The Pattern Review Handbag Contest

Threading My Way_Featured

I consistently use to check out new sewing patterns and read tips on construction before sewing garments. But the site has numerous features I’ve never fully utilized. Of those, the most intriguing to me are the sewing contests, but I’ve never managed to get any of my projects finished in time to meet the contest entry deadlines.

About a week ago I discovered the Pattern Review Handbag Contest. It was running through November 30th and entries had to be sewn between November 1st and November 30th. Darn! I just completed a Kwik Sew purse on October 31st! But the cotton bag I made was very summery, and the color and fabric weight I chose looked wrong for winter use. So I decided to go ahead and enter the contest with a winter version of Kwik Sew 4093.

My idea was to use recycled wool clothing to create my second version of this bag. I had five wool skirts and one pair of wool pants in coordinating colors to work with. I deconstructed the clothing, removing the darts, waistbands, and hems to create flat fabric to use as yardage. For one of the patches I used the rear pocket from a pair of men’s wool pants. This created a buttoned pocket for extra storage on the front of the purse.

Unfortunately since I had made the purse so recently I didn’t think I needed to review the instructions. I sewed the patchwork for the bag with 1/4″ seams. Oops! It’s designed with 1/2″ seams, not 1/4″. And that meant the patchwork part of the bag ended up a lot larger than the lining. So I had to take the whole bag apart, all 28 pieces, and resew the seams at 1/2″. Sigh. It looked like once again I wasn’t going to have a project ready for the contest. But as the final hours of the contest wound down I managed to finish the bag and write my review. So my entry squeaked through just before the contest deadline! Whew!


  1. Love the pocket flap! I need to print off the pattern review contest schedule for next year and plan around it because I always do the same thing with not timing things right for contests.


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