It all starts with an idea, then comes the pencil and paper. I want a very feminine deep purple purse in either faux suede or velvet. I pulled out some graph paper and started on a very primitive outline. I want softness both in fabric and design details. Soft pleats or gathers will evoke a feminine feeling and softness.
Next I made a cleaner line drawing showing the details I want to incorporate, topstitching and the placement of the pleats (as you see in the picture above).
I use Pattern Ease for tracing and drafting patterns. First I trace the purse front at actual size (no seam allowances that comes later). In the above picture you see the purse front including the top band.
I then trace the front again without the top band and add seam alowances. Then trace the top band and add seam allowances also. I used a seam allowance of 1/2 inch. This will be the top band for the inside and outside, I will cut 4 of the top band from the out side fabric. The bottom front is traced and 1/2 inch seam allowance added and then becomes the inside lining pattern, from this I will cut two from the lining fabric. Later I will show how I drafted the inside pockets.
I retrace half of the bottom front without seam allowances these will be added after I add the pleats. Using the front bottom I marked where I wanted the pleats. Starting 1 inch from the center front I added the first pleat marking and 1 inch out another and so on until I had 4 pleats marked. Then cut and spread to add the extra fabric to create the pleat. Each pleat uses 3/4 inch of fabric and by taping to a piece of scrap Pattern Ease it helps to keep everything even. I then retraced the outside front bottom pattern piece and added 1/2 seam allowance as before.
Now to find some fabric.