This bag is one of Butterick's Free Projects that you can download if you sign up for their free email newsletter (which if you at all use their patterns, isn't really asking that much... I think I was already a member of their ClubBMV or whichever it is called). There are some other interesting freebie patterns in there, too. I downloaded as many as I could get my greedy little hands on :-)
Anyway, 'purse' size bags don't do it for me/would not hold everything I need in a day. I take a backpack to work (I also walk a mile and a quarter to a bus stop and take two buses and thus always need to be prepared for inclement weather), so I feel unprepared with just a wallet/small purse. Thus, I scaled this pattern up to 1 1/2 times its normal size to hold more stuff :-) that probably makes it not so retro, since small handbags were the vogue in the 50s?
|Scaling up the pattern -I like to use the connect-the-dots method|
This is made from red 'silkessence' I got at Jo-Ann Fabrics, which mimics the texture/sheen of dupioni silk. I think it was a poly, maybe an acrylic. Can't remember the fiber contents. It's lined with a basic red apparel fabric (but not actual 'lining' because this was cheaper and of better quality).
Other alterations I made to the pattern was to interface the ties and the lining (since it began too look like it would turn out rather floppy/without form).