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donderdag 27 maart 2014

A Block Purse

I have made another easy, peasy project! Great gift for a sewing friend! This is what we will make, a block purse
Block Purse
I made myself this small block purse. In the picture it is wonky, because of all the supplies I already put in it! But I only have to grab this purse now and be on my way to my Bee, stitching my houses.

Let’s Start!

You’ll need: 
1 fabric 12”x 7.5” 
1 fabric 18”x 7.5”. 
Felt 1 (or flannel): 11”x 6” 
Felt 2: 2.75”x 5” 
Thin batting (or felt) 19”x 8.5” 
Larger scraps to make pockets 
Zipper 6.5” long (optional) 
2 D- rings (optional) 
Embellishments you like 
2 sets of poppers 
Twill tape 21” x 1” ( or double with smaller twill tape) 
Material to make a stitchery design or orphan block 
Finished size is 17.5”x 7.5”
You can do this either with my stitchery design (copy the drawing in the rectangle) or with some orphan block that is still left in your closet for who knows when! This is the time to take it out!

Make sure the finished size of your block is 5” x 6.5”. Add strips log cabin wise to your orphan block to get to this size. If you don’t want a strip cq. sashing around the stitchery block like I did, the finished size should be 7.5” x 6.25” (including seams).

Now cut a piece of fabric 12”x 7.5” This is the back and “folded in” part of the purse. I had to go wild and made it up from left over jellyrol strips, which I cut in half and sewed together alternating the colours. After that I cut squares 2.75 x 2.75” and made a rail fence pattern. But that is time consuming, so if you want it fast go for the single piece of nice fabric.

Add the front (this stitchery block or your orphan block) to this piece of fabric (join the 7.5” sides) and you have made the first part already, the outside of the purse! Cut a piece of thin batting (I used some thin felt) 19”x 8.5” and put your “just made outside part” on top of it. Quilt this piece, but do NOT add backing! Cut back the extra batting. The finished size of the front part should be 17.5”x 7.5”. Put aside.

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Now we will make the inside part of the block purse. 

Cut a piece of fabric, coördinating with the front, 18”x 7.5”. I have cut a little bigger as the finished front part, as stitching the pockets on can take up a little space. Measure the things you like to store inside this purse and make pockets that will fit those tools and supplies easily. Do not make bulk seams, leave the side parts of pockets flat. We will make the raffling nicer later on. Think about the space needed to fold the purse at 1/3 and 2/3 of the total length and don’t sew pocket ends or felt on or near those creasing lines.


I added a big piece of thin felt to have the pieces of my blocks placed on (1), as they will stick to felt or use flannel. I added a tiny piece of felt to store my used needles (2) Behind that felt block part I made a bigger pocket to hold some projects in (3) and I liked a zipper pocket as well, but I made it with an extra backing so I can use the space behind that pocket to store pattern papers. I added the D rings so I can hang things on them like a scissor or needle case.

Stitch all pockets in place with a 1/8”seam, but with room for ¼” seam on the outside parts, as in the end you will add the binding at ¼”.

I liked making those pockets also out of the leftover strips of my old jellyroll, but it takes more time to do that. You can also take 2 pieces of fabric, sew right sides together (stitch only the top) and turn one of the fabrics to the back and stitch a binding wide down. One of the fabrics (that goes to the back and makes the binding strip) should be cut 0.5” longer as the other one. I usually cut it even 0.75”larger and cut back, so I never end up having just to little to reach the bottom of my pocket.

And I added some small “shoelaces”, made from fabric strips 1”x 10” each (2 sewn on the folding line at 1/3 of the inner space and 2 onto the edge at the right that folds inside) to be able to bind the folding part to the inside of the purse, so it won’t slip out when stored with goodies.

For the inner part you will use twill tape that reaches both sides of pockets next to each other on either side of a folding line. It will cover up all the raveling ends of fabric from the pockets and “shoe laces”. This way it is thinner than sewing a seam and fold back, that will make it all bulky and therefore difficult to fold the purse up, especially with all the goodies stored.

Now the inner part is ready too, it is time to join the two sections. Lay them on top of each other wrong sides together and stitch at 1/3 part on the wide of the purse and at 2/3 part of this purse. These will be the folding lines as well. I stitched my first folding line right after the front block and halfway the single piece of fabric on the outside. If you are not sure you can sew the binding on without having the inner part of the purse shift, sew at 1/8” from the outside to join the sections. After that do it again by sewing the binding on. I sewed the binding on with the inner part facing up, so I could see if I was sewing any lace together with the binding. Fold binding to front and stitch it down as usual. Keep the laces out of the way while you do!

Now store your goodies inside the purse and determine where you want to place the poppers. If you do this while the purse is empty, they might not reach each other when filled. Do bind the inner part with the laces before you decide where to sew the poppers.

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For the stitchery design click HERE (go to the right corner and click on "download original") or email me at I will send it to you in a PDF file...

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