Tuesday, February 21, 2012

My hat is now a purse ;-)

I'm a big fan of "Project Runway" and its spin-off shows ("Project Accessory" and "Project Runway All Stars"). Sometimes I catch myself using Tim Gunn's famous phrase, "make it work."

Well, when I say it, I mean it. I love to find ways to make items work for me, even if they didn't seem made for me in the first place.

For example, my hubby's uncle sent this hat my way (a store went out of business and he saved it from being tossed into the dumpster; wasn't that so sweet of him? I thought so), which doesn't quite look right on me, so I found another way to wear it.

First, I tried to "make it work" on my head, as intended. I took these self-portraits in my usual outstretched-handed fashion to get a better idea of how it looked on me. No matter how I wore it, my hubby just laughed and said I should only wear it when he's not around (definitely not a flattering indication).

I was determined to find a way to save the poor discarded head piece, so I decided to turn it into a purse. Here's how I did it, or as Tim Gunn would say, "made it work":

To line the "purse" and give it some shape, I inserted an old make up bag that I got for free from Nordstrom years ago. It was one of my "prizes" I received for donating my old jeans. I don't know why I kept it all these years, but I'm glad I did.

Speaking of make up bags, am I the only one who always seems to end up with way more of them than I need? They tend to come with everything. If you don't have one as structured as my freebie, you can try replicating this craft with a bag from a travel or trial-size kit, like this one I received for Christmas from my sister, Lori.

Okay, back to making the purse out of a hat. For the strap, I decided to compliment the vintage look of the hat with some old beads my mother-in-law sent my way (she gave me a bag of old jewelry that I use for upcycled jewelry and other projects). I used that trusty duck tape again to secure it to the make up bag before putting the bag inside the hat.

I made sure to adjust the makeup bag and beads to line up exactly how I wanted them before moving on to the next step, sewing the pieces in place.

I opted to use a ladder/hidden stitch to attach the makeup bag to the inside of the hat. It's the same stitch I used to make that t-shirt infinity scarf recently. There is a link within that scarf post which will show you how to do this stitch.

I stitched the hat to the zipper part of the makeup bag, making sure to stay as close to the bag and as far from the zipper as possible (you want the zipper to still be functional when you're finished stitching). When I got to the section where the bead straps were, I made sure to loop around them a couple times to secure them in place.

When you're done stitching all the way around the top of the bag, make sure your last stitch is inside the bag and finish it off with a knot. Now your bag is complete and ready to wear out and about with a cute and complimentary outfit.

Here's how it looks when I carry it on my shoulder:

The best part about this project is that none of the pieces were altered in the process. If I want to go back to using these items as a hat, necklace and makeup bag, all I need to do is remove the stitches and tape. Very cool :-)

Oh, and since I thought this bag had a vintage look (reminds me of some of the fashions on the Ruche website; maybe I should submit this post to their blog), I decided to "age" today's pics. I usually don't alter my photos, but I just discovered this option on my computer the other day. So fun. I love what it does to my rose pic; I'm so lucky to have received them for Valentine's Day from my hubby. They are still as beautiful as ever!

Hope you have a lovely day!


In case you missed it: