I thought I would share a short tutorial on making these extra cute coin purses today! They make brilliant little gifts and are so handy to have, and I quite often get asked for them. This week my mum asked me for a couple of small purses so it was perfect timing to pass on the knowledge both here and in the Bag Making Adventures and More Facebook group.
My method of putting the zipper in these is a little different to a lot of the tutorials out there – I don’t use tabs but keep most of the zipper tape out of the side seams by turning it at an angle. You’ll see what I mean by this below. It can be a little fiddly but I really like how neat these look. Note that you absolutely need a zipper with a stop for this, zipper tape by the metre will not work.
The appliqué dog on these was based on an image I found on Pinterest. You need something fairly simple that you can easily break down into component parts that are large enough to cut and sew. I drew out what I wanted the final picture to look like, then traced each component part separately to give me templates to draw around. Think carefully about how the pieces will go together and if there will be any overlapping. Simple is definitely best here!
Outer Fabric – 2 rectangles 6 x 4 inches
Lining Fabric – 2 rectangles 6×4 inches
Fusible Interfacing – 4 rectangles 6×4 inches
Fusible fleece – 2 rectangles 5.5 x 3.5 inches
Scraps of faux leather and vinyl
7 inch all purpose, closed end zipper
Method for purse construction
1. Prepare your outer and lining fabric pieces by fusing interfacing to them all. Fuse fleece to the outer pieces leaving a 1/4 inch border on all sides.
2. Cut out your appliqué pieces – for this dachshund I have 5 pieces; a tail, main body, ear, collar and nose. I cut the tail a little longer than required so that it tucks underneath the main body piece.
3. Work out the order that you need to sew your pieces – remember that you need to start at the bottom and add layers upwards. Here, I’m starting with the tail, adding the body piece on top, then the collar, then the ear and nose. Have a play with the pieces so you know exactly how you want them and practice positioning them. Take photos to help if needed.
4. Start with your lowest piece – I glue my pieces and take my time about it, but you could use double sided take for a quick fix instead. WARNING – if you use regular double sided tape, keep it out of your stitching lines because it will gum up your needle and you will swear later! However, the wash away tape you can get for hems is perfect and can be sewn through (but it is pricey).
5. Sew around your piece 1/8 inch from the edge using a longer stitch length (3-3.5 is perfect). Remember to use a Teflon/roller/walking foot to help with this as a regular foot can drag. I didn’t take my own advise here and you can tell… Pull your threads through to the back and tie off.
6. Add the next layer on top, the body piece for me, fixing with glue or tape as required. Sew in the same manner, and continue layering up your pieces until you have completed your appliqué.
7. On the top edge of each outer piece, mark 3/4 inch in from each side, then lay your zipper on top FACE DOWN. Now comes the tricky bit – at the closed end of the zipper, fold the tape upwards at a 90 degree angle as close to the stop as you can get, and line up the vertical part of the zip teeth with the 1/2 inch mark on one side and pin or clip. It’s clearer what this means if you look at the picture below. Pin along the zip until you get to the mark on the other side, then fold the tape and pin again. Remember that the teeth on the zip that are now pointing upwards should line up with the mark. This side is trickier as it’s loose, so if you have any trouble with it put a couple of basting stitches in the end to secure it.
8. Baste the zipper in place, sewing with 1/8 inch seam allowance.
9. Lay the lining piece right side down onto the basted zip, then sew in place with a 1/4 inch seam allowance. Trim the zip ends.
10. Turn the panels so that they are wrong sides together, press away from the zipper and topstitch at 1/8 inch.
11. Repeat steps 7-10 for the other side of the zipper.
12. OPEN YOUR ZIPPER! Flip the panels so that the lining pieces are right sides together, and outer pieces right sides together. Take care to make sure that the outer top edges are nicely lined up.
13. Sew around all 4 edges, leaving a 4 inch turning hole in the bottom of the lining. Go slowly over the join between lining and outer as it can be bulky here, even without the zipper in the seam.
14. Trim the corners and turn the purse right side out. Poke out the corners, and seal the hole in the lining either using a very narrow seam allowance on the machine, or by hand using a ladder stitch.
And you are done!
However, if appliqué isn’t your thing – skip the steps on this and use plain panels front and back. If you want to jazz it up a bit, use a bit of faux leather or vinyl as an accent instead. Not big enough for you? Change the size – make them longer, deeper or both. Up to you. You could even make patchwork panels if you like. Here are a few others I did for small gifts. Cute, aren’t they!?
Hope you enjoyed this tutorial (despite my rubbish photos 😂), and do let me know if you make any.
Love Mrs B x