My sister collects frogs, so I have bought her many over the years for various celebrations. She has a beautiful back yard, so many were outside statuary or birdfeeders, and many others are what I call 'dust-catchers' (ceramic and glass) for the shelves and nooks inside her home. When I saw the pattern for this frog bag (Vogue 8942) I immediately thought of her making it for her, but I knew it was not her style. I bought the pattern anyway thinking it might be considered more masculine and could end up as a gift for one of my three grandsons. The measurements (7"w x 10"h x 8"d) make it a rather small purse, so would also fail as a functional schoolbag. Still, I felt it was so unique I proceeded with my plan to bring it to 'life. ' I decided this item will end up in my personal bag collection and could be used as a special lunchbag or conversation piece.
|Mr. Froggy hanging in a tree|
Photo Courtesy Vogue Patterns
I collected the fabric over the next couple of months from the Home Dec section of my local Hancock Fabrics using their frequent and ongoing sales. I ordered the handbag hardware from a vendor I had never used before, The BuckleGuy.com. His service and product quality could not have been more perfect. He carried everything I needed, from swivel clasps and turn lock closures to the 1" rings in different finishes....including the antique brass finish I was looking for. While I was at it, I added four antique brass feet to keep the purse's bottom off surfaces and to prevent the wear-and-tear caused by some of the rough places where purses land.
The most difficult notion to select were the zippers. You need one twelve-inch and two seven-inch zippers. Per the pattern's instruction sheet, you are asked to remove several inches of zipper teeth to re-size each to fit the side pockets and the major opening on the frog's head, so be prepared with the proper tools (mine were zipper pliers (from Wawak.com) because I was determined to use purse zippers with metal teeth. Be mindful that invisible or coil zippers may not be suitable for this project because of the shortening requirements. I knew I would need to replace the zipper stop at the top, so I used a few pairs in antique brass from my stash.
My go to source for all stuffed animal eyes has been Carol's Zoo. She has many options and prompt service, so finding eyes for the frog was the easy part of my search.
The assistance and information provided by Zipit on Etsy.com untangled all my zipper option questions and the choice of colors available were second to none when selecting the actual zippers. The order of three zippers arrived quickly and were perfect for my project. My hint is that you can select a zipper an inch smaller if your color does not come in the exact length you need. It helps you avoid the task of removing many inches of teeth by choosing the shorter length rather than a longer one. (The palm of my hand still hurts from my selection of a purse metal zipper which is heavier than the standard metal zipper...).
It was also rather confusing because the pattern's 'fiddly' pieces were not individually identified on the large tissue that contained the strips and tabs that surround the zippers. Vogue could have done much better on this, but you are on your own to determine the what goes where. See the photo below as an example:
|Fiddle-dee-dee! Piece No. 26 - Vogue 8942 |
This tissue is number 26; the instructions say to 'cut two.' Beginning with the upper left corner, the pieces are identified only as 'tab,' 'loop,' and 'band.' I had to determine the top two 'tabs' were to be used to cover the top and bottom of the 7-inch zippers. The next larger 'tab' was to be used to loop around the purse's two rings, and the far right tabs were to be used to cover the top and bottom of the 12-inch zipper. And (in order, top to bottom) the three 'bands' were to be used as the band for the outer edge of each side pocket, the bands on either side of the 12-inch zipper, and the bands for either side of the 7-inch zippers. I had to figure all this out, and keep them all in order and clearly marked. This did not have to be that hard!....and there were two such sheets of small fiddly pattern pieces in the pattern (the other was piece No. 21). Needless to say, I made it through....
This project came together and became charming when I sewed the final seam; the one that closed the top of the 12" zipper and the top of the frog's head. "Voila!" It was truly magical and one of my favorite projects this year...a real cutie pie. Then I had to decide the color eyes to insert. I purchased a sets of both green and yellow, and initially I couldn't decide which one to use. The picture below of my purse reflects my final decision.
|Why am I sitting in this corner?|
|I don't play piano...don't leave me here!|
|Am I hiding alongside the brush?|
|Froggy Side View|
Froggy Rear Showing Side Pocket and Back Opening
Have a great day everyone!
Keep sewing, one stitch at a time!