Knowing how to make a simple quilt purse will allow you to have a variety of bags to go with casual outfits as well as a constant supply of great gifts for any occasion.
Getting Quilted Fabric
You will need quilted fabric in order to make your purse. You can do this in one of three ways:
- Quilting your own fabric allows you to create a bag that is uniquely yours. You can use any combination of fabrics and quilt patterns to make a handbag that will compliment any outfit.
- Buying fabric that has already been quilted is the easiest way to get the fabric, but you will be limited by the selection at your fabric store.
- Buying an old quilt that is too ragged to be fixed (also called a cutter quilt) can allow you to create a beautiful vintage look and repurpose the quilt in the process. You can find these quilts at thrift stores, garage sales, and on eBay. This is often the least expensive option.
How to Make a Simple Quilt Purse
Once you have your fabric, you can decide on the pattern that you want to use. There are many free fabric purse patterns on the Internet, and almost all of them can be made with quilted fabric. If you will be using a pattern, then you will follow it exactly as written.
If you want to create a simple bag quickly here is one you can sew up in one afternoon.
- Quilted fabric 22 inches by 33 inches
- Lining fabric in a complimentary design (also 22 inches by 33 inches)
- Sewing machine
- Dressmakers marking pen or chalk
You can use reversible quilted fabric to make this easier if you like. If you don't, you will place the lining fabric on the quilted fabric, wrong sides together.
- Baste the fabric about an eighth of an inch from the edge to keep the layers of the fabric together.
- Measure a line all the way down the fabric about 13 ½ inches from the left side. Mark the line on the lining of the purse.
- Measure the same distance from the right side of the fabric and mark it as well.
- The six-inch strip left in the center is the bottom of the bag.
- Stitch along the two marked lines with a straight stitch.
- Keep the wrong side (lining side) of the bag out stitch the sides together using a ¼ inch seam allowance.
- Miter the corners at the bottom of the bag. This is done by sewing a diagonal line where the bottom of the bag connects with the body of the bag. There will be four miters.
- Turn the bag right side out.
Decide what type of handles you want on your purse. You can buy wooden handles at many craft stores, or you may want to attach fabric handles.
To Make Fabric Handles
Fabric handles are easy to make, and they look good with quilted purses. Because they are lined with batting and seamed, they last for a long time.
- Quilt batting cut one inch wide and as long as you want the strap to be
- Cotton fabric to coordinate with your bag, cut as long as you like and three inches wide
- Press a ¼ inch fold along one edge of the cotton fabric.
- Lay the cotton on the table wrong side up and center the batting along the middle of the cotton strip.
- Fold the unpressed edge of the cotton up and over the batting to the center.
- Fold the pressed edge over the unpressed edge. The crease should be all that shows, and the batting should be completely covered by the fabric.
- Press carefully and pin through all layers.
- With the fold facing toward you, stitch down the center of the strip, sewing through the pressed fold as well as all the layers of batting and fabric.
- Sew a line down the left side of the strip a short distance away from the center line.
- Measure and sew another line down the right side of the strip the same distance from the center line as the left seam.
- Sew the handle to the bag with the seams on the inside. You can make one or two handles.
Teaching a child how to make a simple quilt purse is a great way for them to learn to sew. Use these instructions or some of your own to create an entire wardrobe of handmade bags.