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How to Make a Simple Purse
These simple purses are very popular right now, and they are pretty easy to make. They are small and fashionable and can be worn with jeans and a t-shirt or embellished to be used for dressing up for a fancy event, like prom.
This is a great sewing project for a beginner and a fun and fast project for an experienced sewer. You simply need to be able to cut and sew a somewhat straight line.
I used fabric scraps from other sewing and quilting projects to make the blue and green plaid purses pictured... above. The orange purse is actually made from pieces cut from an old sweater and ironed onto lightweight interfacing.
The purses I made are fairly plain, but you can embellish them to your hearts content. Decorate them with gems, sequins, fancy trims, cute buttons, or anything else you can think of.Continue to 2 of 10 below.
02 of 10
Gathering Supplies To Make a Simple Purse
All you need to make one of these fun purses are basic sewing supplies.
- 1/4 Yard Main Fabric
- 1/4 Yard (or fat quarter) Contrasting Fabric for Liner
- Hook and Loop Tape (Velcro)
- Buttons and/or other embellishments (optional)
- Sewing Machine
- Straight Pins
- Scissors, Freezer Paper, and Pen or Rotary Cutter, Ruler and Mat
Continue to 3 of 10 below.
03 of 10
How to Cut Your Purse Fabric
We will start by cutting our fabric for the purse. Before you cut, you should iron all your fabric to get accurate cuts. As the pattern pieces are all simple rectangles, you can use one of two methods:
- You can use a rotary cutter, mat, and ruler to cut out the pieces.
- You can make a pattern using freezer paper. Pin the freezer paper pattern to your fabric and cut.
Cut a strip of the main fabric that measures 3 1/2-inches wide and about 45-inches long which should be about the width of your fabric.... The length of this can be altered because this piece will be your purse strap - you can sew 2 pieces together to make it longer or you can cut it shorter. You can drape the strip over your shoulder to see if it is as long or as short and you want it, depending on how you wear your purse.
Cut a 20" x 8 1/2" rectangle out of both your main purse fabric and your liner fabric.
Cut two 11" x 5 1/2" rectangle out of your liner fabric (this will be for inside pockets).Continue to 4 of 10 below.
04 of 10
Preparing the Pockets for Your Purse
Fold the two 5 1/2" x 11" pocket pieces in half, right sides together, so you have a 5 1/2" square. Sew the edge of the pocket that is opposite the fold. Start at one end and sew about in about 1 1/2- to 2-inches. Do the same with the other end, leaving a 1 1/2- to 2-inch opening in the center (refer to image 1).
You will now have what will resemble a tube. Roll the fabric so the seam you just stitched so it is in the center of the fabric and press (refer to image 2).
Now stitch closed both of the... open ends (refer to image 3). You now need to turn the pocket right side out by pulling the fabric up and through the opening you left (refer to image 4).
You now have a pocket with all the edges finished! Just remember, when you sew the pocket onto the lining, make sure the open seem goes on the inside so you cannot see it.Continue to 5 of 10 below.
05 of 10
How to Construct the Purse Lining
Lay your piece of lining fabric face up on your work surface. Cut a 1-inch long piece of both the loop and hoop tape. Center a piece on each short end of the lining fabric, an inch down from the edge. Sew in place.
Position the two pockets on each end of the lining fabric. Make sure the side with the seam is hidden on the inside (on my picture I used a different colored pocket so you can see where to place them). The pocket should be centered, about 3-inches down from the short edge. Sew 3 sides... of the pocket into place. Do not sew the top side (side nearest the hook and loop tape)!
Your lining is now ready, set it aside and move to the next step....Continue to 6 of 10 below.
06 of 10
Making the Purse Shoulder Strap
Fold the piece of fabric you cut for the strap in half, right sides together, so you have a piece that is about 1 3/4" x 45", or whatever length your strap is. Sew down the entire length of the fabric (using about a 1/4" seam allowance), opposite the fold. You will end up with a long tube!
Turn the fabric tube right side out. The easiest way to do this is to pin a safety pin to one end of the tube and feed it through the tube and out the other end.
Center the seam so it is in the middle of the... fabric and press flat. Top stitch along each long edge, about a 1/4-inch from the edge. If you like, you can also top stitch a few lines down the center.
Continue to 7 of 10 below.
07 of 10
Sewing the Sides of the Purse
Now we need to sew the sides of the purse fabrics together.
Lay the piece of the main fabric on your work surface, right side up. Fold up one end and line it up with the other end so you for a 10" x 8 1/2" rectangle. Sew up both of the long sides, leaving the side opposite the fold open. Turn the bag right side out and carefully press all the seems.
Lay the lining fabric on the table, pocket-side up. Fold up one end and line it up with the other end as you did with the main fabric. Try to match up... the pieces of hook and loop tape. Sew up both of the long sides, leaving the side opposite the fold open. Carefully press the seams.
Continue to 8 of 10 below.
08 of 10
Pinning on The Strap onto the Purse
We will now attach the strap to your purse. Pin one end of the strap to the purse where the side seam is. Make sure you pin it right-side to right-side and line up the raw edges so the strap seems to be going the wrong way.
Continue to 9 of 10 below.
09 of 10
Putting All The Purse Pieces Together
Slip the purse with the straps pinned in place inside the liner. The right sides should be together and make sure the strap is completely inside the two bag pieces. Line up the raw edges around the top and pin together. Also make sure you line up the side seams.
Sew the two pieces together with about a 1/2-inch seam allowance. Leave about a 4-inch opening.
Once done sewing, carefully pull your purse right-side out through the hole you left in the seam. Tuck the lining inside of the purse, and... press at the seam you have just sewn, making sure to tuck under the un-sewn section.
Continue to 10 of 10 below.
10 of 10
Finishing Touches for Your Purse
Now you need to finish the the top edge by top stitching around the edge to seal the opening you left. You can use a thread that blends in or you can use a contrasting thread. Press the seams and your purse is now done!
As I said previously, these cute purses can be made with fabric scraps and simple sewing supplies. This is a great project for kids or adults.