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Sunday, July 29, 2012

Candice Purse Pattern Review and Reveal

I have had the Candice Purse Pattern by Joan Hawley of Lazy Girl Designs for quite some time and I've been meaning to make a purse for myself.  My problem was...every time I pulled out my fabric to cut it out,  I didn't like the fabric I had chosen or purchased for the project.  So...I just figured the timing wasn't right and I'd wait for the right fabric.  I don't want to carry a purse around that I don't love....that is no fun.

I wanted to use everything Joan uses for her patterns so I used the Nancy Zieman Rectangle Rings by Clover and I also used a Bag-E-Bottoms by Lazy Girl Designs.  The reason I had chosen a Lazy Girl Design is because I wanted to see if I could follow her pattern instructions.  Most of you know that I can't understand patterns and I get so frustrated that frequently all I can think of is either:
A: I want my money back or
B: Why didn't they ask me to test the darn thing first....I know I'll make every possible mistake and I could save them tons of wasted paper
(I don't have time to test everyone's patterns by the way)

Suffice to say....I give the Candice Purse Pattern  4 stars for clarity of  written instructions and photos to help guide visual learners in being successful with a pattern.

Selecting fabric was a bit of a challenge for me.  I had purchased some Kaffe Fasset fabric that I loved but every time I got it out to make this purse I ended up putting it away.  It just didn't "feel" like a Kelly purse....know what I mean?

Then it hit me....the fabric that was left over from the Marketplace India Quilt that I made.  You can read about that by clicking HERE.  I was able to keep the left over fabrics and there wasn't a lot left that I could choose from so I had to be very careful....there would be no going to get more fabric later if I made a mistake.

Lazy Girl Design patterns are really more of an instruction booklet with step by step directions and photos to coordinate.  I labeled each piece of fabric so it would coordinate with the instructions.

I was not comfortable photographing full pages of Joan's patterns so I used just this one to show you how clear the instructions are organized. I was able to follow along to achieve great results.

(I used Wonder Clips by Clover throughout this project and they were really wonderful :)

Before I go any further, I think it is really important to tell you that if you were to follow the exact  directions in the Candice Purse Pattern you would be successful in completing a lovely purse.  That is not to say that I followed the directions exactly.  Surprise anyone?  Probably not ay?   And I had  success with one deviation and the other deviation was a disaster.

The successful deviation?  The pattern recommends using fusible interfacing and batting in the purse handles.  I choose to use RocLon Multi-Purpose Cloth because I like the way it wears.  I used the Multi-Purpose Cloth in my camera strap and I wanted to achieve the same wearable results.  That is not to say my variation is is only to say I wanted to achieve similar results as a previous project.
The Multi-purpose Cloth is easy to stitch through and I just cut a 1" strip the same length and width  as the finished strap.

No where in the pattern did it say to label your fabrics...I just decided I might be more successful so I didn't get confused.  Most people would remember to remove the label before ironing on their fusible batting...not me....I had to go back and remove it afterwards.....sheepish smiles.

I was careful to lay out all my pattern pieces just like the photos in the Candice Purse Pattern.  Here you can see that I noticed another "small" error I had made.  The first step in the pattern is to make the back of the bag.  The directions are very clear and well written.  That didn't stop me from goofing up....I'm sorry to say.  What I didn't notice was that I cut the small squares from the side of the back of the bag instead of the bottom....oops!

Now, remember I didn't have lots of fabric so I had a decision to make.  I decided to cut off that section and add another piece of fabric there. is yet another example of operator error.  I still can't believe I did this.  By now you may be wondering why on earth I would be telling everyone about all the mistakes I made....right?  I'm sharing my mistakes because I want to make it clear these were "MY" errors....not the errors in the pattern.  I have frequently found that the pattern has the errors and no matter how I execute the instructions....the pattern doesn't make sense.  Everything in the Candice Pattern made perfect sense and was very clear.  The other reason I'm sharing my mistakes is let others know they aren't alone in silly mistakes...we all do it....even my friends who have 50 plus years of sewing experience :)  

TA DAH!!!!  Even with all my own mis-steps...I still ended up with a beautiful new Candice Purse and I absolutely love it.  Without the suggestion to use Nancy Zieman's Rectangle Rings and the Bag-E-Bottoms (bottom of purse support) I don't think I would have even thought to use them.  Thanks Joan for the suggestion because I think the Rectangle Rings are a lovely addition to my purse and the Bag-E-Bottom template has provided a sturdy bottom that gives my purse a professional finish. 

You may be interested to know that Joan Hawley has a blog and you can find it HERE.  She also provides free tutorials and those can be found HERE.  Like video demos as much as I do?  Joan also provides those and you can find them HERE.

I give this pattern 4 was a breath of fresh air to have excellent photos to illuminate the very well  written instructions.  Excellent job Joan! 



  1. Love the fabric! You know how when kids do something wrong, and we say, "WHAT were you thinking?", and they say, "Nothing"? That's why you do what you do...I KNOW!

  2. What an awesome purse and wonderful review....

    I have trouble with instructions myself, mostly I look at the pictures and then figure it out (I know....I know).

    Great job.

  3. Love your purse!! You will certainly enjoy carrying around this pretty bag. And we all make mistakes along the way :-)

  4. Great fabrics and a gorgeous purse!!!

  5. Great purse and thanks for the walk through.

  6. Great purse! You did a beautiful job and really thought through your little oopsies. ;-)

  7. Great review and I love the results. The fabrics look terrific in it. I'm terrible at reading instructions, but I'm great at following pictures!!!

  8. Excellent purse, Kelly, even with the mistakes, lol! I really love her patterns and have made several of her bags. They're always great!

  9. The finished purse is great! I love Joan's patterns - she does a great job with words + pictures.

  10. I really like these handmade purses, you'd is beautiful. I don't know how to follow patterns for sewing things like clothes, bags, etc. quilts I can do. Maybe I'll try a bag if you can do it

  11. Looks like a great purse to take shopping. Very pretty fabric.

  12. Looks great....I'm looking forward to seeing it in person! And hey, if we didn't make mistakes, we wouldn't be human.....


Thank you for reading the IHAN Blog. I love getting and reading every comment that is left here; however I may not be able to respond to all comments left during giveaways. There are times when I am juggling many tasks at one time and may not reply to all comments. Please e-mail me at if you need a reply quickly. I thank you for your understanding and-
More Later-Beth


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