Saturday, March 13, 2010

Create: purse without a pattern

I had a really cute dress from New York & Company that had a broken strap. I contemplated fixing the strap and then remembered that the last time I wore it someone asked me if I was pregnant [I wasn't]. So I decided to re-purpose the fabric into a cute little purse. I don't sew except on scrapbooking and also a few months back to make the t-shirt scarf. Other than that I aspire to sew, but haven't really taken the time yet.

I had a design in my head and just decided to go for it and see what I could do on my own. I was pleasantly surprised with myself. Here's a little tutorial for anyone who wants to make their own - I'm sorry if anything doesn't make sense or if there is a better way to do what I did.

1. Here's a picture of the dress
2. Cut two pieces of each piece of fabric in the size 12x10 inches. Sew right sides together of flower fabric (3/8" seam) and plain interior fabric (1/2" seam). Cut corners and turn the patterned fabric right side out. Leave the lining inside out.
3. Press both
4. Put the lining inside of the patterned fabric and make sure it's all the way down in the corners.

5. Sew a 1/2" seam on the top of the bag, don't backstitch. Gather the bag a couple of inches.
6. Create the top band: Cut a piece of fabric 15x3 inches. Sew a seam on the short end. Press the seam open and press over the fabric about 1/2 inch on the top and bottom.
7. Fold in 1/2 and press. Open back up to attach to the bag.
8. Sew the bottom piece of the band to the top of the bag. Be careful with the gathering...when I was sewing I didn't realize that it took my gathers out, so the front of my bag is more gathered than the back.

9. Fold the band back over, you can see the gathers underneath.
10. A view of the band before sewing. Sew all the way around the band. I did a double seam for looks more than anything else.
11. I figured it needed some straps and I was too lazy to make them myself so I used the shoulder straps from the dress. I picked out some matching buttons from my stash.
12. Hand sew the buttons quite a few times to add some strength.

That's it! It took about an hour or so to make and without a pattern I think that's pretty good. I truly have never made a purse with a lining (well, maybe back in High School in Home Ec.). I was really proud of myself. Although this doesn't use any interfacing, I think it's small enough to fit my wallet and a few other things without falling apart.

This post is part of my series for 2010 where I create something as often as possible (I realized that every day was unattainable for me).


  1. Wow! I'm impressed. I barely know how to sew a button, so I can't even fathom actually making something! And I love the pattern!

  2. Amazing - you are so talented. And it makes such a cute purse!!! Hey, I noticed that you make beautiful jewelry, let me know if you would ever want to do a giveaway -- I would love to spotlight your shop. If not, no pressure :)


  3. that is amazing and very similar to purses i've made WITH patterns. the fact that you figured that out without one must mean you are a GENIUS! :)


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