Maybe I should learn Japanese


 This is my first attempt making a purse using a purse frame. It looks like an old lady bag, doesn’t it? Yeah, it really does. I’ve learned a lot so far, but one huge lesson is this: if you want to learn something new from a Japanese craft book, it would be really helpful if you a) read Japanese, or b) knew someone who could help translate the Japanese instructions. I have neither. I started out trying to make this bag but after a frustrating hour or so, gave up and made one using a different pattern. Well, turns out this pattern was for a purse frame that is 3 cm larger than the one I had. I’m going to give this another try, but I need some time to process what I could do better. And, just so you know, I’m exercising considerable restraint to point out all the things that are wrong with this bag.


For this bag, I was able to fake my way through it without actually being able to read the directions, however, I’m still exercising the same restraint as on the one above. It was a good lesson in using trim on the front and handles. I like how that looks.

20 Responses to “Maybe I should learn Japanese”

  1. 1 Megan May 26, 2006 at 5:59 pm

    They look pretty good to me – I even like the old lady bag. I think it’s old lady in a cool kind of way. Has anyone ever suggested you’re quite hard on yourself? 😉

    Really, they look good.

  2. 2 autum May 26, 2006 at 6:42 pm

    I like them both! Especially the black and white one. Sewing is all about trial and error and learning from mistakes. They look great to me.

  3. 3 weirdbunny May 26, 2006 at 7:03 pm

    love the black and white bag. Those japanese pattern books are so obscure, I don’t think I’d understand them even if I spoke japanese!

  4. 4 Amanda8 May 26, 2006 at 7:57 pm

    I adore the old lady bag. Very cute.

  5. 5 Natalie Joy May 26, 2006 at 8:27 pm

    both purses are beautiful. I’m sure you will come across that one outfit that says “I need the old lady purse” (which by the way I love!)

  6. 6 Pink Rocket May 26, 2006 at 10:03 pm

    love both purses! i think why you think you “failed” with the “old lady bag”…which I love btw…is because there’s no ruffle to cover the frame. depending on how much you tucked into the frame, what about sewing a ruffle near that edge?

  7. 7 angela May 27, 2006 at 8:54 am

    Linda! They are both awesome. I am SO impressed. wow. I really like the black and white one.

  8. 8 RANDI May 27, 2006 at 9:33 am

    I like them both, Linda!

  9. 9 Mom F May 27, 2006 at 9:55 am

    Well, I know what you have been doing since we left Wednesday morning. You certainly worked quickly, with or without a knowledge of Japanese! And this is one “old lady” that likes the old lady bag very much. Wish I had your creativity.

  10. 10 Rachel May 27, 2006 at 6:43 pm

    I came over from my mom’s site (4:53). You have the best purses ever! So inspiring! Have a great weekend…

  11. 11 kimberly May 28, 2006 at 12:37 am

    That’s one reason I have shied away from Japanese craft books in the past, I like everything written out so I can read it tons and tons until I finally understand what’s going on. Even with the text in English or German I need to read it over and over. Your purses are fab!! Keep it up, girl!

  12. 12 Cathy May 28, 2006 at 7:41 am

    I know it didn’t turn out the way you expected but it still great. I like the black and white bag too!

  13. 13 the painted pear May 28, 2006 at 8:33 am

    I agree with everyone, I think it looks great too. I can’t see anything wrong with it and I think you are being too hard on yourself.

    Love the black and white bag. Ohhh it looks like the perfect bag for the perfect little black dress, and a mid summer night on the town with hubby!

    Practice makes perfect, but really it looks pretty perfect from where I am sitting.

  14. 14 capello May 28, 2006 at 11:54 am

    I do not see anything wrong with either bag, they are both fabulous.

    But aren’t we always critical of our own work? Always easy to see our own flaws… or maybe it’s just me.

  15. 15 Cindi May 28, 2006 at 6:21 pm

    Wow! Looks good to me. I love both bags.

  16. 16 lera May 28, 2006 at 6:25 pm

    Both bags are adorable. I don’t see your flaws.

    I’ve been wanting to experiment with purse frames.

  17. 17 quenna May 29, 2006 at 2:24 pm

    I guess I’m an old lady! I like it…it has an elegant look.

  18. 18 lizzie June 1, 2006 at 5:00 pm

    I think both purses are classy and lovely! Great job! You know I’ve got my eye on the black and white one if you grow tired of it.

  19. 19 Linda June 14, 2006 at 8:48 pm

    I really like both of these bags, but I find the red-old lady bag gorgeous.

  20. 20 Stitchin sista January 25, 2007 at 11:20 am

    I can help you with Japanese instruction next time you get frustrated. I am Japanese, and also a crafter. Just send me the message by flickr mail! I love how your bags came out and the Bernina is beautiful!! Enjoy the super machine! (I’m envious!)

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Craft Apple

An apple a day keeps the doctor away, right? Well, crafting is my apple. It’s what I do to maintain my sanity while taking care of my family. I homeschool my three boys, ages 14, 15, and 16), am a quilter, a bagaholic, and pattern designer.  Oh – and I also like taking pictures.

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