The Vilene Sewing Club: Everyday Purse
Discover how to make a simple and stylish purse with many unique customisation options.
Skills you’ll master…creating neat box corners, neatening seams, applying a zip fastening.
Grab your supplies…
Print cotton, two complementary designs
Vilene Decovil 1 Light
Let’s make an Everyday Purse
From one piece of print cotton cut two strips that measure 5cm by 11.5cm – these will become the end tabs for the zip fastening. From the second print cotton cut two pieces measuring 14cm by 20cm for the main part of the purse. Cut two pieces of Vilene Decovil 1 Light measuring 14cm by 20cm, this will give the purse structure.
Working on one of the zip end tab strips at a time, fold the strip in half aligning the raw edges on the two shorter ends and press. Fold the raw edges at each end under by 5mm towards the wrong side and press in place. Repeat to create the second zip end tab.
Position the end of the zip so that it sits centrally inside the folded end tab and pin in place. Repeat to position the remaining zip end tab to the other end of the zip. Adjust to ensure that the tabs are neat and even, that the zip is straight and that the entire length of the zip and the end tabs measure 20cm. With a straight machine stitch, woking 5mm from the folded edge of the zip end tab secure the tab to the zip. Be sure to stitch slowly and neatly as this will be visible on the finished purse, and remove the pins as you work so as not to damage the needle – also be aware of any metal parts if they are present on the zip as stitching through these will break the needle. Repeat to secure the second zip end tab to the other end of the zip.
Ensuring the pieces of the main fabric of the purse is press neatly, and place flat with the wrong side uppermost. Position the Vilene Decovil 1 Light on top of the fabric so that the adhesive (shiny) side is facing the wrong side of the cotton. Cover with a slightly damp pressing cloth and secure in place by pressing on a low/medium heat. Once secured, set aside for up to 30 minutes to allow the adhesive to cool and fully bond.
Working with one piece of stabilised cotton at a time, place right side up on a flat surface. Position the tip face down onto the upper edge of the cotton, aligning the raw edge of the fabric with the edge of the zip. The zip ends tabs will extend slightly further than the cotton. Pin into position, and open the zip half way.
Using the zip foot, work along the length of the zig to secure it into position. The zip foot allows the stitches to be worked neatly and closely along the length of the zip. Before reaching the zip tab, stop the machine with the needle in the down position and raise the presser foot. Carefully draw the zip tab back past the foot to close the zip, this prevents the bulky zip tab from getting in the way while stitching. Lower the presser foot and continue stitching to secure the entire length.
Open out and finger press the seam allowance back towards the main fabric of the purse and pin in place. Re-open the zip part way, with a straight machine work along the main fabric with a line of neat top stitching to secure the seam allowance away from the zip fastening. Using the zip foot allowing the stitching to be placed neatly along the length of the purse close to the seam. Before reaching the zip tab, stop the machine with the needle in the down position and raise the presser foot. Carefully draw the zip tab back past the foot to close the zip to prevent it from interfering with the zip tab.
Secure the second piece of print cotton to the zip, by placing the fabric right side uppermost and aligning the outer edge of the zip along the raw edge. The two cotton panels will now be placed with the right sides facing and the side seams will be aligned. Pin into position. In the same manner, secure the zip to the purse working with a straight machine stitch and using a zip foot. Ensure that the zip tab is repositioned during stitching to prevent it from interfering with the stitching line. Once secured, open the purse out and finger press the seam allowance back towards the main fabric and secure in place with neat top stitching.
Open the zip fully and keep open for the remaining steps of the project. Place the two side of the purse together with the right sides facing. Ensure that the raw edges along the side and the lower edges are aligned, and the under side of the zip fastening runs along the top of the purse. Pin in place. Returning to a standard presser foot, work with a straight machine stitch and take a 1cm seam allowance to join the two pieces of the purse together. Begin at one upper edge, stitch to the corner, stop the machine with the needle in the lowered position and pivot to align the machine to work the lower seam. Stop and pivot the machine in the same manner for the second side before continuing up the second seam.
Using pinking sheers, trim down the seam allowance to secure and prevent fraying. Work around the purse to finger press the seams open. Working on one corner at a time, draw out the sides of the purse to bring the side seam and the lower edge seam together. Move the fabrics around until the two seams are positioned directly on top of each other. Pressing the seams flat together make a 5cm line directly across the corner, this will become the stitching line for the box corners. With the remaining fabric for the purse pushed out of the way, pin together to keep the seams aligned. With a straight machine stitch, work along the marked line to secure the box corner in place. Snip the excess fabric from the corner and trim with pinking sheers to neaten the are edges. Repeat to create a box corner on the second side.
Through the open zip, begin to turn the purse through to the right side. Start by pressing the two zip end tabs to the right side to neatly reveal them on the surface, before drawing the remaining fabric through. Push out the box corners firmly to finish.
Made Peachy Tip
When working with a zip foot look carefully at the way in which you affix this to the machine. The foot can be positioned so that the needle will come down either one side or the other side of the foot section, this allows the needle to position the stitches as close to the teeth on the zip as possible. To check the foot is on correctly, there should be no part of the foot between the needle and the teeth of the zip, if there is simply reaffix to alter the needle placement.
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The Vilene Sewing Club In Association With…
All of the delicious fabrics for these makes are from the stunning range of designer prints from Art Gallery Fabrics – take a look over the range, I guarantee you won’t be disappointed!
The ribbons and trimmings for these projects were supplied by Berisfords, who offer a range of ribbons for sewing and decorative projects in a host of colours styles and finishes. Priced from 70p per meter and available from fabric and sewing stores. For more information visit www.berisfords-ribbons.co.uk or call 01453 883581
The buttons and fasteners for these projects are from Hemline, who provide a vast range of products for all aspects of sewing and crafting which are available nationwide from sewing and craft suppliers. For more information contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01453 883581
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I hope that you enjoy making your own Everyday Purse – you know, if you get in a knot you can always drop me an email with Everyday Purse Help in the subject line!
This workshop project is for your personal use only, be cool you guys- you know the score, if you’re interested in scheduling a workshops or have any enquiries about the usage of this workshop material just give me a shout!
Watch this space – the next in the The Vilene Sewing Club Series will be posted next Wednesday!