I spent my Martin Luther King Jr morning doing a bit of housework and my afternoon making two purses. On the right you can see my Italy purse, now finished! I used about half a yard of some yellow seersucker that Robert's Grandma gave me last summer for the lining (and I still have almost 3 1/4 yards left!) The color is just perfect, and it's nice and light so I can see what's inside. I put in a zippered pocket on one side:
I feel like I really expanded my sewing skills with this purse: I used FOUR different feet on my sewing machine - regular, zipper, butttonhole, and button. This was my first time to use the button foot (on my Mom's machine, you don't use a foot for buttons, but this was nice, since I didn't have to worry about holding the button in place) and the buttonhole foot (my machine is fully automated for this, but it took me a while to figure out how to make it work. My mom's machine, you mark the length of the button on the fabric and do each step in turn). It was the second time I've used the zipper foot, but the first time without Evelyn's supervision.
The zipper turned out pretty well. There's a little bend in the stitching where the zipper pull was when I sewed it, but my thread matches pretty well, so it's not too obvious.
I wanted a top closure, but I didn't want to mess around with a zipper and then have to figure out how to sew it nicely into the outer bag, so I used a cute flower button I found at Joann's, and made a reinforced buttonhole tab on the other side:
The other purse was so super quick and easy that there's been some debate over whether it counts as a finished object. I think it does. I found this tutorial while I was poking around the interwebs for purse pocket ideas for my Italy bag, so when I was at Joann's buying notions I picked up 1 1/4 yards of this floral fabric on sale so I could try it. I didn't even pre-wash or finish the edges! My one quibble with this purse is that the knots and tails made in the construction are now inside the bag, along with whatever items you're carrying. But for 5 minutes of work and less than $5 worth of fabric, I really can't complain!
Edit: As Evelyn pointed out, she helped me with the zipper on another project, not the buttonhole. Next time I'll try to do a better job proofreading ...