Monday, September 10, 2012

Asymmetrical Place-mat Purse

A.k.a. the wonky envelope purse.

This is quick and easy purse to sew.  If you have made lined purses before,(pulling the entire purse through an opening in the lining) then this purse will take no time at all to sew.  If you're totally unfamiliar with sewing linings into purses, check out this tutorial by  Patty at Make it Cozee.  She takes great photos (much better than mine!) and let's the pictures tell the story.  So all you visual learners will totally dig this tute.

Easy Instructions:
  1. Check out my diagram and see how I gave an ordinary placemat a wonky asymmetrical fold.  Just play around with it until you get a shape you like.  Press down the folds and trim off the overlapping edges.
  2. Use the resulting placemat shape to cut out your lining fabric.  Remember to make sure you are cutting out the correct side of the lining.  With asymmetrical shapes it can get tricky!
  3. Press corresponding folds into your lining.  Now you can add pockets and the male half of a magnetic snap to your lining. 
  4. Stitch the side edges of your purse, right sides together.  According to my diagram, stitch the red edges together and the blue edges together.  Do the same thing to the lining, right sides together.
  5. Turn you purse right side out and place it inside your lining, right sides together.  Carefully pin the edges of the purse and lining together.
  6. Stitch all the way around the pinned edges, but leave a 3 inch (or so) opening on the front edge (the edge under the flap). Trim off the seam allowances at the corners.  
  7. Pull the fabric through the opening and situate until it looks like a real purse.   Press all the edges neat and tidy.  (See Cozee's tutorial for great instruction and photos.)
  8. Mark on the front of the purse where the female half of the magnetic snap should be placed.  Reaching through the opening in the front edge, attach the snap to the front of the purse.  See?  No measuring!
  9. You can hand sew the opening closed now, though I usually don't.  Then top stitch all the way around all the edges.  That's it!  You're done!
You could add some dimension to the bag by squaring off the bottom at step 4. The tutorial I mentioned in teh first paragraph also shows how to square off the bottom of the bag.  Check out Patty's tutorial HERE.   Or you could make a strap or handle and add it to the outer fabric at step 4 as well.  Adding some extra structure with interfacing or fusible fleece or Peltex/Timetex is another option.  A simple purse like this is also just crying out for fabric flowers or silver studs don't you think?

Did you notice the cool pintucks/mexican pleating on the placemat?  This corresponds with my current sewing challenge:  The Fab Fold Challenge.  So if you're reading this before 10-30-12, press this button and check out the challenge homepage:
Fab Folds Sewing Challenge

So what do you think?  Could you use a little wonky envelope purse?  How would you tweak the idea and make it your own?

Happy crafting and big hugs from Montana,
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  1. This is sooo good! You know that I'm going to try it :)
    Thank you for tutorial!

  2. Gorgeous clutch!! I love the fabric on it. Thanks for the shout out :D

  3. Ready for a night out, Rikka. Your clutch looks great!!! Kudos to you... the finished clutch doesn't look at all like a place mat.


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