I've been wanting to make a new style of cross-body purse for a while! I decided to go totally different from anything I've done. I had seen bags with the criss-crossed, angled pockets, and I liked that look. I want to call it a satchel... it's like a messenger bag without a flap. I don't know! What would you call it? Here she is, along with my new mascot, "Eyelet" the owl!: 
Yeah, I know the owl is cute! But don't let that distract you from the bag. Well, I'm distracted too -- my aunt gave it to me at Christmas time. It's from World Market. I think I'm going to use Eyelet as a prop in lots of my photos. Now back to the bag!
This bag is about 12 inches tall, 10 inches wide, and has a 2-inch gusset around the entire bag. It's a rectangular, boxy shape. The full top zipper curves a bit down each side, so the bag opens up nice and wide. You can fit a lot of stuff in here!
The three front pockets are nice and deep -- each goes to the bottom of the bag. You could carry books, e-readers, diapers, glasses or even owls in there! I really love the piping -- it matches the lining and gives the pockets a nice pop!
One side of the lining has a deep zippered pocket that goes all the way to the bottom of the bag. You can store a lot in there! I purposely put that pocket on the opposite side of the front zigzag pockets, to even out the weight. 

The other side of the lining has a nice phone pocket. It has darted corners, so it's got some volume to it. Eyelet the owl thinks it's a cozy spot!

Here's another shot of the phone pocket, before the lining was sewn into the bag: 

See the pocket? It's kind of camouflaged. I really enjoy the shape. 

About the lining: It's a chocolate brown quilting fabric with a light blue floral design.

As usual, I interfaced the fabric with Pellon Shape-Flex. It's my favorite interfacing for purses and most projects. It strengthens the fabric and gives it a bit of structure, but the fabric still drapes like fabric. 

About the exterior fabric: It's a home decorating cotton canvas from Premier Prints. The chevron design is in village blue/natural. The blue is like a cornflower blue with a touch of gray in it...not as bright as it appear in the photos. I found a photo that shows the true color at the Premier Prints site.

The strap is meant to be worn across the body. It's nice and long! If you want to wear it shorter, it is narrow enough to tie in a knot at the shoulder. 

When I custom-make these, I can change the strap length if needed for your height. This one has a 27-inch drop. It's just right for me at 5'7" -- the top of the bag sits just at my low hip.

Another feature I can customize is the interior pockets. Want more or different pockets? Just let me know. I love making bags to suit your needs!

Now, back to Eyelet the owl!

She wants to show you a nice closeup shot of the chevron fabric. It's a "slub" fabric (an unfortunate word), which  means it has lines and texture that resemble linen. I like it, and I have a lot of Premier Prints fabrics like this. If you check out my Canvas & Heavyweight Cottons photos, you'll see a lot of this fabric.

Premier Prints has a lot of different colored zigzags
Here's my prototype of the Zigzag Bag. I used a vintage cotton canvas. It was kind of my  practice one and there were a few things I tweaked the second time around. 

A friend and customer of mine fell in love with this bag and bought it right away! I'll be making her a matching wallet in the vintage fabric. Yeah -- wallets are another new project for me! I've been wanting to try them for a while. 

I used a bright orange zipper and lined the bag in a natural cotton canvas. 

I can't wait to make more Zigzag Bags in many different fabrics!

Want to order one?

Please don't. Not until Feb. 1st, because it's going to be my featured item for February! What a way to debut it! Instead of its regular $50, it will be $43 in the month of February! 

Check my Etsy shop tomorrow (Feb. 1) or anytime during February, and place your order for a Zigzag Bag. Here are my fabric options to get you started. Thanks! -- Rene
Only through January, when you order an "Ellen" purse from me, the price is $37 instead of $45. Current turnaround time is 1-2 weeks. 

To catch the eyes of different people, I've created a few different Etsy listings for my January featured purse, the "Ellen!" They each have different sample photos of purses I've made for other customers. You and I will work together to pick your perfect fabrics from my stash! Or, purchase your own fabric and mail to me, and I will discount your price. 
Here's the original "Ellen" purse, as requested by my friend and customer (bet you can't guess her name!). 

Etsy listing is HERE

This one was made for my friend/customer, Lisa, who was IN LOVE with this bird fabric! I don't have anymore, unfortunately, and it was extremely difficult to find. But it's a gorgeous example of the "Ellen" purse! 

Etsy listing is HERE

This listing features Pam's bee-themed purse! I don't have any more of this adorable fabric either. But I have plenty of amazing fabrics -- some new, some vintage, some ready to be repurposed -- so that YOU can have a one-of-a-kind bag, too!

Etsy listing is HERE

I am planning on photographing my available fabrics soon, to make it easier for you to make your choices. Thank you and have a glorious Tuesday! -- Rene
I hope you're not getting tired of seeing "Ellen" purses in different fabrics! I've gotten quite a few orders for them since announcing the January special! I am definitely not getting tired of making them -- they are quite fun. Here's a bee-utiful purse for my customer, Pam! 
I really enjoy the lining of this purse, although it was a bit difficult to photograph. It's a rayon blend (I think) from my stash. It was stretchy and difficult to work with until I interfaced it with Pellon Shape-Flex. Gosh, I love that stuff! It gives such a wonderful feel to any fabric. It's woven so fabrics keep their natural draping and softness, but they become stronger and more structured. I use this interfacing in nearly every sewing project.

Another thing you DON'T see is my soft batting. I prefer Pellon Nature's Touch, which is natural cotton and very plush! The combination of the interfacing and batting give my purses the perfect amount of thickness and structure. They are simply wonderful to touch, too. I can't capture the tactile experience in photos, unfortunately!
Would you believe the purse's exterior is made from 2 new cotton napkins? I'm so glad I picked up that set of 4 napkins -- I also made an insulated lunch tote out of them. It's currently for sale in my Etsy shop, if you are interested. Here's a look:

Here are some more photos of the purse. Enjoy! If you want to order your custom "Ellen" purse while it's on special, please checkout with this link. Thank you!

As a reminder, my "Ellen" style purse is on special this month for only $37

Here's another example of this purse to hopefully spark your interest. Lisa ordered her "Ellen" in this rich, vibrant bird fabric! She also wanted a small coordinating pouch. (This style of pouch is $18). 

Check out more photos of Lisa's purse 'n pouch below!

SPECIAL! January's item of the month is the "Ellen" everyday casual purse. Instead of its regular $45 price, it will be only $37 this month! 

"Ellen" purse is shaped like a small tote bag with a flat bottom and lots of storage. Lovely interior has a deep, large zip pocket, 2 cell phone pockets and a pen pocket. There's also a lobster clasp key fob for your keys. Closes with a strong magnetic snap. You can choose exterior piping detail or criss-cross binding. 

Approx. measurements: 10" H / 13" W (top) / 11" W (bottom) / 5" bottom depth (flat bottom) / 13" strap drop length. 

TO ORDER: Send me a message through Facebook or this blog, and I will help you select your fabrics from my huge stash! 

Your own CUSTOM purse for only $37! Feel free to share this special. 

Press "Play" to see some previous custom Ellen purses:


    Rene Smits

    Welcome to my passion! 
    I specialize in creating high-quality custom purses and bags. Feel free to contact me with your custom requests. I also sell my ready-made pieces on Etsy: Sew Much Cuteness.

    Etsy shop

    Facebook page



    Flickr (fabric options):


    Cross Body
    Cross Body
    Custom Orders
    Ellen Purse
    Emily Bag
    Fabric Stores
    Jill Purse
    Lunch Tote
    Madeleine Bag
    Messenger Bag
    Sewing Studio
    Tote Bag
    Zigzag Bag


    April 2013
    February 2013
    January 2013