Picking up where we left off, today we finish the focus fabric purse. Click on Focus Fabric Purse Part 1 if you missed it. So far we’ve made the quilted base and the pockets, and added handles. Today we finish the bag, adding embellishments, finishing the seams and boxing the corners.
If you want to sew the finishing buttons on the outside front by machine, you can do that now, before sewing the next step. Now that all the pockets are done, fold the purse right sides together creating a bag 12×18 with the handle edges meeting. Sew the side seams with a generous 1/4-3/8-inch seam. This will allow the binding to be stitched inside the initial seam.
Cut binding strips for the raw edges inside and around the top. This should be about 40-inches for around the top, and about 15 inches for each side, to allow for overlap. Stitch the binding on one side of the purse inside seam. The added benefit of doing the purse this way is the extra side stitching adds strength.
Fold the binding over the raw edge, folding the ends under first to create a finished end.
Then wrap the long folded edge over, pin in place. Machine stitch down along the folded edge. Repeat for the other inside seam.
On the bottom, box the corners. Refold the bottom edge so the front and back are on the sides of the triangle created with the side seam down the middle. I measure up about 2 inches and draw a line across the point as a sewing line. Stitch on this line. Repeat for the other corner. Clover chalk makes a nice sewing line on black fabric.
Now, bind the top edge of the purse by stitching the binding strip to the outside of the bag. Miter the joining point as usual (see my tutorial on this step of the binding process here).
Then, fold the binding to the inside. You can then stitch this down as you like.
I wanted to do this by hand to minimize the stitching showing on the outside top edge, but you could just as easily do it by machine.
Turn the bag right side out, and push the boxed corners out, smoothing the seam as you go.
Add three accent buttons to the solid strip, if you didn’t do that before the side seams. I was using shank style buttons, so I added them by hand after the main bag was done.
All done and ready to use!
I had a scrap big enough for a sunglasses case, so I made one of those too. I might add a cosmetic case too, and I have enough left over for a large tote bag that will follow later. Download my free Cosmetic Case / Sunglasses Case pattern.
See how the inside pocket just works better with that center seam. It holds its shape better with the batting lining as well.
On the outside front, my little flip phone is easy to get to, but safely held in the pocket.
All done! I carried it on the drive last weekend, wearing my Caliente Hat. Such fun, even if I was the only one in on the joke. No one else noticed, LOL!!
Great focus Fabrics On Sale Today at Fat Quarter Shop!
I’m thinking this design would work well for other special focus fabrics. How about one in Christmas fabrics for the holidays? Or a blue star print, with a red stripe and white star buttons as a patriotic bag? The ideas are endless! This pattern will remain on the blog as a free pattern. Download the pdf – Focus Fabric Purse. Have fun!!
Do you make your own purses and handbags?
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