Sunday, March 21, 2010

Crafts: Purse with pockets

This is my second handmade purse ever.  I found a tutorial on how to make purses, and then just kinda went from there.  I made my own pattern, because the pattern I had found was for a smaller purse, didn't have pockets and didn't have this type of handle.  And let me just say that I suck at reading directions, let alone writing them... good luck!!  :) 

4 - cuts of fabric 19 x 12, 2 are the outer pieces and 2 are the inner.
2 - cuts of fabric 12 x 6, 1 for the outer piece of the first pocket and 1 for the inner piece of the first pocket
 2 - cuts of fabric 9 x 6, 1 is the outer piece of the second pocket, 1 is the inner piece of the second pocket
2 cuts of fabric 3 x 21 - these are the handles
4 - pieces of fusible interface cut slightly smaller than the pieces for the body of your bag
2 - pieces of fusible fleece interface cut slightly smaller than one of each pocket (I only used the fusible fleece on one side of the pocket)
2 - pieces of fusible fleece interface cut about 1x20 for the handles
1 - magnetic snap closure

Once all of your pieces are cut, attach the fusible fleece interface to the back side of all of the pieces
Below are all of my cut pieces:

I sewed the handles first.  Fold them in half, pin and sew along edge.

Next, turn the handles right side out.  This is the part that always takes me the longest - anyone have any tricks on how to speed up the process?

Below is one of the pockets.  I attached the interface to the back of the outer piece of the pocket.  Pin the 2 pieces for the pocket right sides together and sew along the edge, make sure to leave room to turn the pocket right side out.  Trim off any excess fabric to make the seams less bulky and turn the pocket so the right sides are out.  Repeat for next pocket.

Pin the pockets to the inside piece of the bag.  Carefully sew along the outside edge to attach pocket to bag. 

Below is a picture of both of my attached pockets. 

Next, decide the placement for your handles.  Make sure they are centered and pin them on to the right side of the outer piece of the bag, as shown below.  Repeat for both sides of the bag. 

Once the handles are in pinned into place on the outer pieces, lay the inner piece right side down on top of the outer piece.  Sew along top edge.  Be sure to sew this seam several times as the handles will need to support the weight of the bag.  Trim off any excess fabric. Repeat for both sides of the bag. 

Once the handles are in place, decide the placement of the magnetic snap closure.  I centered mine between the handles and put it one inch down for the top of the bag. 

My closures included a template to mark where the prongs would go through the bag.  Mark the placement of the snap closures, and carefully cut where you marked. 

After you make your cuts, place the front side of the snap closure onto your bag, and flip the bag over. 

The two prongs should be coming through the backside of the fabric.  Place the metal template ring over them, and fold the prongs inward.  Repeat for other side of snap.

This is what we have so far!  Now it's time to put it all together!!  Lay one side of your bag face up, you will lay the other side of your bag face down on top of this side.. see next picture below....

Make sure that the pieces match up - so the outer bag piece is on top of the other outer bag piece... does this make sense?

Pin around edge and sew all around.  Make sure to leave plenty of room to flip the bag right side out.  I left the opening to flip on the pieces that were going to be the inside of my bag.

Before flipping the bag right sides out, I cut 2 1/4 inch squares out of each corner of the purse.  This allows for a squared off bottom. 

After you cut out the squares, line the cut edges up so the bag will be squared off.  Sew these seams really well.  After this step is done you can flip the bag inside out!!  Sew the seam that was left open for flipping purposes.

Tada!  Look what we have here!  We made a purse! 

Here is a shot of the pockets:  notice the diaper in the big pocket?  I purposely make it large enough to fit a couple of diapers and a small wipe case!  


  1. Kristin, what I do for the handles is iron both raw sides into the center, then fold in half and iron again, then I stitch against the edge and it's all sewn together neatly :) It looks great!

  2. Heather, that sounds great, but I think I need pictures to understand.. lol! I will try experimenting and see what happens! Thanks for the tip!