Yes, that’s a self taken photo with a cell phone…in my bathroom. Don’t judge. You know you have one too.
Hi, all! I’m so excited to be posting on “Or So She Says.” I have to admit, that I am addicted to this blog and have to check it every day at work before I actually start working. Don’t tell my boss, ok?
I’m a full time therapist at a residential facility for teens and young adults that have serious mood and behavior problems, among other things. Although I am a full time spouse and employee, I find that having no kids yet has left me with more time on my hands than I would like to admit sometimes. (no no…I’m not complaining!) I used to swear up and down that I would never be “crafty” or anything of the sort…and then I was given a sewing machine, decided I have an obsession with purses and bags, and fell in love with Etsy. (Who doesn’t love Etsy?) I dream of selling homemade items on it one day!
Anyways, after about a year of practicing my sewing skills, I have learned how to make all kinds of bags and purses, so I thought it would be fun to make a simple wristlet purse and make a tutorial for this site! If it looks complicated at all, trust me…it’s really not! Just hang in there! I made a bunch of these as gifts for friends for Christmas and now can cut out and sew one in under an hour. Practice makes perfect!
So let’s get started. Oh, and I apologize in advance for the horrible pictures…I totally need a new camera and a home with better lighting.
Supplies you will need:
Two coordinating fabrics (one for the exterior of the bag, and one for the handle and the interior)
Light or medium weight interfacing (I use Pellon Craft)
12 inch coordinating zipper
½” swivel clip and d-ring (optional)
Scissors (definitely NOT optional)
Helpful hints: Use a backstitch to at the beginning and end of each seam to ensure that it doesn’t come unraveled. Also, use a ¼” seam allowance. If there are any sewing terms you don’t know or understand, go to http://www.burdastyle.com/terms.
Cut two 5×9” pieces of both the exterior and interior fabric
Cut two 5×9” pieces of interfacing
Cut one 2×18” piece of interior fabric and interfacing.
Following the directions on the interfacing, iron the 5×9” interfacing on the back of the exterior fabrics and the 2×18” interfacing onto the matching size of fabric. You want the exterior of the bag and the strap to be sturdy, right?
First Step: Make the strap
Iron the 2×18” piece in half with wrong sides of the fabric together. Open the fold, and then fold the two raw edges in to meet together at the crease you previously made and press with iron.
Fold finished edges together so that the raw edges are inside of the fold, making about a half inch wide strap.
Topstitch along the entire length of the strap with sewing machine. It should look something like this when it’s done. Hopefully your stitching will be a bit straighter than mine, but it really won’t matter or even look bad if it’s not!
This next part is for if you have a swivel clip. If you don’t have one, ignore this please.
Cut the strap so you are left with one 3” piece, and one 15” piece. Put the D-ring on the 3” piece, fold the piece in half, then stitch it closed.
Put the swivel clip onto the 15”strap piece and stitch it closed.
Turn the strap so the seam you just sewed faces the inside of the loop. Slide the swivel clip down to the same seam and then stitch the strap again as close to the clip as possible.
If you did not use a swivel clip, simply sew the ends of the strap together like you did with the D-ring.
You have now completed the strap!
Second step: Sewing the zipper on
Take an interior piece and lay it with the right side of the fabric facing up. Lay the zipper facing up and match the long edge of it with the edge of the lining. Make sure you have the zipper tab so that it’s right at the end of the fabric. You don’t want it sticking out farther than the fabric! Next, lay one of the exterior pieces right side facing down to match up with the interior piece and pin.
I like to place my pins going in the direction of the zipper so I can open up the zipper after I pin it and not have to worry about using a zipper foot, or having the zipper tab get in the way of my presser foot.
Sew together. I like to sew as close to the teeth of the zipper as I can just because I think it makes the final product look a bit nicer.
Turn right side out and press with a hot iron.
Now repeat the same process to the other pieces. It’s exactly the same as you did before, only there are the two pieces sewn onto one side of the zipper. Make sure you line up the short sides of all the exterior and interior bodies as closely as you can.
Stitch together as you did before. You can also unzip the zipper again to make sewing next to the zipper easier.
Third step: Sewing it all together
Before starting this step, open your zipper a few inches so you can turn it right side out when finished.
With all the wrong sides facing out, line up the pieces of the exterior body and pin, and do the same with the interior pieces. On the interior pieces, place two pins the opposite direction from the other pins so you know where to stop and start sewing. You need to leave about three inches unsewn so you can turn it right side out. Slip the d-ring into the exterior body pieces (or your entire strap if you did not use a d-ring and swivel clip) and pin in place.
Start sewing at one of the opposite facing pins and sew all the way around the bag. Be careful going over the zipper! Backstitch over the piece with the d-ring (or the strap) a couple of times to make sure it’s secure.
Stop sewing when you get to the other pin that you placed going the opposite direction. Cut off all loose threads and trim the end of the zipper. I know…it seems weird to cut a zipper, but just do it!
Fourth Step: Make gussets
Now you are going to make what is called a “gusset” on the corners. Fold the corners of the exterior body to make a triangle. The seams will line up in the middle of the triangle. Pin in place and draw a 1 inch line across the triangle. (I realize I forgot to draw a line for my picture…just make sure that you sew a line that intersects your seam at a 90 degree angle)
Sew along this line. Repeat to the other corner of the body. You can do this to the interior fabric as well, but I don’t just because I don’t think it matters as much what the inside looks like.
Fifth step: Finish it all!
Reach through the opening you left in the interior fabric and pull the bag through so it is right side out. You may want to use something like a dull pencil or chopstick to push all of the seams out all the way.
Fold the unfinished edges of the interior fabric opening in and hand or machine stitch closed.
Put lining back inside the bag and iron everything to make it look nice and crisp…and voila! Super handy for those days you just want to bring along your phone, lip gloss, keys and what not rather than lugging a big purse!