Here are photos of my first two fabric purses. Jess saw a picture online of a purse from back in 2007 and wanted one like it. So I searched for a pattern and couldn't come up with one. However, while I was shopping in a new fabric store in Cheboygan, of all places, I found this beautiful trio of green fabrics and a purse pattern that was close enough to modify. So that was the start of my "proto-type".
The pattern had to be modified significantly - shape, dimensions, length of handles, etc., but the important parts, like what order to do things in and how big to make the pleats, was all in there. So I made the green bag first. The pattern instructions weren't the greatest, so I ended up doing a couple of things wrong and had to take some parts out and re-do. That was frustrating, but I think the final product was pretty good. I felt it needed an embellishment of some sort, so I made a flower from some of my left-over felted wool and a pearl.
Then I made the flower for the owl bag using some of the left-over handle fabric. Boy, thank goodness for the web. Don't think I would've been able to do this without online instructions. You-tube helps too. : )