Feb 13, 2009

Cute Little Girl Purse Tutorial

Our niece is turning 7 this month and I wanted to make her a little purse for her birthday. I had printed off this Martha Stewart pattern a while ago and decided to give it a try. I think it works best as a child's purse; I wouldn't want this style for myself. I enlarged the pattern to 175% instead of to 200% like suggested. I decided to post a tutorial because I found that the instructions that came with the pattern were not quite detailed enough for a beginner sewer. Hopefully this will help. Plus, I did make a few changes.
You will need:
Pattern (go here)
1/2 yard fabric for the outside of the purse
1/2 yard fabric for the inside of the purse (it is reversible)
1/2 yard fusible interfacing (I used it to make the purse a bit more sturdy)
Pins, scissors, thread, iron etc.
Step 1: Enlarge the pattern to 175%. This is what the pattern looks like once it is enlarged. Pin your pattern to the fabric and cut 2 of the outside fabric, 2 of the inside fabric and 2 of the interfacing.

Step 2: Fuse the interfacing to the wrong side of the inside fabric.Step 3: Make a template for your initial to applique to the purse. You can use just about anything for the template. I used my niece's first initial. I found a font that I liked on the computer and enlarged the font and printed it. Step 4: Cut out your template and turn it over. Trace it onto your fusible bonding material. I use HeatnBond. It is really easy to use and holds really well. It is stiff at first but softens in the wash. For any letters, you must trace them backwards. After tracing cut out the letter but not on the line. (see below)Step 5: Peel off the back of the Heatnbond and iron the letters onto the wrong side of your fabric. I made 2 K's because I wanted one on the inside and outside of the purse so she could use it either way. After ironing, cut out the letter on the line.Step 6: Peel off the back paper to expose the fusible side. Place the letter where you want it on the purse... and iron it in place (Remember fusible side down).(My finished products) Here, you can sew around the edge of the letter to hold it down more permanently. I was in a hurry so I didn't do that, but I would next time. A zig-zag stitch works the best.

Step 7: Place purse pieces right sides together and pin the top edges and the bottom curve. (So you won't pin the U shaped curve at the top or the sides of the handles)

Step 8: Sew the top 2 straight edges (backstitch start and stop) and the bottom curve. (use a 1/4 inch stitch length for all seams)(this is where you would stop sewing the bottom curve)Step 9: Clip your curves. Martha does not include this in her instructions but it is super important to always clip curves so that you fabric can spread and lay flat when it is turned. Just be careful not to clip the stitching. Repeat these same steps with the other pieces.Step 10: Turn one set right side out and leave the other wrong side out. Step 11: Place one set inside the other (right sides together), match your side seams and pin in place along the U shaped curve in the middle. (mine looks like it is right side facing up, but that is the backside of the fabric. It is just really bright)Step 12: Sew along the U shaped curve (go all the way around and back to where you started), backstitching when you start and stop. Clip your curves. Turn the bag right side out through one of the openings left on the side. Tuck one layer of the purse inside the other (shown here). Tuck handles underneath each other. Step 13: Press with an iron to flatten your curved edge.

Step 14: This is the hardest part because you are working with a small area and it is difficult to get the iron in here. Tuck under 1/4 " on each side of the remaining openings and pin together. I just finger pressed as I went. Step 15: Sew around remaining openings. These stitches will be seen so try and be really neat and sew close to the edge. Step 16: I decided to topstitch around the U shaped curve as well. Step 17: Tuck the long handle under the short one and you are done. The purse is small but I think it is the perfect size for a little girl. Of course if you want it larger, just start by enlarging your pattern more. You could add ric-rac or any other kind of embelishments also. I think these would be fun to give as a take home prize from a party. Once you make one, you could mass produce these. It is a great beginner sewing project.
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  1. I saw this when it was on Martha, and I remember thinking at the time that there was no way it was going to fit all the junk I carry. Good idea making it into a little girl's purse.

  2. I *LOVE* how you made a tutorial for this! There are so many awesome patterns on MS but they never have clear instructions. Yours are fabulous and so easy! Thanks so much for sharing this, I'll be linking.

  3. What a cool little pattern! Thanks for sharing.

  4. Great tutorial! I've seen some of these little purses around and have been thinking about making one and now that you've been kind enough to make a tutorial, I might actually get around to doing it!

  5. I love this and I especially love your directions! You could not have made it any more clear! Thanks so much for such a great tut!

  6. HEATHER! I've known you long enough to know you are incredibly talented, but I am so floored by this blog! It's so amazing. I admire your skills so much. I hope you know you are extraordinary! I'm so in awe.

  7. wow...this is adorable!

  8. great tutorial. I think I will show it to my girls and have them give it a try!

  9. thank you for posting this! i am having trouble figuring out how to enlarge it 175% in the printer. any tips? leslieharris@live.com

  10. Great Tut! I added to my blog
    entry of the purses I made in

    God Bless You & Yours &
    Your Creative Life!!!

  11. wow great tutorial...it was very helpfull for me to finish this bag. You can see the finished piece in my blog.

    You have a beautiful blog with lots of sewing ideas...thank you for sharing your ideas....

  12. I posted about this project on my blog cupkateer.blogspot.com. Thanks for the great tut.

  13. This was great! I think I used to thick of interfacing and had a little problem finishing the handles but it was fun! I posted my pictures to my page and linked the project to you and yours. Thanks!

  14. This purse is so adorable and you've made making it look so easy. Thank you for this great how to guide.


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