Not a Silver Lining

I’ll admit it, I cannot sew. I can repair a tear, or put a button back on, but I cannot really sew well at all. Usually when I admit this, people look at me like I have eight or more heads and exclaim, “But you knit!” Yes, I do knit, but shockingly, to a dismaying number of people, knitting and sewing appear to be the same thing. Let me help you out, people, they are not the same thing, even if they both involve some sort of needle and some sort of string.


Anyway, I’m off subject. The point is, when it comes to finishing work, I can do the minimal amount of sewing, but I don’t always expect it to look good. I managed to line my Carry All Tote, but there are some spots where it doesn’t look too good (which my mom was all too happy to point out, thanks for that :)). I can live with something not being perfect, what I cannot accept is something looking like total crap.


Which is what happened with my first attempt to line my Coco Purse. It looked bad, really, really bad. So bad that I ended up ripping out the lining and cursing. I thought about just leaving the bag as it was, but it really needed to be lined, it also needed some sort of interfacing to give the bag a little shape. So, back to the drawing board.


Background: The Coco Purse was a quickie project. I had it queued up on Ravelry for some time. I wanted a little purse for going out. In my day purse, I carry a lot of crap, but when I’m out for the night, I only need a few essentials (usually my phone, id, cash, camera, and lip gloss), and I prefer not to be burdened with a big purse to lug around. The Coco Purse was the perfect size, and the outer shell knit up quickly in some Noro Silk Garden yarn, which was a giant pain to work with, but the colors are beautiful).


First I needed to gather some new materials. I had used craft foam for the first interfacing, which worked all right, but was destroyed in the first lining fiasco. I needed something that would hold a little shape, but was still flexible and it needed to be in my house, as I was on a deadline with the bag, and didn’t have time to run to a craft store.


Luckily, what turned out to be the perfect substance was sitting in my closet. Husband and I just replaced our downstairs carpet with wood laminate floors, and a roll of the under layment pad was left over. The material could be cut with scissors, was flexible, and gave just enough shape. Thankfully, I had enough fabric scraps to  use for the lining and would still be able to use the clasp and the chain handle. 

Next, I cut the interfacing material to fit inside the bag, then attached the lining fabric with some fabric glue (I was really going for a no-sew project here). So far, so good, every thing was clipping along at an easy pace. 
Then I marked the sports where the magnetic clasp would go and added that. 


Finally I glued the interfacing/lining combination to the knitted purse and let all the glue (I used a lot of it) dry overnight. The bag was mostly lined, the sides were not lined, but that would not affect the function of the bag, so I wasn’t going to let that worry me.


Now, I was on the last step, adding the handle. I was reusing an chain rescued from my mother-in-law’s pile of jewelry headed out the door. It was a thick, brushed gold (not real) chain, which I actually can’t even picture her wearing. However, I saw it and knew it would make a great handle for a bag.


I’m pretty picky about the length of my purse handles. I like them just long enough to put over my shoulder, but short enough that the bag sits right under my arm. I used my current purse as a guide, shortened the chain, and attached it to the sides of the purse. 

Voila! My new purse was ready to hit the town!

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