Purse Week: Day Five

Thank goodness for great friends (thanks Sabra!) that saved Purse Week!  I wouldn’t have had any posts up after day one.

Today I’m going to show you how to make a pretty simple purse.  The most complicated part is the pocket, but it’s really fun to make.  And you don’t have to limit the pocket to just a purse—you can add it to clothing, too!


I learned how to do a herringbone pattern HERE, from Melanie from The Crafty Cupboard.  Her quilt is really great and I just love herringbone and wanted to incorporate it into a purse somehow.

DSC_0908 purse

So let’s get started!

You’ll need:

-two 11.5” x 14” pieces of outer fabric (I used one plain, one patterned)

-two 11.5” x 14” pieces of fabric for lining

-two 11.5 x 14” pieces of fusible interfacing

-one 13” x 6” piece of fabric for pocket

-six strips 6.5” x 2” fabric (I cut three in the patterned fabric, three in the plain fabric)

-two 3” x 3.5” pieces to connect purse handle

-little extra fabric for pocket lining

-purse handle of choice

-magnetic clasp


*Let me just put it out there that my interfacing looks horrible—it’s pieced and doesn’t cover everything in spots, and most certainly not perfectly ironed.  Also, my white board has seen much better days!

Now that we have that out of the way, iron the interfacing onto the wrong side of the lining. DSC_0845

Measure down about 2.5” for the magnetic clasp, and center.  Mark where you want to put the clasp.


Cut two small slits for the clasp.


Insert two prongs on clasp through slits and add the flat circle thing over those, and push clasps out.  DSC_0848

To get the other clasp perfect, I like to lay the other lining fabric on top of the clasp I just put on and mark exactly where it will be.


Finish up the other clasp and set aside.


Take the pocket piece and fold in half, right sides together.  Sew along edges, leaving an opening for turning. Clip corners.


Turn right side out, pin, and sew onto the right side of a piece of lining.


You can see my horrible interfacing here!  Place lining right sides together, sew along both sides and the bottom, leaving about a 4” opening at the bottom.


Box the corners.  I took mine in about 2”.  Just match the bottom seam with the side seam, pinch the corner, and sew a straight line across.


Trim excess. Set aside the lining.


Now for the fun pocket!  Take the three patterned strips of fabric and alternate the layers—so two strips are right side up, one with wrong side up. On the plain three strips of fabric, you’ll want to have two strips with wrong side up and one with right side up.  Obviously, if you are using different fabric it will vary, but you have to have them alternating so you have some for each side of the herringbone.  For more tips, follow Melanie’s tutorial HERE.


Cut off the corners with a 60 degree angle.


Do the same on the other side, but make sure the angle is going in the same direction or it won’t work.


Lay them out to make sure you did it right.


Put right sides together and overlap 1/4” on each side as pictured.


Sew the rows together.


I pressed mine opposite direction, so just towards the patterned fabric so the seams weren’t bulky once sewing the rows together.


Sew the rows together, matching seams.


Trace the pocket onto the lining fabric and cut out the lining.


Pin with right sides together and sew around the whole thing, leaving about a 3” gap at the bottom (where I’m pointing).


When sewing, have needle down at point of pocket and lift presser foot, then turn the fabric so that you keep a nice point.


Clip corners and turn.  Press.


Center your pocket on the right side of the outer fabric and place it down about 3.25” from the middle point (as pictured below).


Pin the pocket on and sew around the whole thing, except the top of course :).


Place the other outer fabric on top of the pocket side, right sides together.


Pin and sew down both sides and the entire bottom.


Box the corners as you did on the lining.


Now place the outer purse fabric inside the lining, right sides together. Match seams and pin the lining to the outer purse around the entire top.


Sew around the top of the purse, about 1/4” seam.


Pull the outer fabric through the opening in the lining.


Press around the top of the purse and sew closely around the top edge of purse.


Take the 3.5” x 3” pieces of fabric.  Fold up the two 3” edges 1/4” inch, and iron.  Fold in half, iron.  Fold each side in again and iron.  Sorry if that’s confusing!


It’s a little like making bias tape, just not on the bias.  I topstitched on either side of the fabric piece.  Loop it through the purse hardware and sew onto side of the purse.


Pretty much your are just using them to attach the purse handle. I sewed an x to attach the fabric onto the sides of the purse.  You can attach your handles however you’d like ;).


And you are done!


Good luck to all those who have entered!  I’ll announce the top 10 on Monday.  A big huge thank you to the guests this week and to the sponsors again, and also to our judges!


  1. says

    SUCH a great bag! And, though I hope your computer gets fixed SOON (and free, with extras, for all you’ve put up with), you’re welcome to my computer and messy bedroom any time :)