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!



juliaD said...

Hi ALison, You are such a lovely genrous person, and I can't wait to try making my own purse!...Thank you..I have bought some unprepped lightwght (8oz) canvas and am wanting to try my hand at painting it, do you prep with anything beforehand, and do you use ord acrylic paints or fabric paints?.... xx...julia

Diana Trout {} said...

Very fun tute! Thanks.

whyducks said...

Very clever

Karen said...

i have a couple colorful placemats that i've been meaning to make into purses....i hadn't figured out how yet though. thanks for the tutorial, it helps a lot! :D

Susan Houseman said...

How cool is that, it's simple, didn't cost a lot for supplies and the best part is you just wing it. Of course, you do make it look really easy:) Thanks

Unknown said...

love!! a placemat purse was my very first sewing project as an adult. it is wonderful because it is an easy, beautiful way to get back in the hang of sewing. your bag came out awesome, it looks like you bought it in a high end boutique!

Crazy RAvens Studio said...

You never cease to amaze and inspire me.

Marty Mason said...

I love this purse...may I share your tutorial on our quilt guild blog

Rachel said...

That is so cute Alisa! Thanks for the great idea, I'll be linking.

Linda Matthews said...

Thanks for such a great tutorial! I added it to my November listings for Free Tote Purse & Bag Tutorials at

Unknown said...

Nice work, we have alot of new handwoven fiber to make placemats and purse, pls visit and give us your comment with many tks


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