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With this free purse pattern, sew an inside out tote bag, perfect for taking on long bike

trips! Learn how to sew your own purse and you'll never have to answer "paper or plastic?" again.


Main Fabric Canvas Fabric Sewing Supplies

Instructions: 1. Cut 2- 17"x17" squares from Main Fabric 2. Cut 2- 3"x30" strips from Main Fabric for straps 3. Cut 2- 17"x20" rectangles from Canvas Fabric 4. Cut 2- 3"x30" strips from Canvas Fabric for straps 5. Place 2 17"x17" squares of Main Fabric right sides together and sew (3) three sides of squares together using 1/2" seam allowance. 6. With bag still wrong side out, to form corners of bottom, pinch side seam and bottom seam together to form triangle. 7. Stitch across triangle 2" from point of the triangle and trim leaving 1/2" seam allowance.

8. Place 2 17"x20" rectangles of Canvas Fabric right sides together. Sew (3) sides of bag together using 1/2" seam allowance. To form corners on bottom of bag, follow instructions for Main Fabric bag. 9. With Main Fabric bag right side out and canvas bag wrong side out, slip inside bag inside Main Fabric bag matching side seams. Fold top of Canvas Fabric bag to inside 1/2" and press. Then fold down another 2" over the Main Fabric bag, press and pin. Top stitch 1/4" from top and bottom edge of 2" band. 10. To make straps for bag, place one Main Fabric strap and one Canvas Fabric strap right sides together and sew using 1/2" seam allowance down both long sides of strap. Turn right side out and press. Repeat for second strap for bag. Turn to inside of strap 1/2" on each end and press. Attach to outside of bag front and back approx. 4" from each side seam, on 2" band. Top stitch each strap by stitching a square with an X in the middle.
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FaveCrafts Most Popular Craft Projects: January 2011 Easy Apron to Sew Batwing Tote Bag Click on any picture to enlarge it.

Front View - see what I mean when I say 'the silk takes on sculptural qualities'?

Interior view

Bottom view - Nice round bum :) notice how the dart lines meet each other to make a neat straight line?

Here's How I Put It Together Shopping list (as if you were buying from a shop, if not using stash fabrics)

1/2 yard of heavy weight sew-in 1/2 yard of Firm Iron-on Interfacing 1/2 yard of taffeta-like silk for exterior and matching thread 1/2 yard lining fabric and matching thread 1x Chocolate Rectangular Wood Handles 1x Bronze 14mm Magnetic snap

NB: All seam allowances are 1cm unless otherwise stated 1. Make up your pattern part 1. - Start with an A3 (42cm x 30cm) sized piece of paper, and fold it in half by bringing the short sides together. This is because when we want to make a symmetrical pattern it's best to draw half of the pattern, fold the paper in half then cut it out... Taking our crease line as our starting point, draw the two blue coloured lines as in the photo:

1. measure 22cm up from the bottom of the paper and draw a right angle line from crease line to end of paper. 2. along the line you have just made mark point at 17cm. 3. At the 17cm mark measure 95 degrees and mark the vertical line as seen in photo. 2. Make up your pattern part 2. - draw the black coloured lines as shown in photo.

1. Draw a free hand curve at the bottom right side of the paper. 2. draw a triangle (for the dart) at the fullest part of the curve (my triangle is 55 degrees, and the sides are 3.5cm long) ensure that when you fold this dart triangle in half there is paper hanging off), check by physically bringing the straight sides of the triangle together. 3. measure 5 degrees from the top line and draw the line. 4. fold your pattern in half along the crease line and cut it out!

With any luck your pattern should look something like this! From this pattern cut 2 pieces of silk; 2 pieces of lining; 2 pieces of iron-on interfacing; and 2 pieces of heavy sew-in. 3. Make up your pattern part 3. - Make up your pattern for the handle tabs as shown in the photo.

Opps! I forgot to show in the pic that there is a gap if 1cm above and below those cutout triangles! From this pattern cut: 2 pieces of silk; 2 pieces of lining; 2 pieces of iron-on interfacing; and 2 pieces of heavy sew-in. 4. Make up the bag handle tabs - Iron the iron-on interfacing onto the wrong side of both of the silk pieces. Make a sandwich with the one of the the silk pieces (right side up) on the the bottom, a lining piece (right side down) in the middle, and a heavy sew-in piece on the top. Pin the sandwich and stitch together leaving a 10cm gap in one of the long edges. Make notches into the 'V' of the handle tab, and clip off the corners. This will reduce bulk and make for a smoother result when you turn the handle tab right side out. Turn tab right side out thru the gap and press. Repeat for the other bag handle tab.

Make notches into 'V' of the handle tab, and clip off the corners of the point as shown.

This should be the result... 5. Insert the magnetic snaps - take one of the handle tabs and fold it in half (make sure the half or the tab which has the gap in the bottom of it is facing outwards (the exterior side (not the lining) of the bag - this will be sewn shut in Step 12.) On the tab half which will face the inside of the bag, find and mark the centre of the tab and push one of magnetic snap parts into the tab so as the make two prong marks/indentations. Using a stitch ripper make two small cuts into the markings you have just made (don't cut through both halves of the tab, just one half!). Take one of the magentic snap parts and push the prongs through the right side of the tab. Slip a metal washer over the prongs at the back of the tab and then press the prongs down away from each other. Reapeat with the other tab and the other mag snap part in the same way.

Magnetic snaps comprise of 4 parts; 2 washers, and a male and female. Find the centre of the tab, and make prong marks/indentation by pushing a mag snap part into your fabric. Push the mag snap part into the right side of your tab and slip a washer on the 6. Sew darts into the bag pieces - Iron the iron-on interfacing onto the wrong side of both of the silk pieces (I wouldn't usually advise using firm iron-on interfacing on silk but in this case I want the interfacing to make the silk more crunchy because I am after those 'scultural qualities' for this bag). Now, take one of the silk exterior pieces (right side up), lay it on the heavy sew-in interlining piece, and treat as one layer. With the silk right side up fold the dart triangle in half and and stitch the dart (with 1cm seam allowance) as shown in the photo. Repeat for the other 3 darts. Sew the 4 darts in the lining pieces in the same way.

Fold dart triangles and sew dart as shown. 7. Sew exterior bag - Pin the 2 exterior halves (with wrong sides out) together. Whilst pinning together ensure that the dart lines meet each other (so that the darts will run smoothly from the front of the bag to the back). Measure 7.5cm down from both top edge corners and mark. Starting from one of the markings sew around the sides and bottom of the exterior and stop at the other marking. Turn right side out. Sew lining bag bag in the same way EXCEPT YOU HAVE TO LEAVE A 15CM GAP IN THE BOTTOM & DO NOT TURN LINING BAG RIGHT SIDE OUT.

Measure and mark 7.5cm down from the top edge on both sides. Sew by following the good ol' wonky blue arrow! 8. Bring exterior and lining bags together and stitch together - with right side out, slip the exterior bag into lining bag. The right sides of the lining and the exterior bag should now be touching each other. Make the 7.5 cm markings as in Step 5.

Slip exterior bag into lining bag as shown.

Measure and mark 7.5cm down from the top edge on the left and right sides of the lining. Sew by following the good ol' wonky blue arrow!

9. Pull the exterior bag through the hole in the lining - Yep, this is always my fave bit! Pop the lining into the exterior bag and smooth everything out. Stitch the gap in the lining shut by tucking the raw edges into the hole and top stitching for a neat finish.

Out she comes! Stitch hole in lining, and press.

This should be the result (after a spot of ironing!) 10. Insert the pleats - Mark the centre top edge of the flap with a pin. Pleat the flap as shown in the picture. Hold the pleats in place with paper clips. Important; ensure that after pleating the flap is the same length as the handle tab casing. This part will take a bit of fiddling and adjustment, so take your time and get it right at this stage or end up swearing a lot (yeah, just like I did!). Hand sew a few stitches to keep the pleats in place. Repeat with the other flap.

Front view of pleats. Notice how the outer edges bend upwards? Don't worry about that, just make sure that when you place one of the handle tabs over your pleats (position the tab on the blue line which is 1cm down from the centre top edge) everything lines up nicely - in other words, the bag sides flow up into the handle tabs to create a smooth line. To get the width of the pleats right will take a bit of fiddling about (it would be good to have a cup of tea handy for this bit!) Secure pleats with some paper clips and then with a few hand stitches.

This is how the pleats should look from the lining side. 11. Position the handle tab onto the purse flap - Take one of the handle tabs and fold it in half over the pleated purse flap and slip one of the handles onto the tab. Ensure that the mag snap is facing inwards! Because there a quite a few layers to sew through, and this stage is all about positioning the tab correctly over the pleats, we are NOT going to trust pins to hold everything in place (I tried to a few times and I ended up inventing some new swear words...lots of them!). Instead we are going to glue the tabs onto the pleats and then sew - believe me this will save you a lot of grief!

Slip a handle onto the tab. Apply some fabric glue to the lining side of the handle tab and the top edge of the pleats. Wait for a minute or two and then bond pressing the edges firmly. Repeat for the lining side of the pleats. Be careful to line everything up as best as you can ensuring that the bottom of the edges of the tab are even on both the lining side and the exterior side of the bag (in other words, one edge should not hang lower than the other), also make sure that you get a nice straight diagonal line from the sides of the bag through to the handle tabs. Tip: Don't be as messy with the glue as I was! 12. Sew the handle tab onto the pleats - When the glue has dried sew the handle tab onto the pleats 2 or 3 mm from the edge. Ensure that you catch all of the layers as you sew (which if you positioned everything correctly in Step 10 everything will be la la!). This is where you will sew the gap in the bottom of the Tab shut. Take your time!!! Repeat Steps 11 & 12 for the other handle tab. Y'know what, you're finished and you're a very proud owner of a very, very Predddeeee Purse! Send me a clear pic of this purse when you've made one and I'll show it off in all of it's glory on this here blog!

Stitch the tab onto the pleats. Go slowly! I know it's a bit bulky and awkward but if you take you time you should get a nice straight/ish line...wasn't gluing this first just a BRILLIANT idea?

7 Layer Studio



Heavy and Light | Main | Getting the Drift

September 15, 2008

Purse Pouch Tutorial

Introducing the quick-and-easy Purse Pouch! It's a way to keep your things organized within a larger bag, or this cute little satchel could even be used as a fancy gift bag for a special friend. My daughter likes to use them as little purses, and she just loops the drawstring ribbons over her wrist to carry it around. Whatever you choose to use it for, it's a fun and useful way to use extra fabric scraps.

To start, you'll need 2 coordinating fabrics, a bit of 1" or wider ribbon, and about a yard of narrow ribbon.

The bags can be made any size or proportion, just be sure to take into account the seam allowances and the "ruffle" area at top of bag. The important thing to remember is to cut the lining and the outer fabric to the exact same size, so they'll fit together nicely. 1) In this example, I cut 2 rectangles measuring 7 1/2" x 10 1/2" out of each fabric (so 4 rectangles total).

2) Placing the fabrics right sides together (ie. red facing red, blue facing blue), sew around bottom and both sides of the two separate bags using a 1/4" seam allowance. Leave the top open.

3) If you don't want pointy corners in the bottom of the bag, you can do the following OPTIONAL steps to square off the corners: At one of the corners, take the front and back of bag and pull apart, flattening the fabric into a triangle and making sure the seam is in the exact center of the triangle, as seen in photo at left.

4) Stitch a line perpendicular to original seam, backstitching at beginning and end of the new line of stitching. Repeat procedure on other three corners of the bags, so they are all stitched the same way and the same distance from the tips of the triangular pointy corners.

5) Now you will have two separate bags with squared-off corners. Decide which bag will be on the outside, and turn that bag right side out.

Leave the liner bag inside out as shown.

6) Slip the liner bag over the bag that will be on the outside when completed (in this case, slip the red liner bag over the blue bag). Make sure that the right sides of the fabrics are facing eachother. Pin bags together at side seams.

7) Stitch liner and outer bags together all along top edge.

8) Using a seam ripper, rip out about 1 1/2" of bottom seam of the liner (red) fabric. You could also just leave a gap in the original seam, but this is just as easy for me. Sticking your fingers into the hole, gently pull the outer (blue) fabric out so that it is right side out, and so is the red liner.

9) Close the hole in the liner by either slipstitching it by hand or sewing it closed with a machine, making sure the seam is very close to edge.

10) Tuck liner inside the (blue) bag. The edge where the two fabrics meet won't be very cleanly defined, so you'll need to press it carefully at the top seam, so it will end up looking like this:

11) Position the bag under the sewing machine presserfoot. Turn under about 3/8" of the ribbon end, and place it at the side seam of the bag about 2" below top edge of bag. Make sure that the raw end of the ribbon is tucked exactly beneath the top of the ribbon, so none of the raw edge will be seen from the top. Stitch the top edge of the ribbon, taking care to make sure the distance between the ribbon and the top of the bag is equal. Stop stitching before you get the the other side seam.

12) Cut the ribbon off about 3/8" beyond the side seam.

13) Turn end of ribbon under so that it aligns with side seam. Stitch to end of ribbon.

14) Using the same methods, attach the ribbon to the second side of bag the same way. Backstitch over ribbons at each side seam for extra reinforcement.

15) Repeat stitching for bottom edge of ribbon. You will now essentially have a decorative and functional casing that is open at both side seams.

16) Attach a safety pin to the end of the narrow ribbon and draw it through, all the way around the bag. Don't pull it through the opening opposite the entry point - make the ribbon come full circle, as seen below: 17) Leave desired amount of ribbon trailing out of casing. Tie off to create a loop; trim ribbon ends and treat with Stop-Fray or heat seal with open flame.

18) Now, starting at opposite end of the casing, repeat procedure with safety pin and ribbon. You will now have 2 separate ribbon loops, each with their own entrance point in casing. Simply pull on the ribbons to tighten, and your bag is finished!

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Tutorial: Super Easy Bag from Repurposed Clothing

Posted on November 20, 2008 Filed Under bags, repurposing/recycling, tutorials | 7 Comments

Years ago I taught wearable art classes, and Ive always had class samples hanging in my closet, most of them rarely worn. I did wear this red quilted jacket a lot, and it was starting to show some wear, so I felt it was time to give it new life. This little bag was the solution. With this particular construction technique, you sew the lining and the outside of the bag all at the same time, so that they are permanently attached to each other along the side seams. This way, your lining will rest more smoothly inside the bag, and you dont have to worry about the lining not fitting quite right, as is often the case. My finished bag measures approximately 6-1/2 wide by 8-1/2 tall, with a 3-1/2 flap. For this size you will need a 7 x 21 piece each of outer fabric and lining. I also used a 2 x 4 piece for my button loop, and salvaged part of the jackets front band for the strap. I wont be showing you how to make a strap from scratch this time around, so youll need to take that into account when gathering your fabrics. My lining fabric was a piece left over from another project, and the rest of the bag is made from pieces of my jacket. I also used some thrift-store buttons. First, Id like to briefly talk about how I approached salvaging parts of the jacket for use in my bag. The size of the bag was based on what I could reasonably get from one side of my jacket front. There was also a band around the front and the neckline of the jacket, and I thought that would make a nice strap. I liked the way the buttons looked on the

band, so I decided that they would stay. I thought my seams might be too bulky if I used fabric from the jacket for my lining, so I chose to use something else from my stash that wasnt quilted. I cut out what I wanted and put the rest of the jacket away for other projects. The construction technique I used for this bag is so incredibly easy! Dont be fooled by the huge number of photos I just wanted you to see this from a variety of angles. The directions may sound confusing the first time you read them, so be sure to follow the photos. I used 1/4 seams throughout, but your seam allowance is entirely up to you. Just be sure you add a little size to your pieces if you like to sew with wider seams. First, cut one each of your lining and outer fabric. In my case this was 7 wide by 21 long (8-1/2 depth times two, plus 3-1/2 for the flap and 1/2 for my seam allowances).

Sew lining and outer fabric together across one end, with right sides together. Turn right sides out and fold with wrong sides together. Press seam flat.

Measure the desired depth of your bag (here, about 8-1/2), beginning at the seamed end. Mark that point on your lining and fold the remaining lining over to cover the seamed end, as shown. Carefully turn the bag over and repeat this step on your outer fabric.

(The gold stars are on the inside of the jacket, and are now the wrong side of my outer fabric. Too bad they wont show when Im finished!) Pin everything in place. Stitch all the way down both long sides of the bag, through all layers. Now you will have an open end that has raw edges (this is the flap).

and an open end that has folded edges (this is the bottom).

At this point I like to partially stitch the end with raw edges, because it makes it a little easier to close up the flap later on. So, I usually do about 1 of stitching from one corner toward the center, and the same thing from the other corner toward the center. Be sure to leave a large enough opening for turning the bag. You can clip the corners if you like, just be sure you dont clip through your folds at the bottom of the bag. Now, reach into the opening and you will find the seamed edge that you pressed flat several steps ago. Grab that and pull it through the hole, turning the whole bag right side out. Fiddle with it until it looks like the photo below. Press the bag flat, and press the edges of the opening to the inside.

Now well make the button loop. Press the long edges of a 4 x 1 piece of fabric toward the center, as shown, then fold outer edges together and press. Topstitch along the open edge.

Fold and place into bag opening and pin in place.

Next, close up the opening and secure the button loop by topstitching along the edge of the flap.

Now, Ill make a strap. I didnt want a long shoulder strap, so I cut my band to about 24. One end of the band was already finished, so I just needed to finish the other end. I opened the band at that end, stitched it right sides together, clipped the corners, then turned it right side out again. I then topstitched along the entire open edge of the strap.

To finish the bag, I handstitched both ends of the strap to the back of the bag. I wanted some buttons here, so I added them at the same time. Finally , I added a button to the front.

I invented this cute little purse recently. It's got U-shaped sides, a side pocket for a cellphone, and two interior pockets.

Ok, on to the tutorial! I have tried to make it beginner-friendly so have patience, experienced seamstresses. Materials you will need are: 1 yard fabric for main body of purse 1/3 yard contrast fabric 1.5 yards of the heaviest interfacing you can find -- I prefer sew-in interfacing but you can use iron-on if you like. Mine was 22 inches wide. A piece of sturdy plastic needlepoint canvas, 5 inches X 9.5 inches Two 8.5-inch lengths of .25-inch diameter dowel Two buttons a few inches of eigth-inch elastic. These yardage estimates are generous -- you'll have leftovers for other projects. First of all, make a pattern for the end pieces -- something like this. All my pattern pieces and measurements are without seam allowance. This is very important to remember. If

you copy my pieces, add seam allowance before you cut your fabric. As you can see here, I have added .25-inch allowances on the sides and bottom, and .5-inch at the top. I suggest you do the same, unless you are using a very heavy or easily-frayed fabric in which case you should double my given seam allowances. Since it is very easy to cut straight lines on woven gingham, I didn't bother making patterns for all the rectangular pieces, but you probably should if you're using some other kind of fabric.

You're ready to cut your fabric (which you have pre-washed and ironed already). Of your main fabric, cut 4 end-pieces, remembering to add seam allowance. Also cut 2 body pieces, which should measure 20.5 inches by 10 inches -- but add seam allowance so they measure 21.5 by 10.5 (.25-inch seams on the long sides and .5-inch seams on the short sides). I hope that makes sense. Next, cut 4 end-pieces and 2 body pieces from your interfacing, adding seam allowance as before. For a little key-strap, cut a rectangle 3 x 6 inches. Don't add seam allowance. For the interior pockets, cut two pieces of cloth 11 x 7.5 (plus seam allowance) and two pieces of interfacing 5.5 x 7.5 (plus seam allowance) Now for the contrasting fabric pieces: Make a pattern for your closing tab. I made mine 6.5 x 1.25 inches and rounded the ends by tracing a spool of thread. Don't forget to add seam allowance when you cut your fabric. Cut 2 of contrasting fabric and 2 of interfacing. For the handles, cut two strips of contrasting fabric 5.5 x 18.5 inches, and two strips of interfacing 2.75 x 17.5 inches. Don't add seam allowance to the handle pieces. For a cellphone pocket to fit a phone approximately 2 x 4 x 1 inches, cut one piece of cloth 4.75 x 10.75 (plus seam allowance) and one piece of interfacing 4.75 x 5 (plus seam allowance). This pocket will of course be fine for a smaller phone, but if your phone is larger adjust accordingly. Now you have a bunch of pieces looking something like this:

If you're using iron-on interfacing, you can iron it on now. Don't do the handle pieces yet. When you do the interior pockets and cellphone pocket, line up the interfacing so it's even at the bottom and side edges. It will be shorter than half the cellphone pocket -don't worry about that. Construction: Remember to sew everything right-sides together. Make sure your interfacing is the OUTSIDE layer of the sandwich. If you're not sure if you've got the layers right, pin or hand-baste and turn them right side out, to make sure. First, create your pockets and straps. Closing tab: Put fabric right-sides together, then interfacing on top and bottom layers. Stitch around the edge, leaving a 1-inch (or so) opening on one long side. Sew slowly around the curves for precision. Trim close to stitching on curves, then turn through the opening.

Interior pockets: Fold in half, right sides together, layer interfacing on top or bottom, stich around from fold to fold, leaving a gap along the bottom edge for turning. Turn.

(one sewn and turned, one sewn but not turned yet) Cellphone pocket: Fold fabric in half. Position interfacing so that it is even with the bottom edge, and a quarter of an inch or so away from the top fold. Sew around pocket, but leave a quarter-inch gap at the folded edge and a gap at the bottom edge, for turning. Like so:

Turn. You're not done with it yet, but now it's time to... Run to the ironing board and press all the things you just made. If you used iron-on interfacing, be sure to use an appropriate iron temperature so you don't get puckers (the reason I prefer sew-in). While you're still at the ironing board, make your straps: For the little key strap, first fold over a quarter-inch at each short end. Press. Fold in half the long way. Press. Unfold, then fold long edges to meet at center crease. Press. Fold in half the long way again. Press.

Make your handles in the same way, but slip that strip of interfacing in after you fold the long edges to meet the center crease. Also, you don't have to fold under the short edges, although it's ok if you do.

(partway done) Here's what you have so far:

Time to finish the cell-phone pocket and topstich everything. Using a safety-pin or something, shove your elastic through the gaps at the top of the cell-phone pocket.

Attach one end by sewing back and forth over it a few times. Sew along near the elastic to make a little casing for it, then stretch the elastic so the top of the pocket gathers a bit, and attach the other end. Snip off extra elastic.

Now you need to make the pocket fit your phone. Pinch the bottom corners together, pin, and check the fit.

If it's good, sew across the corners and trim off the extra cloth.

Now set your stitch-length a bit longer and top-stitch around the edges of all your straps, handles, and closing-tab. Topstitch the top (fold) edge of the interior pockets. So here's what you have now:

Now you need to attach the various pockets to the main purse pieces. Grab one of those long rectangular main purse pieces, interfacing on the bottom, and pin your interior pockets to it, centered, with the top edge of pocket about 2 inches down from the short edge of the rectangle. On this example I placed the pockets too close to the edge (about 1.5 inches) and I was sorry later! So move 'em down a bit. This will be the LINING of your purse.

Don't sew them on yet. First you need to decide if you want them to have some method of closure at the top. On my green purse, I used little rectangles of velcro. On this red one, I used snaps. So do whatever you want about that, and then stitch the pockets in place. After I've gone around the edge, I like to stitch a vertical line to make a pen-pocket. You will, of course, line your pockets up better than I did... ;-) (no one will ever notice if you don't, 'cause it's inside the purse, heheh)

Next, attach the cell pocket to one of your end pieces (interfacing underneath). This is a bit tricky, so take it slow. First pin your pocket in place, making sure your phone will go in AND come back out again:

Now sew down one long side, backstitch when you get to the corner, lift the presser foot, turn the corner, stitch across the bottom, backstitch, lift foot, continue up last long side. Here's what it looks like just before you sew the bottom edge:

And when you're finished:

Now it's time to sew the purse together! Yay! Take the LINING piece (with the interior pockets attached to it) and pin it right sides together with two of the end pieces (NOT the one with the cell pocket) and their interfacing. It's best to find the exact center of the long side by folding it in half, and matching it with the exact center of the bottom of the endpieces. Pin very carefully around those curved edges. You can clip the rectangular piece slightly to help it fit. Hand baste before sewing if you're nervous, and then sew it together. Do the same with the other main piece and two end pieces (cell pocket one this time). Here's what it looks like when it's all pinned:

You'll end up with two purse-shaped things. Turn right side out and admire. Now turn one of them inside out again, and pin them together around the top edge. Right sides are together so all you can see is interfacing. Stitch around the top edge, leaving a gap of about 5 inches in one long side. Turn through the gap and admire again. Slip your 5 x 9.5-inch piece of plastic needlepoint canvas down the gap and arrange it so it's right at the bottom of the purse, stiffening the bottom. Slip your two 8.5-inch dowels through the gap and shove them around until there's one up along each long top edge. You can pin them in place temporarily to make sure they fit -- they should NOT reach all the way to the

seams on both sides. Take them back out and cut a little off if they're too long. If you've followed my measurements they should be just right but check anyway. Topstitch around the top edge of the purse, closing the gap. Here's what it looks like after top-stitching, with the dowels pinned in place:

You should unpin the dowels and move them out of the way while you perform the next few steps. Now topstitch around the side seams. It's not structurally necessary and you can skip it if you want, but it will make the purse look more finished and professional, and helps it keep its shape. Pin carefully, then sew:

When you're done, both ends will look like this:

Now pinch the side-pieces in half, pin, and stitch near the fold for an inch and a half, or so. This will make them want to fold inward when your purse is closed:

You are almost finished! Now pin those dowels back in place, put on your zipper foot and stitch along the dowels:

Change back to your regular foot before you break a needle (voice of experience). Make a buttonhole to fit your buttons in one end of the closing-tab. Stitch one button in place on one side of your purse, button the tab to it, then stitch the other end of the tab and the other button in place on the other side of your purse. I just layer purse - tab button and hand-sew the button on through the tab. Or if you want a functional button on both sides of the purse, you can make two buttonholes in the tab. Use a wide zig-zag with a short stitch length to attach your handles. Watch out for those interior pockets -- you don't want to catch them in the zig-zag. If the short ends of the handles are unfinished, fold them under. This photo shows the non-functional button and the folded-under handle ends:

Oh, you'll want to do something with that key-strap. Either double one end of it back through a spring-clip, or use velcro or snaps to make a loop to hold your keys. Then stitch the strap somewhere near the top the bag, on the inside. Sorry I forgot to take a photo of

this step, but I'm sure you can figure it out :) Well! You're done! Congratulations! Now fill up your purse with your stuff and show it off :) And send me a picture! I hope this tutorial was easy to follow. Please email me if you have any questions: kara(at) Happy sewing! back to crafts page back to