The Makery, Bath. This month, craft journalist Clare Kelly visited The Makery, Bath a craft venue in Bath where she learnt to make a framed fabric clasp purse in just a couple of hours.
When it comes to looking after money, we’re always told to ‘look after the pennies’. I couldn’t agree more, so I was very excited to be heading to The Makery in Bath to have a go at making my own clasp purse.
Here’s a great video of Kate showing you how to make your own…
The Makery is located close to the centre of the city, with two levels of creative craft space allowing plenty of room to spread out. There is even a small garden – perfect for enjoying a tea break in the sunshine.
I was one of four attendees so we had plenty of assistance from tutor Katie Berwick (pictured, below) and we began the class by choosing our fabric – two patterned and two pieces of lining.
Wanting to make something completely unique, I opted for two contrasting patterned pieces for the front and back of the purse and a plain blue fabric for the lining. We then laid out the four squares of fabric and, using the template provided, cut out four pieces of the same size to form the main body of the purse. Interfacing was also ironed onto the back of the patterned fabric to make it easier to work with.
So far, so good. The next part was a little trickier as it was time to make what would become the pleats in the purse, and these had to be identical for both the lining and patterned pieces to ensure they matched. Secured with a pin, we first hand stitched each piece to form the pleats. Next, it was time to join together the patterned fabric so with the right sides facing, we stitched around the base of the purse shape up to the place where the clasp would be inserted. We repeated this for the lining too.
The step that followed was quite tricky – the lining was turned right side out to sit inside the patterned fabric then pinned at the side before being sewn 1cm in from the edge in an ‘L’ shape around the place where the clasp would sit. I learned later on that this was a good time to be neat as these are the stitches you see! Once this fiddly step was completed, we were all relieved and turned the purse right side out pushing the lining into the corners (below, right) and securing with a couple of stitches.
At this point, the purse actually started to look like a purse and was just waiting for a clasp, which is affixed with a strong adhesive – you can apply the glue with a cocktail stick for a more precise result but only do one side of the clasp at a time. The fabric is then tucked into the glued clasp using the stick and a piece of paper string is also pushed inside the clasp to ensure a secure fixing (below, left). To further secure, apply pressure onto felt covered pliers and once stuck, repeat with the other side. The last step is to tidy up any messy stitches and look very pleased with yourself!
This workshop, like many others on offer at The Makery, is perfect for crafty beginners requiring just a few materials, some sewing know-how – and not forgetting a little patience. And once you’ve finished it, you’ll easily be able to create more purses as thoughtful gifts for friends and family.
For details of upcoming workshops, parties and events at The Makery, visit www.themakeryonline.co.uk.
Clare Kelly is a freelance craft journalist and author of the blog passthepattern.tumblr.com.
Images courtesy of Clare Kelly and guide2bath
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