This month's writeup is sponsored by Rose of Battle.

December Write-Up: Pai's Purse

Pai is finally done! Also, World's End Club is out for Steam now! Like literally it just happened 11/30. Time to celebrate with a little writeup.

This purse. Oh my god. Construction hell all over again, folks, and let me tell you, this is the item I rushed the most.

I made the mockup twice to test for the shape (because it doesn't exist irl) and was never fully satisfied with it, but by the time I needed to start this piece, I didn't care anymore. I put the pattern onto the fabric (which I wish was canvas, in hindsight) and lining, then sewed darts into all four pieces (which I wish was five pieces). For each dart, I left the tails long when they got to the center point, pushed those into a needle, pushed the needle through to the back side, and knotted it. Once those parts were in place, I cut out the pattern in iron-on fleece. It was my first time using it. Between the difficulty I had with the shape and the amount I had to press down on the ham to get it to stick, I wish I had ironed it on before darting.

At least I learned my interfacing lesson from the shirt, right?? (In theory.... Fleece interfacing doesn't require water, so there was no steam to mess anything up on the other side. Ah well!)

Anyway, I made another mistake around this step. I waited to put the pink swirlies on until everything else had been set and sewn on both sides. What I wish I'd done differently is: tested the swirlies on a mockup BEFORE cutting up the mockup to make the pattern piece, then ironing the swirlies on EACH piece before sewing the pieces together. The rounded nature of the pattern meant that hitting the iron on the right spot consistently without overheating it and several of the lines didn't end up matching up where they should have. OR I could have: made a digital copy of the pattern, had it printed straight onto fabric, and sewn that fabric together in a close-enough manner.

At first, I'd laid out the swirlie mockups on an 11x14" sheet of paper, took a high-res photo, and imported it into Photoshop, and then Illustrator. And around the third line that took way too long to map because I no longer have a tablet and haven't done this kind of linework since 2010, I gave up and traced it with the "carbon" copy method, then cut it out with an exacto. Ironing these pieces was the least rewarding part of this project, unfortunately. I really wish I hadn't chosen to do it this way!

With that out of the way, it was time to spray and touch up the hardware. Well... winter has arrived and I have no space to spray anything safely and at the proper temperature. I'd sprayed half of the pieces poorly the first time around, so these needed to be sanded down and hand-painted. I'm fairly happy with my color-matching, although I wish I had done that from the start to keep it consistent. I'm sure nobody will be able to tell but me. I finished the paint with a couple coats of matte.

This next step was my favorite! I'd purchased beautiful green rope from Ravenox months and months ago and had looked up rope twisting tutorials because I knew it'd need to be a bit thicker proportionally. The gist is that you twist the big two pieces clockwise while rotating each three-strand piece counterclockwise. In order to do that, I needed some help from the doorknob. And my wife, who took the photo! It hurt my hands a bit, but the end result is well worth it.

After the rope was twisted, I measured it out on my body with the purse "attached" (tacked) and clamped the free end. I used barge cement (and a ventilated room, thank you!) to connect the rope to the rope end, and then screwed the provided screws into the holes on either side. This makes for a pretty strong connection!

Questionable decision number... a bunch: I decided to add a stronger stabilizer to the inside of the purse between the lining and the outer fabric. Instead of choosing literally any sensible thing, I had the idea to cut the pattern out of cardboard, tape it down initially, then hot glue a piece of felt over both sides to sandwich it in place. It works, but this is the point where I realized the shape of the purse wasn't something I was happy with. Unfortunate, but that's what I get when I don't remake and remake something, I guess!

One of the last steps was to hand-sew all the layers together. This is in no way even. I wish I had graded the excess and tucked it in sensibly. Idk, you won't see this part because of the next step, so it was mostly for the sake of hand sewing that I wish I'd done that more smoothly.

The final step was to hand sew the fabric into the purse frame. Let me simply say: my forearms are still pretty sore from that part alone, and I was using a nice curved needle to boot. Really questioning why the designers made her have an oversized change purse as a full purse!


Thanks for sticking with me on Pai's strange journey. I'll have to put the whole thing on and get some previews for you all.

Looking forward to sharing my Tekko lineup with you as soon as I can!

Photos by me.

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