Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Tutorial for a Basic Black Purse

I have been planning a class with a group of six gals and one guy from our Airstream club to make a New Orleans Saints purse, so I thought I would do a tutorial here first and print it so it will make teaching a group easier....I hope!  This tutorial shows a basic black purse that you can add flowers or vintage pins to for a change!  Here goes!

First, you need to decide how large you are going to make your purse.  I have gathered the materials and cut out the black wool for the exterior of the purse and the handle, fabric for the lining and pockets and the stabilizer.  Size doesn't matter in this case, because the steps will remain the same no matter how large you make your purse.  I'll add pictures as I go to help you along. 

Here are the parts all cut out:
Then I stitched the pockets together, clipped the edges, turned them and pressed them.

I always press at each stage to keep the pieces nice and flat.  This little pointy thing really helps me get the corners out

 At this point, center the pocket onto the lining and the stabilizer, pin in place and stitch the pocket through the lining and the stabilizer. 

Pin the edges of the lining fabric and the stabilizer and stitch all the way around.

Stitch around each pocket and around each edge of the lining fabric. 

The next step is to sew the two lining pieces together.  Leave them OPEN at the bottom so you can turn the purse inside out later.  This is the opening for turning the purse.

You stitch both sides, leaving the top completely open and stitching a little way on each side, backstitching to secure the edges where you will be turning, because it puts a lot of pressure on these seams.  This is how you square off the bottom for a nice finished edge.

You will stitch the sides of the purse the same way you did the lining, except you won't leave an opening.  So stitch down each side and the bottom, leaving the top open. 
The next step is to square off the edges of the purse.  Be sure to line up your seams to keep the seams straight.

The next step is to stitch the handle and turn it.  There is a great turning tool for this step.
Press the handle leaving the seam in the center, then attach it to the sides of the purse, making sure that the seam is on the inside. and stitch over several times to secure. 

Leave right side out and with the lining right side on the inside, slip the purse into the lining being sure to push the handle down so it won't be stitched except at the edge.

Pin securely, then stitch in place.  You should be looking at the wrong side of the purse inside the right side of the lining.  Double check this step before stitching!!
The next step is to turn the purse right side out.  You will feed the purse through the opening in the lining at the bottom.

Now that you have finished stitching your purse, press the lining back inside the purse.  The opening can be stitched by hand.  If you don't stitch the lining, all your coins will wind up in the bottom of your purse!

Here the purse is completed.  All you have left to do is topstitch the edge of the purse about a quarter of an inch from the top AFTER pressing it in place!  Pressing is your friend!  I admit I didn't take the time to press and topstitch, but I will!!  Here is the completed purse with a flower on it instead of the fleur de lis.  If you make a basic black purse, you can change it up with decorative flowers or pins all the time.

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