**UPDATE** If you'd like this tutorial (and any of my others) in PDF format click here.
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HAVE YOU EVER: wondered how to make those lovely purses with clasp frames; dented, scratched, and ruined a metal frame/frames with those darn pliers; taken apart lots of purses to try to figure how in the heck they put them together...well step this way because we can help.
I have finished the purse that I was working on this week (ohh! and I just love it, but I must be good, it's supposed to an Xmas present). I have used Laundry Day Fabric, and a Modern Silver Frame Med.
Making this purse isn't nearly as tricky as you might think. Try it; it's addictive because they are pretty quick to whip up, and they look fab! The instructions are wordy because I try to be thorough.
Click on any of the pictures to make them bigger.
Here's how I put it together
You will need:
- 1x Modern Silver Frame Med.
- 1/2 yard of Laundry Day Fabric
- 1/2 yard of lining fabric
- 1/2 yard Vilene Heavy Weight Sew-in Interlining (stabiliser) (this stuff is important, without it your purse will feel thin and will make using the frame REALLY awkward).
- 1/2 yard Vilene Firm Fusible Interfacing (stabilser)
- V. strong fabric glue
1. Make up your purse frame pattern part.1 The next two steps can apply to whatever non sew-on purse frame you happen to be using. The main reason that patterns are not made for purse frames is because there are so many purse frame shapes! This means we have to make our own patterns (ahhhhh!!) Don't worry; it's quite easy...
Take your frame and draw around the outside (just the outside, not the inside) of it, also include the points where the hinges stop. I can now design my pattern around the outline of the frame. If you look at the photo of my pattern I have used dotted lines for my pattern.
You will see that the angles of my pattern are quite a bit wider then the right angles of the frame, this is because you want to create puffiness and body on the front of the purse (if you like, you can make the angles even wider. The wider the angle the more puffy your purse will be - trust me, it will work out!) I have also added a 1cm seam allowance onto my desired shape - be sure sure add on your desired seam allowance to your design.
As you can see I wanted a triangular purse shape but you can design whatever shape you want as long as you remember to make the angles of the sides of the pattern a good bit wider than that of your purse frame.
2. Make up your purse pattern part 2 - locating the hinge part of the pattern. An important bit to get right on our pattern is where the flaps open on the purse (or in other words where the purse hinges will sit on the fabric...bear with me, it will be worth it!). Place a top corner of your purse frame onto the top corner of your pattern so that you have lined it up with the (wide angled) sides of your pattern and measure your desired seam allowance (mine is 1cm) plus a few mm more from where the purse hinge ends.
**UPDATE** Now you have read though how to make up a purse pattern from scratch, you can (if you wish) just copy this pattern instead. I know that was tough love, but it's the best way to learn! :)
3. Cut your fabric pieces. From your pattern cut: 2 pieces each of the Laundry day fabric, lining fabric, and the firm fusible interfacing heavy sew-in. **UPDATE** I have found that using two layers of heavy sew-in gives a much nicer puffier finish to the the purse, so cut 4 pieces of heavy sew-in and use two either side. Iron the fusible interfacing onto the wrong side of your exterior fabric (Laundry fabric).
4. Sew exterior bag. Create a sandwich with the Laundry pieces (right sides touching each other) in the middle and the sew-in interlining on the outsides. Pin everything together. Starting from one of your hinge markings sew the sides and bottom of the exterior finishing at the other hinge markings as shown by wonky arrow in the photo.
5. Create a flat bottom for your purse (you can skip this if you want to. (If you do skip this bit, do round off the tips of the triangle to create nice curved corners and go straight to step 6.) Take one of the corners of your exterior bag and match the side seam with the bottom seam line. Flatten to form a triangle. Measure 4cm down from the tip of the triangle mark the line with chalk and pin. Stitch along the marked line and trim the excess fabric 1cm for the seam. Repeat for the other bottom corner of the exterior. Turn exterior bag right side out.
6. Sew lining. With right sides to gether mark the flap opening/hinge bit on the lining to match the mark you made on the exterior bag in step 2. Sew the lining bag in the same way as step 4 EXCEPT YOU HAVE TO LEAVE AN 12CM OPENING IN THE BOTTOM OF THE LINING.
7. With right side out slip the exterior bag into the lining bag. The right sides of the lining bag and the exterior bag should now be touching each other.
8. Sew the two flaps of the purse. On one of the flaps pin the lining to the exterior bag at the top and sides. Begin sewing where the stitching starts on the lining, sew all around the sides and top edge stopping at the stitching on the lining. Repeat with other purse flap.
9. Pull the exterior bag through the hole in the lining. Yep, my favourite bit. Pop the lining into the exterior bag and smooth everything down, press if necessary.
10. Sew gap in the lining closed. Stitch the gap in the lining shut by pushing the raw edges into the hole and top stitching close to the edge for a neat finish.
11. Now for the glue. Apply glue to the channel of one of the sides of the frame. Start at the hinge and work your way to the other hinge. Do be quite generous with the glue or it will all end in tears! Apply glue to the side and top edge of your purse, again be generous - if you are a bit clumsy or you've had a few glasses of wine, you might want to mask the bit of the purse that will not be inserted into the frame with some tape. It doesn't matter if glue oozes onto the frame but it is a pain if it gets all over the fabric. Allow the glue to dry for 5 minutes.
Be quite generous with the glue. This glue btw is the business, it's got more grip than a pot of lobsters!
12. Insert your purse into the frame. Start by inserting the sides of your purse into the frame (hinge end first) then work your way up to the top corners. Use a sharpish object to poke and stuff the fabric evenly into the frame - small sewing scissors are perfect for this job. After you have inserted the sides of the purse into the frame, start inserting the top edge of the purse into the frame working reasonably quickly before the glue dries. Turn the purse over to check that the lining side is also inserted evenly into the frame. Leave to dry for 15min before tackling the other side of the frame and purse in the same way. Let everything dry for about 30 mins and then pick off any stray glue from the frame. Then admire your work and BE DEAD PROUD OF YOURSELF!!