the pattern pieces required.
I took pictures of the main body pattern i designed since I still have the pattern. The center panel is 13 3/4" wide at widest and 12 1/4 high. The ends are 8 1/2" w and 12 1/4" H. The angle is set at 80/100*. You don't have to be a math wiz here. The angle is used only for looks. You can choose what ever angle you like, so long as the angle on your other pattern piece is the opposite. If you line up the 2 pieces of the pattern they should look like one continuous line. If it is different then one of your pieces has an incorrect angle. Notice the end piece has a missing square on the bottom? This is for the square bottom finish I mentioned earlier. That square is 2" by 2". The flat bottom will use 2" of the bottom of the center panel piece as well. Also, Since i wanted a gathered effect i added darts to the ends and the main body. However i wasn't thinking clearly when I created my pattern. The center panel,main body, should have been bowed outward on the bottom, and then gathered in. The way I did it using gathers off a flat bottom gave my purse a slight concave effect . ( it is very noticeable in the photos of step 9) Lesson learned!
There are other pattern pieces to it which I don't have pictures like; the handles, the lining, the top facing the small strips around the handles. The lining is simple, as it mirrors the body pieces. The handles are 6 straight 4" strips. The decoration straps where just straight. 2 1/4". with rolled and surged edges on picot finish setting. The facing was 4 1/4" with 1 side rolled picot finish. As the pattern was not finished before finished cut measurements were unknown... and remain unknown as i didn't record them :S. Sorry like I said...first tutorial. PLEASE make sure you try your pattern out on scrap fabric and make a trail run purse so you don't ruin your good fabric!! Make changes or adjustments now!!