Here’s a great way to use up leftovers from patchwork projects. Make a small purse or a notions bag large enough for the bare necessities. You decide how large you want the finished bag, depending on your needs and the available materials. Here we go!
Small leftovers from other projects, including patchwork pieces, threads, beads, fabrics, and trims
Soft, dyed leather strip, rat-tail cording, or braided cord of the desired length for a shoulder strap, 45″ usually works well
Polyester or cotton batting for bag foundation
Lining and pocket fabric
Zipper, at least 1″ longer than the cut measurement of the purse opening
Decide on the desired finished size of your bag. The examples shown here range in size from approximately 5″ X 8″ to 9″ X 12″. Cut a piece of foundation batting of the desired width, plus side seam allowances, and twice as long as the desired finished length, plus 1/2″. Often a scrap of batting left over from some other project dictates the size of the purse I make. Each one is always a nice surprise.
Use your leftovers to cover the foundation in a pleasing arrangement. Stitch and Flip patchwork and leftover fabrics to the foundation. Use buttons, beads, and decorative threads to add whimsy, if you choose.
After the patchwork piece is completed, cut a piece of lining to match the finished size. Stitch a pocket at least 1 1/2″ from the top of the lining. Set aside.
Pin the zipper to one edge of the patchwork, with right sides together and zipper closed. Align the raw edge of the fabric with the edge of the zipper tape. Using a zipper foot, stitch 1/4″ from the edge of the zipper tape. The ends of the zipper may extend beyond the patchwork piece as long as it’s at least 1″.
Repeat the above step at the opposite end of the patchwork.
Unzip the zipper. Pin the lining to the patchwork, right sides together, with the zipper sandwiched between the two layers of fabric. Working from the wrong side of the patchwork, stitch on top of previous zipper stitching.
Partially close the zipper. Pull the lining away from the patchwork. If you are making a purse, place the cording inside the patchwork side. Pull 1/2″ of the cord out to the edge of the patchwork, close to the zipper. Pin in place. Pin the side seams of the patchwork together and the side seams of the lining together. Except for the 1/2″ of cording showing, the rest should be inside the bag. Turn the zipper teeth toward the patchwork. Stitch 1/4″ from all raw edges, leaving a 4″ long opening on one side of the lining for turning. Be sure to backstitch carefully over the zipper teeth at both ends. Cut off ends of zipper if they extend beyond the seam edges.
Turn the purse right side out through the lining opening. Pull gently on the cording. Turn in the seam allowance at the lining and stitch closed by machine.
Push lining inside purse. On outside, push in the lower corners to shape box corners. Pin in place. Turn bag inside out and stitch across the corner 1″ from the point, stitching through the lining and the purse layers. Turn right side out.
This created a bottom to your purse or bag.
Now wasn’t that easy? Try another one. It will go much quicker and will be easier than the first one.
To make this process even quicker and easier check out my etsy shop for kits with directions ready to go. I’m having lots of fun creating different sizes and different looks. They just need to be stitched together.
Would love to see what YOU create. Have fun. Send pictures.
Love and Stitches, Judy