Matt bought me a gorgeous new handbag on the weekend because he knows I’ve been longing for a black handbag for ages! Yay! (Isn’t he the sweetest?) I love how it’s roomy enough to fit my camera and a book as well as all my usual essentials. The only down side to its huge size is that little things can easily get lost down the bottom. My solution? Make a simple zippered purse that’s big enough to hold a handful of little items, but small enough to fit easily in my handbag. As it will be holding things like hand cream and pens, this fabric purse will also protect my handbag from any accidental ink/cream leakage. The snap fastener tab on the outside of the purse allows me to clip on my keys so they’re always easy to find.
Here’s a photo of my new handbag in case you were curious:
To make a simple zippered purse you will need:
- A 20cm zipper
- A rectangle of fabric 22cm x 38 cm
- A rectangle of fabric 8 cm x 5 cm
- 1 snap fastener
Start by overlocking the two short edges of the large rectangle to prevent the raw edges from fraying, then set this piece aside for now.
Take the small rectangle and fold over 1 cm on both of the long edges (image 1). Fold over one of the short edges by about 5 mm and press flat (image 2). Fold the rectangle in half lengthwise and pin across the folded short end and the long end (image 3). Top stitch through all layers across the short end you’ve pinned (tucking the corners in to stop them poking out if necessary) and along the long edge. Overlock the remaining raw short edge (image 4).
Following the instructions on the packet, attach a snap fastener to the tab you have just made. The smooth top part of the fastener should be right near the end of the tab and you need to leave a gap of about 2.5 cm between the two parts of the fastener (image 5). You should be able to fold the end of the tab over to close the snap fastener (image 6).
Pin the tab to the large rectangle along one of the short edges, about 4 cm from one end and sew across the overlocking to hold them together (image 7). Undo the fastener to make it a bit easier to do the next few steps (image 8.)
Fold over the two short edges of the large rectangle by 1 cm on each end. These are the edges you have overlocked (images 9 and 10). Pin one of the folded edges onto the zipper tape and using a zipper foot on your sewing machine, stitch the fabric to the zipper tape (images 11 and 12).
Pin the other folded edge of the large rectangle to the other side of the zipper (images 13 and 14). Again using your zipper foot, sew the fabric to the zipper tape as pinned, taking care to hold the rest of the fabric out of the way so it doesn’t get caught in the seam (images 15 and 16).
Open the zipper about halfway and fold the purse inside out. Lay the purse flat so that the edge of the zipper tape sits about 1 cm away from a fold across the top. Pin the two layers of fabric together down the sides, making sure the open end of the zipper is lined up nicely (images 17 and 18). It’s important to keep the zipper partially open or you won’t be able to turn the purse back through to the right side. Sew down both sides 1 cm from the edge and then overlock the raw edges (image 19). Turn the purse through the opening, close the zipper and give it a press (image 20).
Now you can fill your purse with all your essential bits and bobs, and attach your keys to the tab on the front. This purse doesn’t contain all the things I have in my handbag, just the loose odds and ends. The purse can now be thrown in a large handbag so the little things contained within it don’t get lost amongst all the other things in my handbag (such as my wallet, sunnies, book, phone, camera etc).
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