Six years ago I attended one of those fun parties at my friend's house where you choose the fabrics for a custom purse. I love my purse and it held up really well, especially since I'm not a multi-purse girl and it's been used heavily over the past 6 years. Its one flaw is that no matter how I prop it up, it falls over every single time I am in the car, spilling its contents everywhere since it only has a magnet closure. It's like the pockets are spring loaded and with even the slightest turn, out jump the tissue packets and chapstick and wallet and pill bottles and flashlight (call it ridiculous, but this comes in very handy every so often). Not to mention all of the change and random child hair barrettes that find themselves in the bottom. Once the corner edges started to fray, I decided to make myself a new purse.
After scouring purse patterns, I decided on the Sew Sweetness Rockstar Bag. I liked that it had a flat, wide base and a zipper closure, but mostly what sold me was that it looked like a bowling ball bag. And kinda like an old lady purse. I loved it! I also ordered the hardware kit so I wouldn't have to source those separately. This was in May 2015.
What took me so long to make this purse? This thing is intimidating! I didn't want to spend all of that time making a purse to end up with a big old mess. But after New Years I decided enough was enough and was set on making this thing so I could stop throwing fits every time my purse fell over and spilled. Can you tell how much this annoys me? It's maddening!
I spent a good amount of time browsing fabrics before I settled on using a sampling of Sarah Watson's Garden Secrets and Cotton + Steel Mystery Food Sapphire as the lining. Like Dom Streater, I love the mix of prints (while we're talking about it, know that she is my fav Project Runway contestant ever—and is from Philly!). I also really love a pop of color for the zipper.
For the most part, this bag wasn't nearly as hard to make as I had imagined. Sure, I made a few mistakes here and there, but it was mostly smooth sailing until the very end. Going in, I was most concerned with attaching the side panels to the front/back and oh boy was I right. The wonderful Soft and Stable that gives the bag such great stability on every pattern piece (hence the name) created my sewing nightmare. After some sweat, blood (pins!), wrestling, considering throwing the entire thing out, and very slow sewing and re-sewing, I had a completed bag. I then spent the entire night oogling it. And also the next day. And pretty much every time I use it. It is beautiful! And functional!
Aside from the wide base and zipper closure, I really like the many pockets (two zippered inside and a zippered and non-zip on the outside) and that it can be carried either by the short handles or the strap that is long enough to wear as a crossbody (essential while managing small wild animal children). It's also large enough to carry my water bottle, which I'm pretty much never without (I use this one). And the nicely structured sides help it stand up and keep shape so digging around inside is easy. Best of all: it wasn't even tempted to fall over in the car. This purse is a total win!!
While it's not as infuriating as a purse that constantly falls over, I had been dealing with a wallet that rarely snapped closed. I figured while I was at it, I'd make a Greenbacks wallet to match my new purse. I chose version 3 because of the zipper closure and many card slots. I only have one debit card and one credit card, but I carry around gift cards in case I randomly pop into Target, Starbucks, or Joann. That small stack of gift cards really added some heft to my old wallet, but not this one! There are plenty of card slots with even some to spare.
The pattern doesn't include a specific pocket for cash, but since I rarely carry more than $20 at a time, the space next to the pocket will provide more than enough room. There's even enough space on the other side of the pocket to slide in my phone for the times when I go out with just my wallet.
The wallet was pretty easy to put together and included only a small amount of finicky sewing to attach the bias binding (which is the only reason the pattern is considered "advanced"). Sewing slowly was the remedy! And now I have a beautiful and sturdy matching purse and wallet set. This is a first for me! Does this mean I'm a real adult now (as if having two kids didn't already seal the deal on that one)?