10.29.2015

A Sugar Skull Purse

oonaballoona | a sewing blog by marcy harriell | halloween sugar skull embroidery

HELLO HALLOWEEN. Time for treats! A sugary treat in the form of an embroidered, candy apple (or maybe BLOOD) red pleather purse. Oh, adult candy bag! YOU WERE SO MUCH FUN TO MAKE!

Normally I ignore Halloween completely, but this year I did a little something festive, for my fourth round at The Sewing Party. There's loads of embroidery porn & photos in the full reveal at TSP, including my first try at a magnetic hoop (SUCH A COOL TOY!) but I thought I'd share some guts & sewing tricks here.

oonaballoona | a sewing blog by marcy harriell | halloween sugar skull embroidery

Indeed, I had to pull out a trick or two while sewing up this Chunky Purse by You Sew, Girl! I thought my choice of fabric & lining was stiff enough to stand on its own, but when I elongated the pattern, I had a very sad, very floppy candy bag on my hands. I ended up needing some stabilizer on the fly. Enter: the extra large metallic bubble wrap mailer envelope. The carnage of which, you see above. I cut it down, stitched it to the lining of the purse bottom, and inserted it between the fabric & lining just before slipstitching the lining opening closed. There shall forever be bubbles betwixt the purse fabrics. Had I followed Nicole's instructions, this wouldn't have been necessary... this is a great pattern, and comes with the metal clasp!


In order to aid in sandwiching the purse into the clasp, you're supposed to use cording (and glue), if memory serves. I do know that whatever Nicole recommended was not in my stash. However, I keep a fair amount of this neon elastic stuff on hand-- for real, I use this wackiness all the time. Sometimes even in dresses! I zigzagged it on with a regular presser foot and it worked out great.


Not so great: presser feet and sticky pleather! Luckily, this embroidery kick finds me with rolls of all kind of stabilizer. I used tear-away scraps to provide a smooth surface between presser foot & pleather, and simply tore it away after stitching was done. (Interesting to note, this was not necessary when doing all the fancy machine embroidering on top of the pleather. The hoop is moving, but I guess George is essentially straight stitching?)


For my final trick: Horrific guts! Run in terror, my friends! I had just enough of this geometric pleather to line the purse...if I cut and pieced. Hurts my eyes, man. But it had to be done. I think the added smartphone pocket lessens the blow, no?

oonaballoona | a sewing blog by marcy harriell | halloween sugar skull embroidery

More guts! MOAR GUTS FOR HALLOWEEN! What lies beneath this embroidery made me scream with glee. Hey, you experienced embroiderists out there, I'd love to know if this is a nightmare to your eyes. I think I got the bobbin/top thread ratio right, but I'm winging it! 

I'm continually knocked out by what Gorgeous George can do. HE'S A BEAST, Y'ALL. You can see the full reveal of this technicolor bag over at The Sewing Party, where I also wax on for a moment about tackling things that are scary. I'm having a ball researching embroidery techniques, but I'm also finding loads of tutorials that are less teaching and more dissuading. Much like finger wagging in sewing, I don't get it. What's the use of scaring yourself away from trying something new, outside of the box, or "above your level"? How else does one level up? Maybe there's wonkiness on your first try-- there sure is with mine. But that's what the second, third and fortieth tries are for.

What terrifies you? Buttonholes? Embroidery? Tailoring? It's the perfect time of year to scare yourself. Holler your worst sewing fear, let's egg each other on!

17 comments:

  1. Oh man, that purse is so good. I popped over to see the end product - just amazing. I'm scared of Roman Blinds. I've been roped into making...oh... five of them for our yet, unpainted rooms. Seriously, they are crazy simple to make, but fear of stuffing up something so visible in our house has sent me to read blogs instead of fabric cutting...as I should be doing right now in my blissfully empty house.

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  2. My sewing fear is knits. I have had two bad experiences with wadders and need to belly up and try again. I didn't think I wanted an embroidery machine, but between this amazing bag and designer Holly Fulton's spring 2016 collection, I'm totally rethinking that. The bag is AMAZING! More, more, more!

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  3. ...I'm all sugar skull eyes...

    Your handmade handbag has lit yet another creative fire. Thank you, thank you! I love it.

    hmmmm...terrified....not sure of what. Must be buried deep whatever it is. I'll let ya know though when it claws it's way up to the surface...mwaahahahaha

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  4. You are on fire... so much colourful goodness right there! I'm not sure if I'd call it a fear, but I'm definitely overwhelmed by tailoring. There's so much terminology I don't understand and so many techniques that I just don't know where to start!

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  5. That is seriously something Oona ... want! Just been on a 'Fabulous Clutches' day course so I can relate to the making of this. Mine is nowhere near as spectacular as yours though!

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  6. Fly front zippers. It's always fly front zippers in my nightmares. ***shudders***

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  7. My biggest fear has always been cutting into the fabric. I'm starting to get over that by building up enough of a stash that I'm like "OK, I don't love this one so much anymore so who cares how it turns out."

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  8. THAT IS INCREDIBLE! I love your new-found embroidery skillz. Just amazing.
    Um let's see... well, I have always wanted to make a corset or boned bodice, but I am scared of it! That sounds so silly, but I have never used boning before. It is uncharted territory for me, and I am sitting on the sidelines waiting until it becomes less scary.

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  9. Love that bag! Beautiful! And Ruggy's right the redwing blackbirds are perfect.

    My sewing nightmare is slippery, sliding, slinky silk. GAH!

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  10. Oh, now that is FAB! I have serious embroidery machine envy. I actually just got my first computerized machine, so I have actual fancy stitches for the first time ever---but nothing like this! Crazy fun. :D

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  11. Wow, that is fantastic. I can't believe you made that. My sewing nightmare is the finishing... I wish little fairies would come and do it.

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  12. Great project. The embroidery looks fine to me, I am a Pfaffie too. You mention buttonholes. Did you know you can do them in the 360 x 200 hoop which is roughly long enough to fit the opening on a blouse or dress. Bring a single buttonhole in to the hoop, then duplicate it as many times as you need evenly spread and Hey Presto your buttonholes are done in one go.

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  13. So so impressed with what your embroidery machine can do! And on pleather!! Yes button holes and tailoring scare me a bit. Practice, practice, practice….

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  14. I am so late to the Oonaballoona party, yo, but I had to say: nice embroidery. I got a new Brother embroidery machine last fall and I LOVE IT. Sugar schools are the most fun thing to make ever. Urbanthreads.com has a good selection.

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i thankya truly for taking the time to comment, i love a good conversation-- and hope you know my thanks are always implied, if not always written!