While we're on the theme of sewing and homemade gifts, I made this purse for my Sister-in-Law's birthday. I have made bags for myself in the past, but never anything from a pattern and never anything really structured, per say.
This is a Simplicity Sewing for Dummies Pattern (4178), but let me tell you- the instructions are confusing as all get out. I did just fine sewing the outer fabric to the interfacing, and even sewing the lining on to those pieces. Once it got to the section where you started sewing the two halves of the bag together all hell broke loose.
It probably didn't help matters that I decided to ammend the pattern (this seems to be where most of my sewing issues start). The pattern called for a large snap closure (optional) and I thought that a zipper was more appropriate given the size of the bag (this thing is HUGE). Although I'd never sewn a zipper onto anything before I didn't think it would be that confusing or difficult.
I know what you're thinking, it's the zipper that threw me off. And actually, it really isn't. I got the zipper on just fine (even added an inside pocket with no issues- once again, not in the original pattern). The directions on how to add the strap to the purse might as well have been written in sanskrit. Even after assembling the purse (making up the strap directions myself), I still haven't a clue what they were saying.
Overall, I'm pleased with how this came out. I made myself a smaller version (the pattern has three sizes), and I think improved on it even more. Plus, I learned to sew darts using this pattern. That's a useful skill.
(Thank you to my Husband for hand modeling)