Sunday, November 20, 2011

Change is Good Purse Tutorial

Are you ready to sew one of the cutest little things ever?

These are pretty quick to make once you get the hang of it, and they'd make adorable presents/stocking stuffers. The frames are pretty simple to source--they're all over Etsy, and many of the sellers offer them in lots so you can score a few at a time. If you'd like other sizes you can easily adapt a pattern to meet your needs (this post here is where I learned to make this style of purse).

You don't need a ton of supplies to make this purse, either. Fabric and interfacing scraps will work just fine. So let's get going. Gather the following:
  • Fabric for exterior
  • Fabric for lining
  • Fusible interfacing (the cheap stuff is fine--this baggie doesn't need the strength that something like a woven would provide)
  • Fusible fleece (I always say to use fusible because that's my preference, but if you have sew-in materials around, use those--you'll just need to take care that your layers don't get shifty)
  • A purse frame (for this tutorial my frame measures 3 inches by 1.5 inches)
  • Strong glue (I use this kind but E6000 works just as well)
  • Sewing stuff
  • Your pattern (I made one for you - click here to print. Remember to set your scaling to 'None.' To check for size the very bottom should measure 5inches).
Now let's get sewing. Keep in mind we will be using a 3/8 inch seam allowance throughout. Cut out 2 pieces from each of the materials listed above (as shown on your pattern piece). Fuse the interfacing to your exterior pieces, and then fuse the fleece to that. Take the two exterior pieces and place them right sides together. Pin. Sew across the bottom and press the seam open nice and flat. Then sew up the sides, and press open as best you can. Don't sew the angled sides or the top.

You should have stitches where the orange line is.

Keep this inside out. Now we're going to give our purse a flat bottom. Flatten out one of the corners, making a little triangle.

Give a peek inside and make sure your side seam and bottom seam line up--this will make for a nice even purse. Once that's set, measure a line 1 1/4 inches across, making sure it's centered.

Draw a line and pin in place. Stitch across the line you drew, then clip off the corner.

Repeat this for the other corner. Now do all of the same things for the lining. BUT make sure you leave about a 2 inch gap in the bottom for turning it later on. You should now have an inside and an outside.

Turn one inside out, and slip it inside the other so that the right sides are touching. Pin.

Stitch all around the top. Those v-seams on the side can be fiddly. Just take your time. Stop (with the needle down) and adjust if you need to.

Now reach inside the gap you left in the lining and turn the purse right side out, poking out all your corners as you go.

Sew the gap in the lining shut either by machine or by hand Then tuck the lining down into the purse. Press everything nice and neat (it makes the next step so much easier). Now you're going to topstitch all around the top of the purse, but do so quite close to the edge (about 1/8 inch--the frame will hide these stitches, but make it nice and neat anyway). This step helps make sure that things stay where they're supposed to when we slip it all into the frame.

Now comes the gluing. Apply glue to the channel of one side of the purse frame (be generous, but not so generous that it oozes everywhere, because that's just not fun). Then, apply a line of glue to the top and angled sides of the purse. If you're worried about it oozing you can put some tape on the fabric. You don't need a ton of glue--it should look like this:

Now, wait. For about 10 minutes. This is when I clean up the mess I made, obtain a beverage or a snack, play Words with Friends, whatever. I used to wait 5 minutes but it wasn't long enough for the glue to set properly. Once the wait is over, slide the purse into the frame, sides first, then the top. Give a check to make sure that the side seam lines up with the hinge so it will be nice and centered.

Use something poky but not too sharp (I use craft scissors or the flat end of a bodkin) to help shove the purse up into the frame. You'll probably need to adjust a few times, but check the outside and the inside to make sure everything is getting pushed around properly.

Give this a few minutes to set. Then repeat for the other channel and side of the purse, waiting for the glue to set. Seriously? Waiting for the glue takes up more time than any other part of this project, but it's pretty essential for not having an oozy mess on your hands.

If you get some glue on the frame, no worries--it scrapes right off with your fingernail or with some nail polish remover (the non-acetone kind also helps get the glue off of the fabric).

Once your glue is dry (give it about a final half hour), do any clean-up on the frame, and you're done.


And there you have it. Change is good, especially when you have it in a cutesy little purse you made yourself. Have fun! And let me know if you have any questions! I'll do my best to help you out.

Linking it up here this week:


  1. Too cute! (Still looks well beyond my sewing skill set, but one day......) I like your fabric choices!

  2. I just bought a bunch of these suckers, but I'm dreading starting... your tutorial defenately helps. **breathes in, breates out**

  3. You know what I've always been scared of these after busting a gut with the sewn in metal frames (many tears were shed!), but I think I will give these a go. Can I check what type of glue is best for these?
    Kandi xx

  4. Honestly, ignore me you tell us what type of glue at the top, I've got my Monday morning head on lol!
    Kandi x

  5. I see the key is the glue. HT2 is impossible to find here tho'.

  6. Very Cute, I also love that cherry fabric!

  7. So sweet. I am tempted to try, but I know I am the messiest glu-er ever...

  8. This is so cute!! I wish I knew how to sew, I would love to make things like this!!

  9. So stinking cute! Great Tute! Can't wait to make one!

  10. Adorable. I've never used a purse frame before. Where did you get yours at? Sweet home.

    P.S. I have a linky every Monday. Would love for you to stop by and link up.
    P.S.S. I have giveaway going on right now. Would love you to stop by and check it out.

  11. Hi Bethany,
    I came across your post from Homemaker on a Dime. I love your tutorial on these coin purses. I've always wondered how they were made. Too cute! Thank you for sharing.

  12. So lovely, especially the cherry ones. Very glad that you were able to join us at Pin'Inspiration Thursday.

    Happy new follower :-)

  13. This is adorable! I'd love it if you linked it up to a Christmas Craft Tutorial that is going on at Project Queen! Here is the link:

    I'm your newest follower! Love your blog!


  14. WOW!!! pinning!!

    would love it if you could share this on my link party - Serenity Saturday - over at

    Natasha xxx

  15. Oh how cute!! :o)
    And I have a little tissue holder made from the very same fabrics. :o)

  16. So glad that you shared at Pin'Inspiration Thursday last week. You are one of our features. Hope you pop by and grab a button :-)

  17. Adorable purse!

    ~Mrs. Delightful

  18. so cute, Bethany. thanks for sharing this fab tutorial. have a lovely weekend!


  19. That is too stinkin' cute! Never knew you could make a coin purse with the metal opening thingie!

  20. wow. Very nice tutorial. It doesn't make me afraid to make one now. Thank you for sharing!

  21. I'm going to try and make this. Thanks for the great photos and instructions. Will let you know how it turns out.

  22. The explanations are very clear indeed. I've just started making my own bags and I desperately wanted a matching change purse. Will let you know how I get on.

  23. This is so adorable, where did you find the cherry fabric, and do you know the brand and name of it? Thank you for sharing how to make one of these.



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