Scrap-busting Handbag Organiser

Handbag Organiser | Pattern . Paint . PanMy handbag is a black hole. Forget the billions spent on space exploration and CERN experiments, just come study my bag instead.  I think it’s shape is partly to blame, plus the fact that I feel like I must carry loads of things because one day I might need them. The only reason I can find my wallet is because it’s pretty massive, but trying to find anything smaller is a right mission, and always a million times worse when there’s any kind of urgency (ringing phone, keys in the rain etc). And forget choosing another bag instead, this is my AUD$8 real leather Op-Shop bargain from Albany, WA back in 2009 and I am never parting from it.Handbag Organiser | Pattern . Paint . PanI did a bit of googling, and even made a pinterest board, but then got distracted. In frustration last summer, I tipped everything out and made a list of what I apparently ‘need’ in my bag but then got distracted. This was repeated again in April, when I also measured everything and made some scale plans…and got distracted. So on Tuesday I finally decided I had to do something about the mess, pulled out all my fabric stash and stared at it for way too long trying to find some inspiration. I decided on using all my green/aqua/blue scraps of various patterns (which make up a high percentage of my total scrap pieces) plus a piece of heavy white upholstery type fabric, some black linen type fabric, cream polycotton, black and white Ikea duvet cover and white winceyette. Score for a totally free project!Handbag Organiser | Pattern . Paint . PanI was having trouble figuring out which part of my organiser to make out of which fabric and keeping track of how many I needed to cut of each pattern piece, so I drew out each rectangle on some wrapping paper and layered the pieces up as the organiser would be. Then I wrote the fabric type and number of pieces needed on the front and back of each paper piece which made cutting and then assembling much easier. Handbag Organiser | Pattern . Paint . PanI reinforced the two large sides and the base with some plastic sheets I recycled off a ring bound folder thing. Together with the pretty heavy upholstery fabric I think it gives an OK level of stiffness while still being flexible. I used the winceyette to line the pockets for my kindle and phone, to hopefully give a bit of screen protection, and lined the make-up pocket in black to hopefully hide any marks better. Handbag Organiser | Pattern . Paint . PanThe sewing was pretty simple. The only trouble I had was right at the end, when I tried to attach the base piece to the sides, as by that point there was up to 15 layers of fabric! I broke 3 needles before giving up and hand stitching the remaining 3 sides to the base (my fingers were not impressed especially as I don’t have a thimble down here!). I then hand stitched the bias binding to the edges as my attempt at machine stitching it was hideous. Also the flaps on one side are rather useless as I didn’t take into account how much longer they’d need to be to fit around the items in the pocket. I changed the direction of the centre pocket to make a closure tab as the weight of my kindle was pulling it out of shape.Handbag Organiser | Pattern . Paint . PanSo what do I think I need to carry in my bag?Handbag organiser | Pattern . Paint . PanOverall, when my stuff is in the organiser, there’s definitely less space for additional items (before I could cram my netbook in there if I needed) but hopefully the organised-ness of it will outweigh that. I’ll have to see how it works out!Handbag Organiser | Pattern . Paint . Pan