This ladies purse project is designed by Emily Levey who blogs atEmily has a passion for sewing and loves to share her knowledge and skills with others, teaching forgotten techniques in the hope students will find it as addictive as she does!
Make this super ladies purse project for yourself or a gift for a friend. It has useful credit card slots and a pretty lacy zipped pocket too!
You will need…
Selection of fat quarters of quilting cotton (we used ‘Violette’ by Amy Butler)
0.25m Vilene H250 firm iron-on interfacing
7” (minimum) nylon zip or lace zip
Snap fastener & pliers to insert
Fabric marker pen
Cut your pieces as follows:
Bottom Card Pocket
Cut one in fabric 8 1/2” x 2 3/4”
Cut one in interfacing 8” x 2”
Middle Card Pocket
Cut one in fabric 8 1/2” x 3 1/4”
Cut one in interfacing 8” x 2 1/2”
Top Card Pocket
Cut one in fabric 8 1/2” x 3 3/4”
Cut one in interfacing 8” x 3”
Cut one in fabric 8 1/2” x 6”
Cut one in interfacing 8” x 2 3/4”
Cut one in fabric 8 1/2” x 7”
Cut one in interfacing 8” x 3 1/4”
Main Purse Body Pieces
Interior cut one in fabric 8 1/2” x 9”
Interior cut one Interfacing 7 1/2” x 8”
Exterior cut one in fabric 8 1/2” x 9”
Exterior cut one in interfacing 7 1/2” x 8”
Zip pocket cut two in fabric 8 1/2” x 5”
TIP – It can be useful to label your cut fabric and interfacing pieces so you don’t get them confused, masking tape is great for this purpose as you can write on it and stick to the fabric, then remove when ready to use.
Take your three card pocket fabric pieces and fuse the interfacing to the reverse, the interfacing is sized in such a way that you should have a 1/4” gap along the bottom and the side edges and a slightly larger gap along the top edge.
Using the interfacing as a guide turn over the top edge of your card pocket pieces and press. Topstitch 1/4” from the top edge, this will hold the raw edge down to the wrong side of the pocket.
Take the two note pocket fabric pieces and press in half so they measure 8 1/2” x 3” and 8 1/2” x 3 1/2”. Position the interfacing so that it is snug up against the central fold and leaves a 1/4” gap along the sides and bottom edge and fuse in place.
Fold the note pocket pieces in half and topstitch as you did for the card pocket pieces. Take the main purse interior and fuse the interfacing to the wrong side, leaving a 1/2” gap all the way around the edge. On the right side place the top card pocket piece aligned along the bottom edge.
Using a fabric marker draw a line parallel to the top of the card pocket 2” down, stitch along this line. This will be hidden under the other card pockets and will prevent your cards from slipping down inside the pocket and make them easier to see and remove.
Position the middle card pocket along the bottom edge, using a fabric marker draw a line parallel to the top of the card pocket 2” down, stitch along this line as you did in the previous step. Place the bottom card pocket along the bottom edge and mark the centre line along all of the pockets (at 4 1/4”) with a fabric marker and stitch along the line.
Take the two note section pieces and place aligned along the opposite edge to the card pockets on the main purse interior piece. Baste around the three raw edges of the note pockets and baste around the raw edges of the card pockets, this will hold them all together and make assembly of the purse easier later on.
Take one of the zip pocket pieces and draw a line 1 1/2” down from a long edge, ending 1” in from each side. Draw another line 2” down from the same edge, ending 1” from each side edge. Now join the two lines to form a box.
Take the main purse exterior and fuse the interfacing to the wrong side, leaving a 1/2” gap all the way around the edge. On the right side place the zip pocket piece you just drew on, facing right sides together with the box closer to the edge of the main purse piece. Using a short stitch length sew along the drawn lines of the box, start in one of the long sides, making sure to backstitch at the beginning and end.
Cut along the centre of the sewn box stopping 1/2” short of the ends. Cut out towards the corners of the box in a triangle shape, being careful to cut close to but not through the line of stitching.
Push the zip pocket piece through the cut box to the wrong side of the exterior fabric. Press well, taking time to ensure the seam line on the box is pressed neatly.
If using a standard nylon zip, place it behind the box opening and topstitch in place, trimming the excess zip tape once it is sewn down. If you are using a decorative lace zip, as we have, then place this on top of the box opening and topstitch into place, trimming excess zip tape once sewn down. I find that using a Sewline glue pen to glue baste my zip in place is very helpful.
Place the remaining zip pocket piece on the underside of the zip section you have just sewn, with the right sides facing together. Baste around the three raw edges, close to the edge so that it will be hidden in the seam allowance later on. Using a ruler draw a line along the centre of the purse at 4 1/2”. Sew along this line, this will give the purse a natural place to fold in the centre and also close up the bottom of the zip pocket section and keep your coins secure.
Take the completed inner section and place right sides together with the outer section, making sure that the zip pocket is lined up with the note pockets. Sew all the way around the outside of the purse using a 3/8” seam allowance. Leave a turning gap of around 4” in the short end by the zip pocket, making sure to reverse stitch at the beginning and end. Opening the zip so that the zip head is in the centre of the wallet will make sewing around the sides easier.
Clip the corners and turn the wallet the right way out through the gap. Press well, it will need it after being turned though, then tuck the raw edges of the gap in and press these well too. Take care when pressing near the zip tape.
Topstitch all the way around the purse close to the edge – I like to do mine around 1/8”, closing the turning gap as you go. It is a good idea to lengthen your stitch and use a heavy weight needle such as a size 14. Using the pliers and manufacturers instructions insert the snap fastener in the centre of the wallet.
Use a hammer and a hard surface to secure it in place, ensuring it is fastened securely through all the layers of the purse. On the note pocket side I inserted the snap through a single layer of fabric, wiggling the pliers down into the base of the pocket.
On the card pocket side I put the snap through the full thickness of the purse, ensuring the teeth on the cover part were well secured into the other side of the snap buy hitting several times with a hammer.
Emily was a project presenter on Craft Daily TV and is working on her first book collaboration. Her work has been featured in many sewing and patchwork magazines. Visit her blog Strawberry Patch Ramblings for more tutorials and details on upcoming classes.
If you prefer a smaller purse try our coin purse project.