Purse kit

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone. This year I made myself my own Valentine’s gift. I loved the feel of this reversible fabric scrap that I got from FabMo. It’s woven but soft and thick like knit. The beauty of this craft project is it takes very little fabric. I started with a 15-inch x 17-inch piece, and I still have leftovers.

This purse set solves three common handbag problems: 1) I hate stuff rattling around loosely in my purse, 2) Digging things out of myriad purse pockets makes switching purses a chore, and 3) I own handbags that are perfect but utterly lack pockets.

At first I set out to make just a soft eyeglass case because my hard case is too bulky and heavy, but then the project grew as I thought of more and more cases I could make. BTW: I don’t actually use the change purse for coins (my wallet has one of those). I fill it instead with travel essentials: lip gloss, hair elastics, nail clippers, etc.

Tutorial and photos after the jump!

How to make a handbag set (coin purse, tissue pouch, pen sleeve, eyeglass case, business card holder)

Supplies

  • small piece (about 15 inches square) thick, reversible fabric
  • 5/8-inch-wide polyester ribbon
  • 3/8-inch-wide polyester ribbon
  • thread
  • 4-inch zipper

Tools

  • sewing machine
  • rotary cutter and cutting mat
  • metal ruler
  • scissors
  • lighter
  • iron and ironing board

Cut fabric

Tip #1: Fabric sizes

  • eyeglass case: (adjust size as necessary) 6-1/4  x  4-3/4 inches
  • coin purse: (2 pieces) 4-3/4  x  3-1/2 inches
  • business card holder: 4-1/4  x  5 inches
  • tissue pouch: 5-3/4  x  7 inches
  • pen sleeve: 1-1/4  x  9-3/4 inches

Iron ribbon in half

Tip #2: Folding/ironing the ribbon

Fold several feet of 5/8-inch ribbon in half lengthwise and iron on a low-heat setting (synthetics setting). You will use this folded ribbon to bind the edges of each pouch.

Melting the ends of ribbon

Tip #3: Melting the ribbon

Using your lighter, lightly melt the tip of your folded-and-ironed 5/8-inch ribbon. Melt just enough to prevent fraying. You should not be able to tell with the naked eye that the end has been melted. Do not get too close and burn the ribbon—the heat alone will melt the edge.

Sewing the ribbon

Tip #4: Sewing the ribbon

Wrap the folded/ironed/melted ribbon along one edge of the fabric. Line up the edge of the ribbon with the right edge of your presser foot. Change your needle position (stitch width) to the 1 or 2 position and stitch length to 3. Sew along the ribbon, back-stitching at each end. Cut off the excess ribbon after sewing. Melt the end (see Tip #3).

Eyeglass case

Sew ribbon around one edge

1. Cut your fabric (see Tip #1). Melt the tip of your ribbon (see Tip #3). Sew ribbon along one side of the fabric (see Tip #4).

Ribbon on all four sides

2. Repeat step #1 to bind all four sides, overlapping the ribbon at the corners.

Sew the eyeglass case closed

3. Fold the shorter side in half and sew along the bottom and side of the case, stopping about one inch from the end. Back-stitch a few times for added strength. Final dimensions: about 2-1/2  x 6-1/2 inches.

Business card pocket

Sew ribbon on opposite sides

1. Cut your fabric (see Tip #1). Melt the tip of your ribbon (see Tip #3). Sew ribbon along the two short sides of the fabric (see Tip #4).

Fold, iron, and sew

2. Fold so that the short side of the pocket is 2-1/4 inches tall. Press in place. Bind the two outside edges with ribbon (see Tip #4). Final dimensions: about 2-7/8  x  4-3/8 inches. Holds about 12 business cards.

Coin purse

Cut pieces and sew ribbon

1. Cut two pieces of fabric (see Tip #1). Melt the tip of your ribbon (see Tip #3). Sew ribbon along one long side of each piece of fabric (see Tip #4).

Sew on the zipper

2. Sew both ribboned edges onto the zipper. Trim and melt the ends of the zipper so they are the same length as the pouch.

Bind the edges with ribbon

3. Match up the edges and bind the remaining three sides with ribbon (see Tip #4), overlapping the ribbon at the corners. Final dimensions: about 3-3/4  x  5 inches.

Add ribbon pull tab

4. Cut a 5-inch piece of 3/8-inch ribbon. Cut the ends at a 45-degree angle. Melt the ends (see Tip #3). Push both ends through the hole in the zipper pull tab, leaving a loop of ribbon. Pull the ends through the loop of ribbon, and pull tight to create a knot.

Tissue pouch

Sew ribbon on two sides

1. Cut your fabric (see Tip #1). Melt the tip of your ribbon (see Tip #3). Sew ribbon along the two short sides of the fabric (see Tip #4).

Fold to the middle

2. Fold so that the ribboned edges overlap in the middle. The ribbons should lie directly on top of each other. Press in place.

Bind the edges

3. Bind the two outside edges with ribbon (see Tip #4). Final dimensions: about 3-1/4  x  6 inches.

Stuff with tissues

4. Stuff with tissues. Holds an entire pack of mini Kleenex facial tissues.

Pen sleeve

Cut fabric and bind shorter ends

1. Cut your fabric (see Tip #1). Melt the tip of your ribbon (see Tip #3). Sew ribbon along the two short sides of the fabric (see Tip #4).

Fold and bind edges

2. Fold so that the short side of the pocket is 4-3/8 inches tall. Press in place. Bind the two outside edges with ribbon (see Tip #4). Final dimensions: about 1-3/8  x  5-3/8 inches.

Purse kit

Your Valentine’s handbag set is done!