Wednesday, June 06, 2007

How to Sew a Drawstring Placemat Purse

Do you ever have a day that starts out great but by the end of the workday you feel like you've had the wind knocked out of you? It doesn't happen to me often, but today was one of those days.

Needless to say I was glad when the end of the workday came around and I could head home. I even felt a bit out of sorts as I went to my sewing room...usually the one place that where I can completely unwind and relax.

However, when I checked my email and blog - well, there were all of these wonderful comments on my faux wrap knit dress! Thank you, thank you, thank you! Today was a day that those kind comments were especially appreciated!

Since I couldn't quite decide on a new sewing project I pulled out my brand- new, hot off the press, autographed by the author, copy of the Low-Sew Boutique book.

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One of my purses in the gallery section is the embroidered drawstring purse (that can be seen on page 123 in the book).

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I brought this purse into work last week in an ill-disguised attempt to get some compliments. Hey, what can I say? I'm only human and sometimes I'm a bit too self-centered. LOL! My co-workers thought it was pretty cute and I promised that if they found the placemat I would sew the purse for them.

You, however, know how to sew. So let me show you how simple it is to create this particular placemat purse.
  • Purchase an embroidered cloth placemat. I found mine at Pier 1.
  • Cut two pieces of pre-packaged bias tape to use as the casing. I used double-fold because that was what I had on hand in the color I wanted to use. You could also make your own bias strips with coordinating fabric.
  • Sew the casing on the wrong side of the placement, positioning it 1" down from the top of the placement and ending 3/4" from the side edge of the placement.
  • Fold the placemat in half, right sides together, and stitch the sides together in a 1/2" seam allowance.

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    • To make the boxed corner at the bottom of the purse, open the side seam so that it forms a triangle at the bottom (the folded edge). Stitch across the triangle 1-1/4" from the tip.

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    • Insert ribbon or cording into the casing.
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  • The finishing touch is to sew a coordinating trim on the outside of the purse 2-1/2" to 3" from the top.
  • Pull the drawstring tightly to close the bag - either from both sides so you have two loops to hold on to (as pictured in the book) or on one side creating one large loop with which to carry the bag.
  • The final product is an adorable little bag that is the perfect size to carry my cell phone, car key, lipstick and a bit of cash or a cash card.
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All for a total cost of under $12.
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  1. This purse is too cute for words! I think that in white (or the "colour theme") this would make the perfect little purse for a bride! I have seen some in the store, not nearly as beautiful as this one, go from $20 and way up. Thank you for the idea.

  2. So cute!!! Congratulations again on the book - it figures it's out already, I just place an Amazon order. DRAT!



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