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Super organized purse tutorial – aka “the attaching purse™” August 4, 2008

Posted by Judy in Diaper bag, Sewing projects, Tutorials.
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I finally finished it, the tutorial for my “attaching purse©”. I’ll admit, it’s a long tutorial with lots of pics, and some parts probably seem complicated. It’s not as beastly as it seems. I’m sure there is a MUCH more efficient way to both make the purse and write the tute, but I’m an amateur and it’s my first tutorial =)

The finished purse will measure 11 x 7 and is 3 inches deep. It has four pockets, I use them for cell phone, lotion, chapstick, and keys. There’s room for a wallet (I made mine using this tutorial with a few revisions) and sunglasses. The loops on the back are so I can attach it to whatever diaper bag I happen to be carrying around. The strap is used when I’m on my own – senza babies and diapers – just me and my purse!

Note: All measurements are in inches unless otherwise noted.

Material needed

  • fabric, interfacing and lining – probably about a ½ yard of each (I just used fabric from an old top that I no longer wore. It’s not a big purse, so you don’t need too much fabric

  • you’ll need fabric for the bag and for the lining, and contrasting fabric for the pockets and pocket lining (or you could do all the lining and pockets in the same fabric, pick your pleasure!)

  • thread

  • appropriately sized needles, size 14 should be fine for most fabrics

  • scissors/rotary cutter

  • quilters rule (or some other measuring device)

  • chalk or marking pen

  • bodkin or elastic threader (this will make inserting the batting MUCH easier)

  • 1 1½ inch button (or Velcro if you choose)

  • 1/8 yard of batting or other cushiony material for the strap

  • two sets of snaps or Velcro

Pattern pieces

  • front and back – 14 ½ x 9 ¼ – cut two pieces from fabric, lining and interfacing
    • on the bottom corners of the long side, cut out a 1 ¾ inch square
  • flap – 6 x 6 ¾ – cut two of fabric and one of interfacing
    • you’ll need to shape the flap into a trapezoid
    • on 6” side (the slightly shorter side), mark ¾ inch from the left and right
    • using a ruler, draw a diagonal line from the 6” side to each of the marks
    • cut along this line
    • repeat process for other piece of fabric and interfacing
  • loops – 1½ x 3 – cut four of fabric
  • large pocket – 11 x 5 ¾ – cut one of fabric and one of lining
  • small pocket – 7 x 5 ¾ – cut one of fabric and one of lining
  • strap – 26 x 3 – cut one of fabric
  • strap batting – 26 x 1 – cut one

Sewing directions
Part one: making the loops

  1. fold long edges of loop together with wrong side together (WST) and press
  2. open and fold raw edges into the middle and press
  3. fold in half and sew close to edge
  4. fold loops to form a point
  5. baste raw edges of loop (this will make it easier to attach them to the purse)
this shows steps 1-5 from left to right

this shows steps 1-5 from left to right

Part two: making the pockets

  1. place the small pocket fabric and lining right sides together (RST) and sew all sides with a ¼ inch seam allowance, making sure to leave several inches open at the bottom for turning
  2. clip the corners, turn, press and sew opening closed (you can slip stitch or machine stitch close to the edge)
  3. repeat steps 1 & 2 for the large pocket

Part three: making the pocket pleats (This next part is a bit tricky, go slow and you’ll get there. Keep in mind that you are only pleating the bottom ¾ inch of the pockets , which will make it easier to attach the pocket to the lining.)

  1. on one side, fold the long edge of the small pocket 2 inches to the wrong side
  2. make a line ¾ inch long (starting at the bottom) and ¾ inch from the fold
  3. sew along this line then press the pleat flat
  4. repeat steps 1-3 for the other long edge
  5. on the large pocket, draw a line from top to bottom at the following intervals: (measuring from the top right edge) 4¼, 6¾ – this will be your sewing line
  6. starting at the left edge of the large pocket, mark the following intervals: 2¼, 5½, 8¾ (the process for pleating the large pocket is similar to what you just did for the small, the only difference being you’ll have three pleats instead of two)
  7. now fold the pocket, WST, at one of the marks
  8. make a line ¾ inch long (starting at the bottom) and 5/8 inch from the fold
  9. sew along this line then press the pleat flat
  10. repeat steps 5-7 for the other marks on the large pockets (you’ll end up with three pleats)

Part four: attaching the pockets to the purse lining

Large pocket

  1. choose one of the lining pieces. working on the right side of the lining, make a line 7 inches long (measuring from the bottom) at the following intervals starting at the right edge: 3¼, 6, 7, 9¾
  2. mark horizontal ticks 2 ¼ inches up from the bottom at all lines

    click on the pic to see the detail, my chalk doesn't show up very well

  3. line up the right edge of the large pocket with the 3¼ inch mark and the bottom with the tick mark, pin (make sure pleat is at the bottom, I’ve done it upside-down before!)
  4. line up the left edge of the large pocket with the 9¾’ inch mark and the bottom with the tick mark, pin
  5. match up the remaining two lines and pin
  6. sew a vertical seam from the top to bottom along the marked lines
  7. topstitch the edges and bottom of the large pocket with a ¼ inch seam allowance

Small pocket

  1. place the small pocket right next to the large pocket and pin
  2. place the left edge of the pocket so it is 1 ½ inches from the left side of the purse lining – pin
  3. stitch the bottom and sides of the pocket with a ¼ inch seam allowance

Here’s what the pockets look like once attached to the lining.

Part five: making the flap

  1. fuse interfacing to wrong side of one flap piece
  2. place flap pieces, RST and sew the sides and narrow edge using a ¼ inch seam allowance
  3. clip corners, turn and press
  4. sew a 1 ¾ inch buttonhole 5/8 inch from the narrow edge on the interfaced side (attach Velcro if not using a button)
  5. once you cut the buttonhole open, apply fray check to the edges (optional)

Here’s the completed flap.

Part six: making the main bag and lining

  1. fuse interfacing (if lining is thin, then interface the lining. my fabric & lining were both thin, so both got interfaced)
  2. place main bag pieces RST and sew the sides and bottom using a ½ inch seam allowance, then press open
  3. to box the corners, refold the bag so the side seams line up with the bottom seam and pin

    pinching the fabric together

    fabric ready to pin

    pinned fabric, ready to sew the seam

  4. sew a line perpendicular to the bottom seam line using a ¼ inch seam allowance (for sturdiness, backstitch at the beginning and end and sew again 1/8 inch into the seam allowance)
  5. turn and press the box
  6. repeat steps1-4 for the lining, but leave a 5-6 inch opening at the bottom for turning

Phew, you’ve made it this far, we’re almost there!

Part seven: assembling the purse

  1. turn the bag inside out and insert lining with RST having the pocket at the front –match up side seams and pin
  2. pin the flap in between the fabric and the lining, 4 inches from the back left, making sure to line up the raw edges (it’s easier for me to pin the flap to the bag first, then pin to the lining, I’m just not coordinated enough to do it all in one step!)
  3. pin the top loops to the back in between the fabric and the lining 1 ½ inches from the seam line, again making sure to line up the raw edges, the point should be facing the lining
  4. pin the rest of the lining to the bag, lining up the seams on the left and right
  5. sew with a ¼ inch seam allowance, reinforcing the loops and the flap
  6. pull the bag through the lining

    click on the pic for more detail

    click on the pic for more detail

  7. this is the bag pulled partway through, just to show it's kinda "messy"!

    this is the bag pulled partway through, just to show it's kinda "messy"!

    bag pulled completely through

    bag pulled completely through

    slip stitch or machine stitch the opening closed (I just used my machine, too lazy to bother with slip stitching!)

  8. tuck lining into bag and press the top – topstitch if you like (I didn’t this time)
  9. attach the snaps or Velcro to the sides of the bag
  10. fold the top loops to the back and sew close to the edge (I do this for reinforcement and sturdiness of the loop since most of the weight of the bag will be here)
  11. for the bottom loops, fold under ¼ inch on raw edges and press
  12. sew to the bottom back corners of the bag, about 2 inches up, with the points facing down (you’ll need to use the free arm swing feature of your machine so that you are only sewing through the fabric and lining of the back and not the whole bag!!
  13. if you want, you can tack the lining to the purse at the corners, edges and pocket corners . . .or not!
  14. hand sew the button on under the flap or attach Velcro, be careful not to sew the pocket shut!

Part eight: making the strap

  1. fold the long sides, RST, and sew with a ¼ inch seam allowance
  2. turn and press centering the seam (a turning tool is helpful here)
  3. insert the batting and straighten out if necessary (use a bodkin or elastic threader, if you don’t have these, then try a safety pin.)
  4. make a rolled hem on both short edges by folding the raw edge in (toward the seam side) ¼ inch, then fold again, then sew close to the edge
  5. topstitch the strap close to both edges
  6. attach the snaps or the Velcro to the ends of the strap on the top side

    I was experimenting with two different fasteners, normally it would be one or the other.

    I was experimenting with two different fasteners, normally it would be one or the other.

Here’s the completed bag!!

You made it! That wasn’t tooo bad, was it? Okay, maybe a bit painful, but look at the cute and functional purse you have to show for it. And it’s soooo much easier the second time, trust me!

I’m still modifying the design. The next purse will probably have the pockets in the back and I’ll be adding pockets on the sides for sunglass and hand sanitizer. I’m also thinking about adding a zippered pocket on the front.

Let me know how it works out . . I’d love to see pics of your finished projects Happy sewing!!

A happy little creation brought to you by Black Pearl Designs. Many, many minutes were put into designing this purse. Feel free to use the tutorial to make one for yourself, that’s why it’s here. The purse pattern, even if modified, is not intended for commercial use. Thanks!

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Comments»

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Judy - November 13, 2012

I’m not sure what you mean by overlapping issues. I checked both IE and Google Chrome and the site looked the same on both? In any case, thanks for the heads up!

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