Something to Make in September

Carrying on with our theme of something to make for our future sales table, this delightful Japanese Purse Project is quick to make and uses only a small amount of fabric.

These could also be a useful gift for a child when made in children’s fabric.  I personally keep my keys in one and my mobile phone headphones in another, in my handbag.  When I put my hand in my bag, they are easy to find.

I layered my fabrics when cutting out, as I made four, but here are the requirements and instructions for one. 


– 8″ x 8″ piece of main fabric

– 8 x 8″ piece of contrast fabric

– 18.5″ x 1.25″ of main fabric (for drawstring)

– 2 x 10mm buttons or beads to match main fabric

Other Bits:

-Matching Cotton in both Top and Bobbin threads

-Fabric Scissors 

-Rotary Cutter and Mat

-6” x 24” Quilters Ruler.

-Soluble Marker Pen

-Seam Pointer

-Safety Pin (or bodkin)



-Iron and Board

-Quarter Inch Foot For Sewing Machine


Cut out your main and contrast fabric at 8″ x 8″.

Pin your main and contrast fabric with right sides together, leaving a 3 inch gap so that you can turn it the right way out after joining.

Start and end your sewing at each end of the 3 inch gap, using a quarter inch seam allowance and a normal 2.2 size stitch length and when sewn, cut the corners off to avoid bulk (being careful not to cut through any stitches). 

Turn your fabric to the right side, pointing the corners out and folding the seam allowance to the inside where you have left a gap, and iron this flat.

Sew around the top edge of your square using a quarter inch seam allowance.

Using paper, cut out a 3.3/8ths square to use as a template (this is roughly 8.5cms) and after diagonally folding your fabric square, place the template as shown and draw around the edges using a water soluble pen 

Remove the template and fold the top pointed edge down so that a small triangle is made and pin it down through one side only.  Repeat this with the other side.  

You will need to now sew a generous quarter inch seam along the top of this straight edge (on each side individually), which will form a channel.  It is important that you sew straight, if you waiver and go too narrow, you won’t be able to pull your strap through this channel later on.

The next stage is to bring the front and back fabric together as before, and sew them together down the two side lines you drew from the template.

On the two sides that remain, you will need to (press them with your fingers, so that you can bring the pointed edges up to the top, and put a pin in to hold them in.

Carefully turn the whole thing inside out (being careful not to catch your fingers on the two pins), and press the inside down so that it all lies flat.

Press the bag flat so that the two bottom pieces meet to pointed edges.  Measure from the point 3/8ths of an inch (1cm) and draw a straight line across and put a pin in each side to hold the shape.

Sew a straight line of stitching across this line to ‘box’ the corners and remove your pins from the bottom.

The next step is to turn the bag back to the right side keeping the pin in from before.

The middle of these sides should be pulled across the front and back, so that the left side touches the right side and using a tacking stitch, stitch them together, and then add a button on top (do this at both sides).  Please note that the upper triangle remains loose so that the point is not stitched down when sewing your button on, it all stays loose from the fabric at the back.

Remove the pin from the sides and fold the top edges down so that they fold at the half way mark, and tack the points down to the bottom with a few stitches.

Put your hand inside and open the pouch up ready for the insertion of the strap.

Make your strap by folding the fabric in half along the length and ironing a crease line, then open it out and fold each long edge in to meet the fold line.  Iron again, to hold both edges down, then fold in half lengthwise and iron again.  This should give you a strip that is just over 1/4 inch in width.

Stitch along the open edge of the strip of fabric, at around 1/8th of an inch, using a stitch length 3.

(I left a few inches at either end open so that I could sew the edges together once the strap had been threaded through, so that there where no loose ends.)

If you don’t want to complete the strap this way (as it is a bit fiddly).  You can first of all fold each end over by 1/4 of an inch, before sewing down the strap.  When threaded through you could put a knot to stop it being pulled back out again so the edges won’t fray.

Using a safety pin or bodkin, pull the strap through the channels you created along the top edge.

If you left the ends open, open them up and join them together using a 1/4 inch seam.  Fold the strap closed and stitch along the open edge remaining, again at 1/8th of an inch, to close the strap off.

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