Lining a purse…the hard way!

My sister, Cindy, bought me this lovely Clark’s purse last year for my birthday and while I LOVE it when it’s on my shoulder, I have this love hate relationship with it when I’m trying to find something in it. It’s one of those slouch purses, and it just sort of crumples in a heap when it’s sitting down. If you try to get into it without it sitting on something, your hand reaches in and the first thing it goes into is one of the side pockets… ugh!

My sister, Deb, and I were discussing one night what I could maybe do to make it a little stiffer or at least stand upright somehow. We thought of something wire; making a sort of frame for it. We thought about that plastic stuff that you can stitch together with yarn, and a few other goofy ideas.

Ever since that night, I have been looking for something stiff enough to make a lining out of and have struck out with everything I thought of. Till….one day I was in Walmart and found this stuff in the interfacing section. It was called Pellon Peltex 1 Ultra Firm One Sided Fusible Stabilizer. How’s that for a name? Anyway it was the stiffest thing I had seen so I bought a yard and a half for $8.00 and thought I’d give it a try. Even though it’s a fusible fabric, I only wanted it for its stiffness.

The first thing I did was turn my purse wrong side out and expose the lining.

I wanted the Peltex to be between the lining and the purse material. So I had to start by opening the lining at the bottom inside seam of the purse.

Once I had the seam opened all the way across, I pulled the lining up and out of the way.

Now I’ll spare you all the measurements I did, which took a while, and just show you what I ended up with…. a sort of shell of the inside of the purse… I stitched it together by hand with 6 strands of embroidery floss and I certainly wouldn’t get any Blue Ribbons from Charlotte as my 4-H judge! :o) It’s pretty crude but it was never going to seen by anyone, so I just stitched and trimmed and stitched and tucked…making a few adjustments along the way.

I then turned the purse right side out and it was time to see if this was a good idea or not! This had to be right or it wouldn’t fit. It was now time to try and get it inside my purse. It really was stiff and I had to actually bend it in half to get it though the opening of the purse. Once I got it in there, I had to pull and tug and get it in place, but it fit! YAY!

I pulled the lining out and lined up the bottom edges to stitch them shut.

…and this is what my purse looks like now… a standing purse, not a slouching purse… We’ll see how it works and if I like how it feels on my shoulder. It think it will soften up somewhat, but still hold its shape. I hope so…

Well, that’s what I sewed on today, how about you?

See you tomorrow,
Blessings, Jeanne

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  1. Linda Doyle says:

    Pure genius, Jeanne! Yes, I too, have several purses like that, or did, and it’s hard to find things in them, on top of them not being able to stand up. I have a nice purse, no name brand for me, but it is nice and stands up, and I use that purse all the time. If there’s anything I don’t like, it’s changing out purses!! I try to get by on as few as I can!

    I don’t know if I would have the patience to do what you did, but you did a great job!

    Now to see if this goes through, I am having computer problems again!!

    • HI Linda,
      Yes, your comments came through today and thanks for your thoughts… I too, hate changing out my purses… When I find one I like, I practically use it till it’s dead! :o)
      I am glad to check this off my to do list!
      Thanks Linda,
      Blessings, Jeanne

  2. Cindy Ellicott says:

    YAY!!!!!!! Love you!!!!

    • Morning Cindy,
      YAY is right… I finally got this project finished! I can’t wait to take the purse somewhere and see how I like it and if it makes a difference. If I don’t like it, I can always take out the shell. Thanks again for the purse… I DO love it!
      Love you too,

  3. Shara Smith says:

    I have a couple of these kind of slouch handbags.. what a great idea! Saving this post and photos! Thanks !!

    • HI Shara,
      Well, if you get up the nerve to try it on your handbag, let me know how yours turns out! :o)
      Blessings, Jeanne

  4. Don’t you love rescuing things? It always makes me feel like a hero. It’s such a pretty purse. You’ll have to give us a 6 month report so that we know how well your new unfused fusible material works.

    • HI Marilyn,
      I DO love rescuing things and do it quite often. My hubby and I hardly ever throw anything away… whatever it is can usually be fixed some way. My hubby is the MacGyver of just about anything. If there’s a way to fix it, he generally can. I’m the MacGyver of crafts and sewing and things like that. :o)
      I will let you know how my purse holds up and if I like it this way…
      Thanks Marilyn,
      Blessings, Jeanne

  5. Brilliant!!! Genius!!! A Jeanne Marie solution!!!

    • HI Susette,
      Well, I don’t know about Brilliant and Genius, but it “Was” a Jeanne Marie solution and I’m pretty pleased with the results!
      Thanks Susette,
      Blessings, Jeanne

  6. Charlotte A. says:

    Well aren’t you the clever one! Your final product is awesome but what really impresses me is just your overall problem solving. It takes a pretty talented person to jump in and deconstruct a purse (or any item) and reconstruct it even better! I might think about doing it but I’m not sure I would have the guts to try it. Maybe next time, I will. You are indeed inspirational.
    Hope you have a good day!
    Take care.

    • HI Charlotte,
      Well, I’m not so much clever as I am one to just try and figure things out. I learned that doing alterations at a few places… and on my own… It was put together, so it can be taken apart and fixed. If you can’t fix it, just put it back together… :o)
      I’m glad I inspired you on something like this today! I think everyone should give this stuff a try on something. I have some left over so I might try to use it for something else… hmmm…
      Thanks Charlotte,
      Blessings, Jeanne

  7. Great idea. Looks good too.
    Would work for some of those grocery bags we use out here in CA where plastic bags have been banned. (A good thing.) The clerks always struggle to load up the bags as they fall off the items. I have some similar stiffner that I had planned to use to line a tote bag. Guess I should get on that project.
    Hope your Thursday brings smiles.

    • HI Joy,
      This stuff would work well for a grocery liner! Good thinking… I’ll have to do a little thinking myself and see what else I can use it for. I’m sure there are a million uses for it. If you fused 2 layers of it together, it would be really stiff…
      Thanks Joy,
      Blessings, Jeanne

  8. What a brilliant solution. I don’t have any purses like that because I would hate to try to find something in them. I don’t know that I would have been brave enough to cut a lining and hope I would get it back together, but then again you know what you are doing. :-). My favorite summer purse is actually made of wicker and lined in fabric that drawstrings together a the top and has leather handles. A dear family friend bought it for me for my birthday about ten years ago, but I only use it for church or special times so it’s held up beautifully.
    Your purse looks great now and I’m sure you’ll enjoy it even more.
    The sister set from yesterday was adorable. Loved the picture of the bunny in the cape. Spring seems to be on it’s way. The crocus are blooming, but our early blooming daffodils froze because we had 20 degrees recently. The late ones should be alright though as well as the tulips etc.

    • HI Laura,
      I’ve had a few of these slouchy purses but this one I really loved so I wanted to find a way to make it a bit more “standable” if you know what I mean. I used to have a wicker purse too and liked it very much.
      Thanks for the compliments on the sister set from yesterday. It seems everyone liked the bunny in the cape picture. What a couple of little imps they were!
      Things are budding out here too…. I am welcoming Spring with open arms!
      Blessings, Jeanne

  9. Debra Buesking says:

    You did it!!! Hooray! It looks like a visit in order. I’ll bring my floppy black purse. 😉
    Love you!

    • HI Deb,
      All that brainstorming we did I guess paid off! It took me a while to find time to get this done, but now it is and I hope I enjoy it. If it works and holds up, we can do your purse next time you come home…
      Love you too,

  10. bobi florida says:

    A.M.A.Z.I.N.G. Why am I so surprised??? Can’t wait to hear how you like it now that it’s stiff and so glad I learned of the fusible stabilizer cuz you never know!!!

    • HI Bobi,
      I hope someone else gives this stuff a try and tells me what they did with it!
      I’m glad you liked the post today… gotta keep you all guessing at what might pop up from day to day!
      Thanks Bobi,
      Blessings, Jeanne

  11. Charlotte Trayer says:

    Hahaha!!! No, but then, I’m sure I’ve done a few “fixes” that I wouldn’t award a blue ribbon to, myself!! However, your solution was brilliant, and I hope it works out for you. (I would probably have used buttonhole twist or a sturdier polyester sewing thread, though–embroidery floss wouldn’t be the best thing if you are looking for something that is durable.)

    By the way, carries something called Soft and Stable, which is a sew-in product, but also keeps its shape–a bag made with it inside will stand up by itself! I know that some quilt shops carry it, too–but I doubt you’d find it at Walmart. I haven’t compared, but I think that Soft and Stable might be a little thicker than the product you used, but doesn’t have the fusible side.

    That said, I’m glad you were able to find something that has the rigidity and stability you needed for your project. Let us know how it works out for you!!

    • Jeanne W says:

      HI Charlotte,
      I’m going to check out that Soft and Stable stuff… I might “need” some sometime! :o)
      I used 6 strands of floss, but in hindsight, I wish I had used buttonhole twist… I just never thought of that.
      We have a very nice quilt shop here, so I might check them out the next time I drive by their place.
      My sister just texted me this morning and asked how the purse was working out… I told her I hadn’t gone anywhere yet to give it a try… but I will today!
      Thanks Charlotte,
      Blessings, Jeanne

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