Purses have been a favorite of mine to make ever since I began sewing. Actually, the first real thing I ever made with my sewing machine was a purse for my Mom for her birthday (scroll to the bottom of this post to see that purse!) They are so fun and easy to make! What I love about this purse is that it can also be a clutch. The chain is removable to make it possible. I swear this DIY is easier than it looks. Don’t let the 16 steps fool you, it’s mostly just cutting and a bit of sewing. You can do it!
- Sewing machine
- Tape measure
- Canvas drop cloth
- Colored pencil.
- Sewing pins
- Super glue
- Chain (for the strap)
- (2) swivel clasps
- (2) magnetic snap sets
- (1) stud
I bought all of my supplies from Joann’s except for the drop cloth I had on hand (from Walmart) and the fabric (from Hobby Lobby). I wasn’t planning on using drop cloth as the inside lining but I love the way it turned out. As for fabric, you want to use something more sturdy and not so flimsy so the purse keeps it’s envelope shape. Opt for a faux leather, real leather, or whatever else you can find. If you use real leather, you wouldn’t need to have a lining but it would also be tougher to sew through. OK, now on to the tutorial. P.S. be ready for loads of pictures, I tried to make this as easy as possible for you to follow along.
- Cut one 19″ x 12″ rectangle out of your main fabric.
2. Fold that piece over to make sure you like the way it looks in size. I folded over 7″.
3. Cut one rectangle 12″ x 7.5″ out of your main fabric.
4. Taking a pencil in a shade you will be able to see on the fabric, draw out the scallop edge like below on the smaller 12″ x 7.5″ rectangle. Make sure you draw it on the underside of the fabric that will not be visible when finished.
5. Place the smaller 12″ x 7.5″ rectangle on top of the larger rectangle and match up the 12″ sides. Cut out the scallop edge of both rectangles at once. If they aren’t identical you can fix them later on after sewing. The crease below in my larger rectangle is where my fabric will fold over. It helps to make a crease.
6. Cut out a strip 12″ x 2″ from your main fabric.
7. Cut out a rectangle 10.5″ x 12″ from the drop cloth, or whatever fabric you are using for your lining. *Optional: iron the drop cloth before sewing.
8. Taking only the smaller rectangle with scallop edge (the 12″ x 7.5″ one), the 12″ x 2″ strip, and the drop cloth lining, you are going to sew them together like below. Make sure the three together as a single piece match up with the larger 19″ x 12″ piece. If they don’t, then adjust your drop cloth to make it wider or smaller. Sew the drop cloth and fabric together on the dotted lines in the photo below. *Make sure the drop cloth is under the two fabric pieces.
9. Add one snap (which is two pieces) like below. This will be how you close your purse inside to keep everything from falling out.
10. Place the piece you just sewed on top of the larger fabric piece, making sure the undersides of the fabric meet. My fabric has a leather feel on one side and a felt on the other which made it easy to know the felt side needed to be touching.
11. Pin the pieces together so they don’t move when sewing. First start by sewing the bottom strap piece and fabric together along the bottom line.
12. Then sew the 7″ edges of the purse and around the scallop edge, like the photo below. It helps to go very slow around the scallop. It took me a few tries to get it right. After the scallop edge is sewn, you can cut around the edges to make the pieces match up better if they don’t.
13. Cut out 2 pieces of your main fabric in the size 1″ x 2″, or however wide your swivel clasps are.
14. Fold the pieces over the clasps. Flip your purse inside out and sew the clasps to the purse, only onto the piece with no scallop edge. I sewed back and forth three times to make sure these were secure because this is what will hold your strap and purse together. SIDE NOTE: Make sure you sew these pieces up high enough so that you can’t see the seams on the front of the finished purse. I made the mistake of sewing them a little too low and you can kind of see the seams now.
15. I decided to add a second snap to keep the scallop edge secure to the purse. This is totally up to you but it helps to keep the flap closed and looks cleaner. It helps to add the snap BEFORE sewing two main pieces together but I didn’t do that and did not want to start all over. So it is possible to add the snap at the end. I made sure the snap piece that is not on the scallop side only went through the piece of fabric and not the drop cloth lining. For the piece on the scallop edge, it can go all the way through the fabrics. Measure out to make sure the snap pieces line up with each other when closed.
16. The stud will go on the front of the purse, on top of the snap’s prongs you just put through. Cut off the prongs of the stud (or fold them in) if it isn’t large enough to go around and through the purse because of the snap you just punched through. Then glue the stud on. If your stud is big enough to punch through, then do that instead of gluing. Add your chain to the clasps and then you are DONE!
As promised, here is the first purse I ever made with my sewing machine. A gift for my Mom the day after she taught me to use my machine. You might have already seen this on my Instagram if you follow along.
Thanks for reading and happy DIY-ing! Tag me on Insta if you recreate this or add the hashtag #SweetTealDIY so I can see!!