How to make a handmade purse

Finished fabric purse bag
Et voila!
Here cometh the bag lady…

I found some rather cute Eiffel Tower print fabric in a shop a while ago and when I came across a template for a handmade purse I realised this was what it was made for (and it’s pretty easy to make you’ll be pleased to hear)

What you need:

  • Piece of fabric at least 55.2 x 30cms (this will be your bag’s outer fabric)
  • Fusible interfacing, the same size as your outer fabric (and at the appropriate weight for your outer fabric)
  • Lining fabric, same size as your scarf
  • Rectangular purse frame with loops measuring 7.6 x 15.2 cm (I got mine on ebay)
  • Extra strong fabric glue
  • Matching chain strap
  • Basic sewing kit
The raw ingredients
The raw ingredients

Finished size: 26cm high x 22.9cm at its widest point.  Seam allowance: 9.5mm unless otherwise note

Here’s what you do…

1. Press fusible interfacing to the wrong side (WS) of the outer fabric, following the manufacturer’s instructions

2. Following the triangular shape of the template here cut out a template measuring 29cms at the base, 27cms on each side and 15cm across the top.

Use it to cut out two pieces each from the bag’s outer fabric, lining fabric and fleece. Transfer all the hinge markings to WS of all pieces(fig. 2)


Fig. 2 Cut two pieces each of the lining, fleece and outer material

3. Place the two pieces of the outer bag fabric together, right sides facing (RS).  Sandwich them between the two pieces of fleece. Pin (fig. 3). With the fleece outermost, stitch between the hinge markings down the side and around the bottom to the other side.  Trim the edges, clip away any excess fabric, turn RS out and press

Fig. 3. Sandwich the outer fabric between the two pieces of fleece

4. Pin the lining pieces together, RS facing, stitch between the hinge markings down the sides, leaving an opening 12cm wide at the bottom.  Again, trim away any excess fabric (fig. 4)

Fig. 4 Leave a 12cm opening in lining fabric



5. Tuck the outer bag into the lining, RS facing. Pin and sew between the hinge markings around the top flaps on both sides. Pull the outer bag through the lining’s opening. Turn the bag RS out, with the lining outside the bag.  Stitch the opening at the bottom of the lining (fig. 5). Trim the thread ends and tuck the lining inside.  Press the bag gently, paying particular attention to the top and side flap seams

Fig. 5. Turn the bag RS out with lining outside the bag


6. Open the purse frame, squeeze the glue carefully in to the inside of the frame and quickly insert the bag flaps one at a time into the frame. Be careful not to get glue on the bag (this requires a bit of patience and dexterity).  Leave overnight to dry then attach the chain straps and you’re done!

You can even put a little name tag inside..
Now just sit back and admire your creation!
This entry was posted in Art, Craft, Fashion, Scissors, Sewing, Vintage. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply