Little Black Handbag

Little black handbags remain the perfect accessory for little black dresses. This brocade and beaded beauty, formal enough to turn heads at festive affairs, is also versatile enough to wear with jeans and a favorite cotton T-shirt.

What you'll need:

  • 1 yard of seed bead trim
  • 1/2 yard of 2-inch-wide brocade trim
  • 17x10-inch piece of black satin fabric
  • 17x9-3/4-inch piece of pink satin for lining
  • Matching sewing threads
  • 1-1/2 yards of 5/8-inch-wide brocade trim
  • Beads: pink tube, 6-millimeter pink faceted rounds, specialty clear/black, 4-millimeter pink rounds, and 3 black teardrops
  • Beading needle
  • 3/4-inch-diameter black button
  1. Cut the seed bead trim in half. Pin a length along each edge of the 2-inch-wide brocade trim. Position the brocade trim on the black satin fabric 1-1/2 inches from a long edge. Sew along both edges of the brocade trim, catching the bead trim in the stitching.
  2. With right sides together and trims aligned, fold the fabric in half widthwise so it measures 8-1/2x10 inches. Sew together the side and bottom with a 1/2-inch seam allowance. Press the seam allowances open. Trim the corners and turn the bag right side out. Fold and sew the lining piece in the same manner, leaving a 3-inch opening in the center bottom for turning; do not turn lining right side out.
  3. Fold the 5/8-inch-wide brocade in half and sew close to the edges to make a shoulder strap. Cut off 4 inches for the button loop. Pin each shoulder strap end to the wrong side of the lining; sew ends in place.
  4. Fold the 4-inch length of brocade in half to make a button loop. Pin and sew the loop to the top center of the bag.
  5. Thread a beading needle with black thread, and knot the ends together. For each dangle, bring the needle out at the lower edge of the brocade trim. Thread on the beads, ending with the black teardrop, return the needle through all beads except the teardrop, through the brocade trim, and securely knot the thread inside the bag. Make the center dangle slightly longer than the two side dangles by adding more beads.
  6. Slip the bag, button loop, and shoulder strap inside the lining with right sides together. Using a 1/2-inch seam allowance, sew the bag and lining together along the top edges. Pull out the bag and shoulder strap through the opening in the lining. Hand-sew the opening closed. Tuck the lining into the bag, press the top edge, and topstitch through all layers 1/8-inch from the top. Sew a black button to fit inside the loop.


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