We're so excited about our latest Draft-it-Yourself pattern, the Marianne Evening Bag! This is a project that ticks so many of our boxes -
- the perfect stash buster, using less than 1m fabric
- the ultimate quick fix, taking less than an hour to sew
- a super chic end result
You don't need any bag-making experience to draft and sew this cute little purse, and you can use almost any fabric you already have in your stash (lightweight fabrics will need extra structure with the addition of a medium weight woven fusible interfacing) - yes, we're talking bags to match your handmade dresses people!
You will, however, need some extra hardware to complete your bag and give it that designer finish, and this is all outlined and explained in this post.
Hardware you will need:
- A zipper
- 1 pair D- or O-rings
- A larger ring
- A bag strap / chain
*Please note, we have recommended shops and suppliers based in the UK as that is where we are and what we know - and finding suppliers worldwide to suggest is too monumental a task! We have also given suggestions of what keywords to search for, so hopefully you'll have an easier time finding what you need online, wherever you are :)
This is what will securely close the topline of your evening bag, and you'll need to factor in the length of your zip when you draft the pattern. For our samples, we have used both metal jeans zippers and invisible zippers, so that choice is really down to what you prefer the look of, and the weight of your fabric - you're not going to have much success sewing an invisible zip into leather or heavier fabrics like denim or tweed!
TIP: Make sure you measure your zip from end to end of the teeth, not the tape! The final width of your bag's topline (not including seam allowance) needs to be as wide as the zipper's teeth length, not total tape length.
Alternatively: you could also fasten your bag with a magnetic snap closure in the centre of the topline, but this will result in a bag that is less closed/secure than it would be with a zip.
D- & O-rings
These are the smaller loops that get threaded onto your side seam ring tabs as you're sewing your bag. They provide attachment points for your bag strap.
We recommend getting ones that are about 12mm in diameter, as that will perfectly fit the width of the ring tabs we've suggested in the pattern drafting instructions. 15mm will also work fine - some of our samples have 12mm diameter rings and some are 15mm. If you can only find D- or O-rings that are smaller or larger, make sure you tweak the final width of your ring tabs accordingly.
You'll see that some of our samples have plain D- and O-rings, and some have an in-built spring clasp. The rings with the in-built clasp are really useful if your bag strap is just a length of chain - you'll be able to clip and unclip your strap on easily without needing pliers (see below) to open and close the ends of the chain to attach it to the bag. Plus, you'll also have a bag that can have infinitely changeable straps! We're already having great fun switching up the straps for our samples to create different looks for one bag. If you've opted for plain D- / O-rings, you can also get bag straps that have in-built clasps (like our chunky pearl strap) to make attaching and/or changing your strap a breeze.
You can also get plain D-rings that employ the use of a mini screwdriver to open the shaft, so that would enable you to easily attach/change a clasp-less strap as well.
What to search for: "12mm D-rings" or "15mm metal ring". All our D- and O-rings -with and without in-built clasps- came from Amazon, but we've also seen some great options over at MacCulloch & Wallis.
The larger ring
This is what enables you to play with the strap setting on your bag. The larger ring is attached to one of the D- / O-rings OR the bag strap clasp on one side, and when you feed the strap through it, both ends of the bag's topline meet and the bag strap turns into a cute loop that you can dangle off your wrist.
The diameter of this larger ring really depends on the chunkiness of your bag's strap - it needs to be wide enough to feed your strap through while it's attached to one end. For our chunky pearl strap, which is 25mm at its widest pearl, we used a 40mm diameter ring.
What to search for: "Heavy duty metal ring" or something like "40mm gold O-ring". New Craft House have some great options at the moment - we used their 34mm gold chunky ring for one of our samples. You could also use a chunky metal keyring that has a hinge opening.
Your bag strap or chain
The really fun part! Because the bag strap is detachable (if you choose a strap, or D- / O-rings that have in-built clasps), you can have all the fun trying out different styles all on one bag! Or make a few bags and get straps that can be switched around between them! This part is really down you your style and preference, but we've suggested a minimum length of 35cm. Go for metal chain, chunky pearls, wooden beads, leather, canvas or anything else you can think of!
What to search for: Things like "replacement bag chain strap" or "detachable bag strap" or "bead purse handle" - searches like that will bring up bag strap options that will likely already have a clasp built-in. If you're after a length of chain, we'd suggest visiting your local DIY shop so you can see and handle the different size and finishes, and they can cut it to length for you. Our pearl strap and the longer chain straps both came from Amazon, while the finer metal, almost woven mesh strap (shown on the black lace sample, the cream leather sample, and under the pearl strap in the image above) was from New Craft House.
We couldn't talk about hardware without mentioning optional embellishments! Our super talented Jessica made her Marianne bag out of an old pair of jeans which she embellished with lengths of diamanté in various sizes, and we are all obsessed with the result! Very Britney c. 2001, in the best possible way.
Most of these were sourced from New Craft House, but we'd also suggest scouring your local charity shops or second hand sites like eBay for discarded diamanté belts, chains, earrings etc.
We also made a silk taffeta Marianne with gold beaded fringe dangling from the bottom - this is one of the "level up ideas" you can find in the instruction booklet. We love the designer drama of how this sample turned out, and it's gotten us thinking about future Marianne bags with other types of fringe - feather, leather, diamanté, tassels... how will you level up your Marianne??
If you have opted for plain D- or O-rings (that don't have a mechanism by which to open them) and a length of chain that doesn't have in-built clasps at each end, you will need pliers in order to open the ends of your chain and attach to your rings. This will result in a bag that has a more permanent strap that won't be easily detachable or changeable.