- 1 antique gold 6 inch bag clasp
- 1 fat quarter of exterior fabric
- 1 fat quarter of lining fabric
- Medium/heavy sew in interfacing
- Firm fusible iron on interfacing
- Gutermann HT2 fabric glue
- Make a purse frame pattern by drawing around the external edge of the frame on paper and add 1cm/0.4in around edge for seam allowance. Mark where the hinges stop, then draw the shape of the rest of the bag.
- Cut out the paper pattern and then cut two pieces of outer fabric, two pieces of lining fabric, and two pieces of fusible interfacing and also of heavy/medium weight sew-in interfacing. It is quite awkward to sew the first time so it might be easier to use a softer interfacing and switch to heavier for later bags.
- Iron the fusible interfacing onto the wrong side of the exterior fabric.
- Place the pieces of the exterior bag together - create a sandwich with the outer pieces right sides together in the middle and then a piece of sew in interfacing either side.
- Transfer the hinge markings from the pattern to the interfacing and pin from this point down, along the side, around the bottom and back up to the mark on the other side. You'll need to sew 1cm/0.4in seam around the edge. Sometimes it is easier to draw a guide line around the edge to ensure straight stitching.
- Machine a 1cm/0.4in seam along this line from the hinge, along the bottom and back up the other side to the hinge marking.
- To create a flat bottom for the purse, take one of the corners of the bag and match the side seam with the bottom seam line. Flatten to form a triangle.
- Measure 4cm/1.6in along the seam line from the tip of the triangle mark the line with chalk and pin. Stitch along the marked line and repeat for the other bottom corner of the exterior, then turn the exterior bag right side out and check that the corners are the same size. Trim the excess fabric 1cm/0.4in from the seam.
- Sew the lining together. Place right sides together and transfer the hinge mark as before. Pin, then machine from the same point 1cm/0.4in around the edge. You will need to leave a 12cm/4.8in opening in the bottom of the lining.
- With the right side out, place the exterior bag into the lining (the lining is inside out). The right sides of the lining bag and the exterior bag should now be touching each other. Line up the top edges and pin from hinge mark up and around the top edge.
- Sew around each of the top edges separately, starting where the stitching stops on the lining and ending where the stitch is on the other side. Repeat with the opposite edge of the purse.
- Pull the exterior bag through the hole in the bottom of the lining and tuck the lining inside the bag. Sew up the gap in the bottom of the lining- this can be done on the machine or by hand.
- Press around the top edge to get the creases out.
- Run a bead of glue around the back groove on one side of the bag frame, then apply a line of glue to one side of the top edge of the bag along the seam line. Wait for five or ten minutes. Try not to get glue on the fabric.
- After ten minutes, insert the bag into the frame, start at one side by the hinge and pull the fabric edge right into the top corner, then the other corner and finally the centre – it is possible to use a pair of round ended scissors to ensure the fabric is in the frame. Check the lining to make sure it is tucked inside then wait for at least 15 minutes before tackling the other side.
- When the other side has been glued in place, leave the bag overnight to make sure the glue is dry. Then your purse or bag is good to go.
Project written by Lynne Sharpe. Lynne is a Textile Artist who runs The Make It Room from Howe Green near Chelmsford in Essex. Lynne teaches a wide range of craft workshops and courses. Find out more here.
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