March 2014, Singapore, an emergency purse is bought in absence of a handbag needed to go clubbing. Turns out it is -the perfect- purse, including a soothing kitten to stroke in times of need for something soft. In fear of it falling apart (it was dirt cheap), the search for a replacement begins, but fails miserably. The size, the phone pocket, the arm strap, the many pockets on the inside, and of course the soft kitten to stroke. All simple features on their own, but combined they make for an unique purse it seems. So a new search begins, for enough courage to make a copy. Loads of how-to’s on line are read, for purses with some of the features, but never all. Then, after more than 2 years have gone by, the Work begins! Fabric is bought, a toile is made, then a first attempt which is soon ript apart to start again. And then… I proudly present you the Purr Purse, together with the inspiration.
Since this was quite the project, I wanted to make a manual on how to do it. Not an easy task and it made me appreciate the sewing descriptions available even more. Also, drawing is hard! But I persevered, so here it is.
Stuff you need:
- Fabric cut in rectangles of 12.5 x 19.5 cm, which is including 1 cm seam allowance:
- 2x outer material (yellow)
- 2x fusible interface (not used this time, but would recommend it)
- 4x faux leather (purple)
- 8x lining (white with constellations)
- More faux leather for bits and pieces:
- P: 2x zipper pull tags (1.5 x 2 cm)
- E: eye for hook (1.5 x 6 cm)
- Z1: zipper end enclosure (4 x 6 cm)
- Z2: zipper end enclosuer (3 x 3 cm)
- T: 2x enforcement top (3 x 19.5 cm)
- S: arm strap (1.5 x 32 cm)
- Soft fabric for kitten (5 x 10 cm, brownish purple)
- Non-fabric things
- 3x zipper (15, 17.5 and 21 cm) The long zipper might have courser teeth.
- bias band to finish lining seams (roughly 120 cm, white)
- hook to attach strap to loop (copper)
- 2x small rings (1 cm diameter, copper)
- thread matching all fabrics (i.e. yellow, purple and white)
At every step, consider which colour thread to use. Always use same color for top and bottom thread for the best result.
- Step 1: Prepare the faux leather bits and pieces
- Step 2:
Inner pocket zipper. Insert zipper for the inner pocket, including the zipper end enclosure Z2 (see drawing). Don’t sew zipper into the seam allowance. Leave room to tug away the zipper ends. Add lining.
- Step 3: Prepare inner pocket. Top stitch the zipper, be careful not to sew into the seam allowance. Sew lining and faux leather together within the seam allowance, to make things easier in later steps.
- Step 4: Prepare inner halves of the outer pocket. Sew faux leather and lining together (r.s. together), top stitch (w.s. together). Sew lining and faux leather within seam allowance (w.s. together).
- Step 4a: Prepare ending of the main zipper, as explained with step 9.
- Step 5:
Combine. Sew inner pocket and inner halves of the outside pockets together at 3-4 cm from the edge. Inner pocket is positioned 1 cm downwards relative to outer pockets. Use thread in the color of the faux leather, this will show in the end result. Catch zipper enclosure of large zipper (see step 9) within this seam.
- Step 6: Finish inner pocket. Put the inner pocket together inside out, i.e faux leather sides together (purple thread). While doing this, bundle up the inner halves of the outer pockets, to get them out of the way of the seam. Sew together, making sure to trap the zipper endings in the seam. Don’t forget to include the eye for hook attaching the arm strap at the opposite side of the ending of the large zipper (see step 5). Finish the seems with bias band.
- Step 7:
Side zipper. Apply fusible interface to outside material (yellow). In 1 outer side, cut an opening, similar to halve a welt pocket, to insert the side zipper (2 cm from the sides, 3 cm from the top). Add lining to zipper. See also the drawing for this step.
- Step 7a: Kitten. Cut kitten shape and sew to other outer side. Position it, such that your thumb will rests on it when holding the purse.
- Step 8: Phone pocket.
8a: Attach faux leather top enforcement to other half of the zipper and top of the side panel, folding away the “welt pocket triangles”. Top stitch zipper.
8b: Add lining to top half of zipper.
8c: Sew outside fabric + 2 layers of lining together within the seam allowance. Trim excess lining fabric.
- Step 9:
Main zipper. Attach zipper enclosure Z1 to start of the large zipper (see drawing) and insert zipper to outer sides, similar to the inner pocket zipper at step 2. Make sure you enclose the zipper endings.
- Step 10: Outer pockets. Fold away the inner pocket and 1 inner half. Sew together the first outer pocket. Repeat for the other outer pocket. Procedure is similar to inner pocket at step 6.
And here once more the same description, now in all it’s hand written beauty.