Bead embroidered miniature bag

Usually things go the other way round. I make a doll outfit and then I make accessories going with it. I guess this time it won't work like that, but it hasn't been planned that way.

In fact I am working on a Barbie doll outfit at the moment, on the top, to be precise. In the middle of this project, however, I ran out of one bead color. No problem, who doesn't like a bead order? I like to optimize my bead orders, though, so I'm still listing what exactly to get.
In the meanwhile I started on a new idea, a bead embroidered handbag for Barbie. I have made bags on the bead loom and in brick stitch and peyote before, but I wanted this one to be sturdier, with a lining, one that she didn't get from the department store, but from a bag store. It's really kind of funny because I would never think of going to such a store
myself, all I need is my trusted kitten tote.
Just so you know, Barbie didn't like her new handbag and I get why. It quickly became clear after I started beading that it wouldn't work with her outfit in colors and style, so she's going to get something different eventually.

My plan was not to make this bag flat like the totes I had made before because I wanted to put something (whatever that was going to be) inside.
I started by cutting out the backing for the beads, a large rectangle marked with smaller ones for the front, the back, and the flap, with smaller pieces for the sides of the bag. I would bead the surface, sew on Ultrasuede for the lining, and then fold everything up and close the seams.
It sounds easier than it turned out to be. While my measurements weren't wrong, I hadn't calculated how much thicker the beads and the Ultrasuede would make my piece which made it harder to fold up and sew together right. For example, I would have wanted the flap to be a bit longer which it would have been on a flatter piece.
I wanted a kind of button or hook sewn to the front to go through a hole in the flap to close the bag, but because the flap wasn't as long as planned, I had to settle for the strap instead.

There were a few more things I learned while sewing up the seams, so if I'll ever make another one, I'll know what to pay attention to beforehand.
I'm still very happy with the result, though, I just wish it hadn't taken me so much longer than I had expected. Not that that doesn't happen to me all the time, thinking about it ;-)
I have already been contemplating other ways to make miniature bags.

As Barbie has decided not to use this bag, Jessica has taken a look. She said she needed an overnight bag and thinks it will work nicely. She tested it with a short dress and a blouse. And now she wants an outfit going with this.
Putting my thinking cap on in 3 ... 2 ... 1 ...


  1. This little bag is sew awesome! I’m glad Dawn was excited about it. She looks like she is ready for a weekend getaway.

    Since I rarely repeat a design, it seems that I have a steep learning curve on whatever I do. LOL! So I can relate to the fact that your project took longer and was more difficult than anticipated.


    1. Thank you!
      Yes, Dawn is still a little tired from her trip from Switzerland to Germany. She hasn't had her spa day yet ;-)

      I always plan to make something, learn from it and make it better next time. My attention span, however, tells me to jump on the next project, so I hardly ever do that.
      Seems our brains work the same!