Wednesday, July 14, 2010

placemat purse tutorial

While I love designing and making handbags, I am not a big fan of carrying a traditional purse! That is why since high school, I have carried or worn a cross the body purse ( I have TONS of them-like TONS!) and I am always looking to add more to my collection.

Lately I have been inspired to create some purses for myself with placemats-there are some really cute, colorful, and textural options available for cheap. Who says you have to shop for fabric in a fabric store!?!

While browsing at Target I found this straw placemat for $3.00. I liked it because it was neutral, it felt light and airy and was full of texture. Though I knew it would be a little challenging to sew with (I like a challenge!)- I knew that it would end up make a great little straw purse that I could wear with all of my white summer dresses.

There are a number of really simple patterns for cross body purses out there- I did not use a pattern for this project. If you are not comfortable "winging it" like I do, I would recommend using a pattern.

I started by folding the placemat in half and then cutting up the middle- there will be enough material for two purses!

I cut to size lining for the inside of the purse from unbleached muslin.

Next I cut everything in half so that I had a front and back.

I sewed a zipper to the top of the purse.

and inserted a braided cord for the strap and sewed up both sides with a tight zig zag stitch and then sewed up the bottom.


Last, I turned everything right side out!
fyi- because this material is like woven straw it was little challenging to turn right side out and straighten out.


and there you have it- a cute little straw purse!



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