Friday, April 9, 2010

Summer Lovin' Patchwork Purse- My Own Tutorial!

Cute, right?  Want to make one for yourself?  Or as a gift!  Well here's how:

First a little introduction.  I had a purse a few years back that I loved!  I loved it so much that it fell apart and I've been sad ever since.  Well that purse was the inspiration behind this and I was so thrilled to see that it actually turned out perfect!

- One yard of a cute, very basic flannel
- A Quilter's Bundle (see pic below) OR fabric scraps from other projects
- Sewing scissors and fabric chalk OR a rotary cutter and mat
- Other basic sewing supplies: pins, an iron, ruler, seam guage, thread that matches your color scheme (I used white) and a sewing machine

1) Keep your fabric folded in half and iron it smooth.
2) I don't  have a rotary cutter so I will tell you how I did it, and if you do have one it will be even easier!  I used a ruler and fabric chalk to make my cutting lines.

Here are the pieces you will need:
- Two 12x10 inch pieces for the front and back
- Two 4x10 inch peices for the sides
- One 4x12 inch piece for the bottom. 
- Two 26x2.5 inch pieces for the straps. 
Cut out.

Okay now you are going to start sewing the purse together.  You have two options.  Have the print (if there is any) on the inside of the purse and the back/white side as the outside since the front will have the patchwork on it anyways and a cute inside is always fun OR like I did, have the print on the outside.  I will proceed assuming you want the print on the outside because that's what I did but if you want it the other way just sew wrong sides together rather than right sides together. 

3) I sewed the pieces together in this order: Bottom to the front and then bottom to the back.  Then both sides to the front.  I used a l/2 seam allowance.  Then I ironed the seams open and I had this:
*note: if you are going to put anything heavy in the purse you should go over the bottom seams twice.

4) Before I sewed the rest of the purse together I wanted to finish the seams that would be along the top rim of the purse.  I finished the seams my turning them in 1/4 inch (using a seam guage to measure), pinning into place, ironing flat, and then sewing along the edge.  You only need to finish the seams that will be exposed in your final project, but if you have a serger you could always finish them if you wanted (too much work if you're like me and don't). 

5)I proceeded sewing the purse together by sewing the sides to the bottom.  This can be a little tricky to get it in the sewing machine without bunching up and what not, but just be patient and work it in there until you've got it in the right spot and then sew across.  Once you're done with that you can then sew the sides to the back and you will have a strapless purse like this:
6) Set purse aside and grab your straps.  Fold them in half, right sides together, and iron flat.  Sew each one with a 1/2 seam allowance.  Turn right side out.  I attach a safety pin and push it through to get them right side out.  If you need more details on that, click here to see a great tutorial by Make It and Love It.  Iron flat.

7) Now it's time to attach the straps to the purse.  Put them in the position you would like them and pin into place like so:
8) I sewed the top seam first (start just a teeny bit from the edge of the strap and go along the seam you already have from finishing the top seam.  Then you can remove the pin, turn and sew down about 3/4 of an inch, but the legnth doesn't really matter, just until it looks good.  Turn again and sew across the bottom (you are making a square) and finally, turn one more time up the other side of the strap and end up right where you left off.  Repeat on both sides of both straps (4 times).
9) Your basic purse is now complete so set it aside and now we can work on your patchwork cover.  I started by cutting a piece of paper to the size of my front panel and charting out how I wanted my patches to look, but if you like my design you can skip that step and use my measurements. 
I had five different fabrics and wanted two patches of each fabric so here's what I cut:
blue fabric- 3 1/2 x 3 5/8 (a) and 3 1/4 x 3 5/8 (e)
red fabric- 4 7/8 x 3 5/8 (b) and 3 11/16 x 3 5/8 (j)
beige fabric- 3 13/16 x 3 5/8 (c) and 3 x 3 5/8 (g)
floral fabric- 5 7/16 x 3 5/8 (d) and 2 7/8 x 3 5/8 (i)
green fabric- 3 1/2 x 3 5/8 (f) and 3 1/8 x 3 5/8 (h)

10) You probably noticed that every piece was 3 5/8 inches tall.  That's because I wanted three even rows of patches.  So what I did first was sew the patches into those three rows.  So I sewed patch a to patch b and then patch b to patch c so I had a strip the legnth of the purse.
11) Then I set that strip aside and sewed together patch d-f and set that strip aside.
12) Then sew patch g-j together and you will have three strips. 

Make sure they are the same legnth, or at least really close.  I actually ended up with my top strip being an inch too short somehow so I went back and sewed on a little extra of my floral fabric to make it the same legnth as the other strips.

13) Sew the strips together so you have a piece like this:
14) Iron seams open and finish the edges of your patchwork panel so it is a nice tidy almost square like rectangle.  Use the same technique we used earlier, just folding unter 1/4 inch and sewing along the edge.

15) Now it's time to sew your patchwork panel onto your purse.  I actually didn't even pin the panel on, I just held it into place, but feel free to use pins if you would like.  Sew the top first (along the same line as your finishing seam).  Then turn and sew down one side. 

16) Take purse out and sew down the other side.  And last but not least sew down the bottom.  It's kind of tough to get your purse in there just right to get the bottom, but here is a pic of mine at this point.
And that's it,  you're done!  It sounds like a lot of steps but it's actually very easy and fun to make.  Believe me, I'm no expert seamstress!  I actually got a C+ in the sewing class I took in college :)
The perfect accessory to usher in those beloved spring and summer months!!!


  1. Hi! thanks for visiting my blog. I grabbed your button and will link it up on my site. Love the work you did on the beautiful purse! You are so talented!

  2. Love your purse and a great tutorial. :-)

  3. I remember that purse!!!! You know my handkerchiefs-this would be perfect for them!!! Yours turned out SUPER cute!

  4. This is great! And seems simple enough. I'm going to have to make one for myself. I'll probably make it a little larger...because that's how I roll :)

  5. That is too cute! Too bad me and a sewing machine don't get along lol

  6. love it. I had one similar made by my mom from recycled jeans and a bed sheet lining.

  7. Hey Jill. What a cute bag. Love the summer colors. That would make a great beach bag! Thanks for always sharing your tutorials.

    Happy Weekend :)....Tracy

  8. Yeah, I don't have a pool and summers in TX are hot, so I make friends with pool people and always need a BIG bag to carry all the swimsuitstowelspooltoyssunscreenjunk. I might give this a try! (But bigger!)

  9. Oooh! I just saw this and I loooove it!! I need to try doing this soon. Thanks for sharing. :)


  10. Super cute and thank you for doing all the math for us :)

  11. Very nice and thanks for including the tutorial! I love it! ♥

  12. That turned out great and what an awesome tutorial!!! Good job! Thanks for linking up!

  13. That turned out great. I have such a hard time measuring fabric and getting it straight, I think my squares would be more misshapen :) Thank you for coming to the party, and thank you for the tutorial. I really want to try this for a couple of friends that are expecting.

  14. Oh such a sweet purse! I'm digging through my fabric stash (in my mind) as we speak! Great tutorial. :)

  15. Very cute! I love patchwork..anything! I am bookmarking this page! Thanks for the tutorial!


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