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Do-It-Yourself: Sew a Purse!

completed purse project

Hello Folks! With spring right around the corner, this DIY sewing project is perfect to keep in mind as a rainy day pastime. Mix and match your own colors; use a favorite fabric and coordinate from your stash, or find something totally new! 

Follow Victoria's instructions to create your very own purse, complete with a zippered closure and pockets!

For Printable Instructions, please Click Here.

Materials Needed:

3/4 yard exterior print

1 yard coordinating print

½ yard quilt batting

2 snaps or buttons

12" zipper

14" of elastic


Cutting Instructions:

Exterior Print:

2 pieces 15” wide x 6 ¼” high for the purse back

1 piece 15 wide” × 12" high for the purse front

2 pieces 2” × 8”, 1 piece 2” × 40" for the strap

2 pieces 1 ½” x 12" for the purse top

1 piece 3” x 12" for the purse bottom

1 piece 12" x 18” for the front pocket

Coordinating Print:

3 pieces 15” wide x 12" high, 1 for the inner pocket, 2 for the lining

1 piece 2” x 25" for the strap

2 pieces 1 ½” x 12" for the purse top lining

2 pieces 6 ½” x 8” for the purse back lining

1 piece 3” x 12” for the purse bottom lining

1 piece 3” x 15" for the front pocket trim


1 piece 1 ½” x 40" for the strap

1 piece 3 x 12" for the purse bottom

2 pieces 15" × 12" for the purse sides


Sewing Instructions: let's get started! 


#1. Lay the batting on the wrong side of the 2" x 40” exterior strap piece. Sew straight down the center. Top stitch close to the edge, fastening the batting to the fabric.

Purse, step 2

#2. Sew one of the short pieces onto each end of the lining print strap with right sides facing each other. Iron and top stitch the seam allowance down. 

 Purse, step 2

#3. Lay the strap together, right sides facing each other. Sew down both sides. Turn right side out. Top stitch down the edges so the strap lays flat.

Purse, step 3     Purse, step 4


#1. Lay the side lining pieces over the batting, with wrong side against the batting. Pin; top stich around the edge to keep in place. Quilt the piece by sewing vertically every 1 ½”. Top stitch the edges of the bottom lining to the bottom batting.

Purse, step 5     Purse, step 8

#2. Fold the inner pocket piece in half horizontally. Iron. Pin onto one of the quilted lining sides. Sew down the center to attach the pocket to the lining.

Purse, step 7

#3. Sew the sides together, right sides facing each other.  Lay open the seam allowance and top stitch down on both sides. 

Purse, step 8

#4. Sew the bottom lining onto the sides, starting with the side seam in the center of the 3” end. Make sure the lining is facing up toward the lining inside the bag, with batting showing on the outer sides.


#1. Place one of the back pocket lining pieces onto the lower back purse piece, centered, with the right sides together. Sew across the top. Flip the pocket piece up, iron flat, with all the seam allowance laying up. You should have a T shape, with a smooth seam at the pocket.

Repeat with the top back purse and pocket pieces, but make sure you sew along the bottom of the pocket piece instead of the top. Iron the seam allowance downward. 

Purse, step 9    Purse, step 10

#2. Lay the two T shapes right sides together. Sew around the bottom of the sides and pocket, closing in the pocket. Open the top outside piece, and you should have a full print piece, with a seam across the center and a pocket inside the bottom half. Iron flat. Add a snap or button to keep your pocket closed. 

Purse, step 11

#3. Sew the front pocket trim to the front pocket, right sides together. Iron. Fold the front pocket in half horizontally. Use a gathering stitch to gather the bottom of the pocket to fit the purse front. Thread the elastic through the middle of the folded pocket. Tack on both sides at the very top. Sew just below the elastic to create a casing. Sew the sides of the pocket to the sides of the purse front.

Purse, step 12    Purse, step 13    Purse, step 14

#4. Sew the front and back sides together. Open the seam allowance, iron, and top stitch both sides open.

Purse, step 15

#5. Sew the bottom onto the purse, with all right sides together. Turn inside out.

#6. Set your complete lining inside your purse shell, wrong sides together. Center your strap on both side seams, with the exterior print against the bag, and pin in place. Stitch around the top of the bag.

Purse, step 16

#7. Lay out the top exterior and lining purse pieces. With one side of the open zipper, layer the lining, (right side up), the zipper, (right side up), and the the exterior piece, (right side down). The selvage of the zipper should be running along the outside edge, between your fabric layers. Sew. 

Purse, step 18

Repeat with the other side of the zipper. Close the zipper and iron both exterior pieces away from each other; flip and repeat with lining pieces. The zipper should run exactly along the center of your purse top, with exterior fabric on top, (right sides up), and lining pieces underneath, (right sides down). Top stitch closely along both sides of the zipper to keep the fabrics flat. 

Purse, step 19    Purse, step 18

#8. Sew the purse top onto your bag, leaving the zipper open about an inch. After it's on, you can fiddle the zipper open from inside the bag.

Purse, step 20

Turn bag inside out, and enjoy your new purse!

Purse, step 21    Purse, finished

Click here to read more about Good's Store serving as a fabric store in Lancaster, PA.


  • Beautiful purse, and relatively easy construction, defiantly a beginners purse. Thank you for sharing…

    Laura Smith
  • Thank you so much

    Kathy Hagan
  • Thank you so much for the pattern.

    Mary Ritchie

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