Home » Posts » Crafts with my Grandma: Mini Purses

Crafts with my Grandma: Mini Purses

mini purses | the hobby room diaries

You’ve heard me talk about how crafty my grandma is before, so I’m sure it is no surprise that I got this latest project from her.  She came down to have a craft day with me the other afternoon after I had seen these cute mini purses she’s been making and asked for a tutorial.  The best part about this pattern is that it’s ultimately customizable:

  1. you pick any fabric you want
  2. you pick the combination of panels/stripes you want
  3. you can make this any size you want
  4. you can add any pockets or wrist straps you want
  5. you can have a plain bottom or square bottom

Well, have I sold you?  Want to make a couple mini purses for your very own?  Here’s how.

Supplies you need to make a 6 inch by 7 inch bag:

  • total of 1/4 yard of fabric in coordinating colors and patterns
  • 1/4 yard one-sided fusible batting, such as Pellon Fusible Thermolam Plus
  • coordinating polyester zipper, at least 12″ long
  • coordinating thread
  • pins, iron and ironing board, parchment paper, ruler
Let’s get started by cutting all the pieces:
  • two 7 x 8 inch pieces of batting
  • two lining pieces 6 1/2 x 7 1/2 inches
  • four outside edge strips 1 3/4 x 7 1/2 inches
  • two outer contrast strips 3 1/2 x 7 1/2 inches
  • wrist strap and zipper edge cover 2 x 12 inches
1.  Fuse lining to batting pieces according to directions on wrapper.  Use parchment paper to sandwich the pieces in order to keep batting from fusing to the iron and the ironing board.  Using a straight edge, trim the batting the same size as the lining.
2.  Fold the fused pieces in half horizontally to find the half way point and clip a tiny notch to mark.  Do the same with the contrast strip of fabric.  Match the half way points and pin contrast strips right side out to the batting.  Align edge strips even with the contrast strip, right sides down, and pin in place.
3.  Sew a 1/4″ seam down each side of the strips to secure to the batting.  Fold open and press flat.  Trim any uneven edges using a straight edge.
4.  Take the long strip of fabric you cut and press in half lengthwise.  Open up and fold each side in to the middle and press again.  You have just made your own faux bias tape.
5.  Now for the zipper.  About two inches from the secured end of the zipper, slowly make three passes back and forth with your sewing machine.  Cut off the end of the zipper leaving about 1/8″ on the outside of the sewing.  Using a piece of the wrist strap a little wider than the zipper, place the zipper between the folded edges and sew across back stitching on each end.  Trim the fabric even with the zipper.
6.  Holding the zipper up to the batting pieces, mark the unfinished end of the zipper one inch from the edge of the bag.  This is where this end of the zipper needs to be sewn.  However, this is a little more difficult since the zipper needs to be open or you will end up cutting off the important part and waste a zipper.  Please, OPEN THE ZIPPER BEFORE PROCEEDING.  If it helps, pin the ends of the zipper to a scrap piece to keep them in place, then sew.  Proceed the same as for the other end by sewing across a couple times, then placing in a piece of the wrist strap faux bias tape, then sewing and trimming.



7.  Sew the zipper to the batting pieces.  First lay the zipper face down on the outside of one piece of batting.  Center it between the ends, pin in place, and stitch across.  Then do the same thing with the other piece.  Zigzag the outside of each seam to prevent fraying.  Sew the edges of the zipper down with a seam close to the seam attaching the zipper to the body of the bag.


8.  Prepare the wrist strap by sewing down each long edge to secure the sides together.  Wrap around your wrist to determine the appropriate length and trim accordingly.
9.  Holding the two batting pieces right sides together, align the seams for the strips and pin in place.  Place the wrist strap between the pieces near the zipper and pin in place.
10.  Before you sew the bag together, make sure the zipper is open so you will be able to turn the bag right side out when done.  Also, take care to not sew the fabric zipper ends when sewing the bag together.  Sew a 1/4″ seam first down each side, back stitching at each corner, then across the bottom of the bag. Follow these seams with a zigzag stitch around the whole edge of the bag.
11.  Trim the point off the bottom corners and trim all threads, then turn the bag right side out.  Using a bone folder or non-sharp, but pointy, object push out the corners gently to square the bag.
Let me just say, the purse is a lot easier to sew than the length of the instructions would appear.  If you have questions or if I left anything out, please, please, please send me a message to let me know so I can fix the instructions.  Obviously you can change the size or add a pocket to the lining before fusing or give it a square bottom.  I will be doing a tutorial for making mini purses with square bottoms soon, so stay tuned if that interests you.


mini purses | the hobby room diaries

Do you love the fabulous batik fabric I used?  It’s from my grandma’s huge fabric stash and there’s more where that came from so there just might be a purse to giveaway in the near future . . .


Want the hobby room diaries right in your inbox? You betcha.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *