This project was designed by Laura Strutt, author of a number of craft books including the Sewing Manual (Haynes, 2013). Visit her blog at www.madepeachy.com
The clever construction of this zip-up pyramid purse means that it can sit neatly on a flat base, making it easy to retrieve the items inside – ideal for coins or even for stowing your sewing notions for stitching on-the-go-projects.
You will need…
Fat quarters of printed cottons in three contrasting designs – we used ‘Feathered’ by Zandra Rhodes for FreeSpirit
Pins & fabric clips
Sewing Machine with zip foot
From two of the fabrics, cut two 15cm squares – these will become the outer and the lining fabrics.
From the remaining fabric cut two rectangles measuring 4cm x 8cm for the zip end tabs and one piece measuring 4cm x 20cm for the hanging loop.
Fold one of the 4cm x 8cm rectangles in half and press. Open out and fold the raw edges in towards the centre and press. Place the folded piece over the end of the zip to make the zip end tab and pin in place. Repeat to create a second zip and tab and pin in place onto the other end of the zip.
With a straight machine stitch, carefully secure each of the zip end tabs to the ends of the zip. Be careful when sewing to ensure that the you don’t stitch over the metal parts – pulling the zip tab to the centre of the zip will help to keep it well away from the stitching line.
TIP: When sewing the zip in place, ensure that the zip tab is away from the needle at all times. You may have to stop the machine, raise the presser foot and slide the tab away from the stitching line. This will prevent accidentally sewing over the metal parts of the zip, which will break the needle and can damage the sewing machine.
Place one of lining pieces with right side up then position the zip on to the lining, aligning the upper edge of the zip tape with the raw edge of the fabric. Place one of the outer fabric pieces on top with the wrong side outermost and aligning the raw edges with the zip tab. The zip will be sandwiched between the lining and the outer fabric, which will be right sides facing. Pin in place and sew with a zip foot and straight stitch to secure the zip in place along the length.
Fold the two fabrics away from the zip – the wrong sides of the lining and the outer fabrics will be together. Press along the zip to neaten the fabrics and work a line of neat top stitching along the outer fabric at the edge of the zip.
In the same manner, layer the remaining lining and outer fabrics together with right sides facing and the zip sandwiched between with the tape alining with the raw edges. Pin in place and using a zip foot and straight stitch, sew in place. Press the fabrics away from the zip and work a line of neat top stitching long the outer fabric at the edge of the zip.
Place the two pieces of outer fabric together with right sides facing and aligning the raw edges. Ensure that the remaining fabrics of the purse are out of the way and pin in place along the edge opposite to the zip. With a straight stitch and a 1cm seam allowance, join the outer fabrics together and press the seam neatly open.
Place the two pieces of lining fabric together with right sides facing and aligning the raw edges. Ensure that the rest of the purse is out of the way and pin in place along the edge opposite to the zip. With a straight stitch and a 1cm seam allowance join the outer fabrics together leaving the centre 5-8cm unstitched – this is for drawing the purse through to the right side later – press the seam neatly open.
Press the 4cm x 20cm strip in half aligning the two long sides, open out and fold the raw edges in towards the centre fold and press. Fold the strip in half again and press to create a 1cm bias strip.
With a straight machine stitch work a neat line of stitching at the opening edge of the strip to hold all the layers neatly together. Set to one side.
Ensure that the zip is opened at least half way before beginning to construct the end seams of the purse. With the wrong sides outermost, place the purse with the seams in the lining and outer fabrics centred and positioned on top of the zip and pin in place. With a standard machine foot and a straight stitch, sew one end seam with a 1cm seam allowance. Neatly clip the seam allowance on the corners to reduce bulk.
Place the 2 right sides of the lining fabric together and sew across the open end towards the zip, stopping at the edge of the zip. Repeat with the outer fabric but make sure you place the hanging loop into the seam, aligning the raw edges and pin in place. Secure with a straight machine stitch using a standard foot and taking a 1cm seam allowance. Neatly clip the seam allowance on the corners to reduce bulk.
Working carefully, draw the purse completely through to the right side through the opening in the lining fabric – the outer fabric, zip, hanging loop and lining will all be turned through to the right side. With a needle and coordinating cotton, join the gap in the seam allowance with neat hand slip stitches. Through the open zip, ease the lining fabric to the inside of the purse and neatly push out all the corners to finish.
This project can can scaled up or down to create larger or smaller sizes of pyramid purses – simply work with squares that are a corresponding length to your chosen zip.
Why not add a key chain clasp the to hanging loop of the purse to allow you to attach this to your handbag or keychain?