I've been wanting to share with you these three great "rag purses" I made almost two weeks ago. My goal was getting one made for my daughter-in-law for her birthday (on February 26th) and I didn't want to post them beforehand just in case she would be checking out my blog.
Here are the three I've made so far:
Above: close up. See the stitched 'x'? Remember that for a bit later.
I'm going to tell you what you'll need to do this, plus direct to a great series of videos for the step by step in case you like a more visual approach. I seriously recommend checking out the video.
Mind you, I had never done this before my three purses. And I created them (with a sewing machine servicing in the middle of the project) in about 3 hours each!
- Sewing machine, thread, scissors (for trimming thread)
- Iron/ironing board or small ironing area (for straps and closure)
- Big Shot Die-Cut Machine
- Stampin' Up! Scallop Square Bigz Clear Die -- this will cut about 8 (yes, that's eight) layers of cotton fabric at a time!
- Batting (thin). I used both regular batting, and, when I ran out, I purchased fuse-able batting from a local pharmacy/dime store. It worked just great.
- Fun button for your closure
Determine how many patterns you want to use. I used 3 for two of my purses and a "pile of 5" squares pre-packaged quilt pieces" for the third. I purchased my fabrics from a quilt store for the first time 'round. I figured I'd have the best and easiest choice of fabrics there.
For each pattern I purchased a "fat-quarter-yard". Fabric stores and quilting shop know this term---that's where I learned it. :) I'm not sure if these are usually remnants or if they're just cut as a generous quarter yard.
You will need a total of 19 squares for a purse like the ones I made--that's 38 die-cut squares. Trust me.
- Six squares for each side = 12
- Two squares for each end = 4
- Three squares for the bottom = 3
You'll also need 2 strips of 24" x 2-1/2" fabric for the handles and 1 strip of 12 " x 2" fabric for the closure. The way my pieces of 'fat quarters' worked, I had only 22" available, rather than 24" and it worked just fine! I also made one strap from pattern #1, the second strap from pattern #2, and the closure from pattern #3. I had only a wee little bit of scrap fabric when I was done!
Batting: for each purse, cut 19 3-1/4" x 3-1/4" squares.
After your 38 fabric squares are cut out, you'll need to make 19 'sandwiches': fabric, batting, fabric. Pin those pieces together. Sew a large "X" in each sandwich, from corner to corner on the diagonal. Reference the 1st three diagrams below. They aren't numbered but just count from the top down.
Above: CLICK ON THIS DIAGRAM FOR A FULL PAGE VIEW. It will open in a separate page. Making this 4 part full page diagram is a test using My Digital Studio. I can turn a 'page' into a jpg. It should have lots of tweaking. But this post also should have been finished last week, so no tweak time. :)
After all 19 squares are sewn with the "X", position them in the pattern you want. If your squares don't have the same pattern on each side, determine which pattern you want on the outside and which patterns, therefore, on the inside of the bag.
TIP: (this isn't really a tip but......) You might want to use a solid fabric for the inside of your purse. If that's the case, be sure to purchase it and put it into your cutting scheme: That would become 19 patterned squares, 19 solid squares, remnants for the handles and closure.
Stitch all squares together, using a 3/8" to 1/2" seam. Make your handles and closure according to the video (3rd video) and stitch them in place.
Here's the "fun" part. You could also call it tedious. With your paper snips, snip along each and every scalloped edge, every 1/4", to just before the stitched seam. After all scalloped edges are snipped, launder your bag on a gentle cycle. Dry. You are d-o-n-e.