Today during Christmas in July with Fabric.com, we're planning for all those Parties in December. When you're out and about on the town during this most festive time of the year, one of the best accessories to have is a pretty purse. You'll need something big enough to hold all the essentials... perhaps even generous enough to tuck in a few holiday hostess gifts. And, you'll want an elegant style that can blend with your best little black dress as well as a casual Christmas sweater and jeans. This design is based on our original Mini Wristlet pattern, but we've re-imagined it as a larger bag and added some very unique zipper accents thanks to the innovative zippers we found at Fabric.com. One is an amazing crystal zipper, the other's a great chunky metal zipper.
Both zippers we selected were quite long, 22" – longer than we needed for our bag. So we cut the top to fit, then added a little pocket to the front panel, using the remaining zipper as an accent – like piping. Mixing and matching colors, prints and textures is a great way to move your project up the fashion ladder. Besides, a little extra sparkle is what the holiday season is all about.
We made two pouches. One features a gorgeous ikat damask, the other is a classic ticking. The lining for each features a fun Dear Santa fabric for a bit of hidden holiday cheer. Both bags will serve you well during the holidays and beyond.
Did you know all the related articles within any series are listed at the bottom of each project page. Simply scroll to the bottom to find a handy list. All five days are sponsored by our friends at Fabric.com, and we thank them so much for all their support. If you're a fabric "shop-a-holic like we are, you'll want to learn more out about the Fabric.com Frequent Shopper Program where you can accumulate points to redeem for discount coupons to use on future purchases.
Our pouches finish at approximately 15" wide x 10" high with a 12" strap.
Sewing Tools You Need
- Any Sewing Machine (we recommend the Janome Memory Craft 6300)
- Zipper foot
- Quarter Inch Seam foot (optional)
- Satin Stitch foot (optional)
Fabric and Other Supplies
Supplies and instructions are for ONE zippered pouch.
- ½ yard of 54"+ wide medium to heavy weight cotton for the main exterior; we used the following two fabrics:
54" wide Woven Jacquard Ikat Damask in Pewter (item #UK-223) by Robert Allen from Fabric.com
54" wide Timeless Ticking in Black (item #WV-049) by Waverly from Fabric.com
- ¼ yard of 54"+ wide medium to heavy weight cotton for the bottom exterior and strap; we used the same fabric for both our pouches (remember, the amount of fabric specified here is for ONE pouch) 58" wide 6.5 oz Denim in Charcoal (item #DL-829) by Robert Kaufman from Fabric.com
- ½ yard of 44-45" wide quilting weight cotton for the lining; again, we used the same fabric for both our pouches (the amount of fabric specified here is for ONE pouch) 45" wide Dear Santa Envelope in Black (item #0285225) by Quilting Treasures from Fabric.com
- ⅝ yard of 20" lightweight fusible interfacing; we used Pellon 950F Shir-Tailor®
NOTE: We used interfacing to add that extra bit of crispness to the pouch. If you feel your fabric is already heavy and crisp enough, you can skip the interfacing.
- ONE 22" decorative zipper: the zipper is an important feature of this pouch as both the opening and the front pocket detail; we used two unique zippers from Fabric.com
L'orna Crystal Zipper in Black
Coats & Clark Fashion Aluminum Zipper in Black
- ONE 1" ring for the strap; we used a rectangular metal ring purchased locally
- All purpose thread to match fabrics
- All purpose thread in a contrasting color to attach pocket and for topstitching; we used black and medium gray on our two pouches
- See-through ruler
- Fabric pen or pencil
- Seam gauge
- Seam ripper
- Scissors or rotary cutter and mat
- Strong scissors to cut zipper to length
- Iron and ironing board
- Straight pins
- Hand sewing needle
- From the fabric for the main exterior, fussy cut the following:
ONE 8½" high x 16" wide rectangle for the front top, then cut this piece into two sections: one at 3½" x 16 for above the zipper and one at 5" x 16" for below the zipper.
ONE 6" high x 6½" wide rectangle for the pocket
ONE 8" high x 16" wide rectangle for the back top
- From the fabric for the bottom exterior and strap, cut the following:
TWO 4" high x 16" wide rectangles
ONE 2½" x 28" strip for the strap
- From the fabric for the lining, fussy cut the following:
ONE 3½" high x 16" wide for the top front
ONE 8" high x 16" wide for the bottom front
ONE 11" high x 16" wide for the back
ONE 11" high x 7½" wide for the inside pocket
ONE 6" high x 6½" wide for the front pocket lining
- From the interfacing, cut the following:
ONE 3½" x 16" rectangle for the top front
ONE 5" x 16" rectangle for the bottom front
ONE 8" x 16" rectangle for the top back
TWO 4" x 16" rectangles for the bottom front and back
ONE 1" x 28" strip for the strap
At Your Sewing Machine & Ironing Board
Fusing all exterior pieces
- Match up each exterior fabric piece with its corresponding interfacing piece. Following manufacturer's directions, fuse the interfacing to the wrong side of each fabric piece.
- Find the 28" strap piece and the 28" interfacing strip.
- Fold the fabric strip in half lengthwise, wrong sides together, and press to set a center crease.
- Following manufacturer's instructions, fuse the interfacing strip to the wrong side of the fabric strip, placing one edge of the interfacing along the center crease line.
- Fold in both 28" raw edges of the fabric strip ¼". Press well.
- Re-fold the strip in half again so the long folded edges are aligned the length of the strip. Press and then pin in place.
- Edgestitch along the folded edges to secure.
- Trim 3" off one end; you'll use this later to create the strap loop.
- Set the strap and the loop aside.
Front panel - below the zipper
- Find the 5" x 16" front section and one of the 4" x 16" bottom sections.
- Pin the two sections right sides together along one 16" side.
NOTE: If you are using a directional motif, make sure you are pinning the BOTTOM of the 5" x 16" section to the TOP of the 4" x 16" section.
- Using a ½" seam allowance, stitch together.
- Press the seam allowance towards the bottom section.
- Topstitch ¼" from the seam within the bottom section. We used our Janome Quarter Inch Seam foot to maintain a perfectly straight seam.
- Find the 8" x 16" back section and the remaining 4" x 16" bottom section.
- Pin the two sections together right sides together along one 16" side.
NOTE: As above, if you are using a directional motif, make sure you are pinning the BOTTOM of the 8" x 16" section to the TOP of the 4" x 16" section.
- Using a ½" seam allowance, stitch together.
- Press the seam allowance towards the bottom section.
- Topstitch ¼" from the seam within the bottom section.
Lining panel with pocket
- Find the 7½" x 11" lining pocket piece.
- Fold in half, right sides together, making it 7½" x 5½".
- Pin in place along both sides and across the bottom, leaving an approximate 3" opening along the bottom for turning.
- Using a ½" seam allowance, stitch along both sides and across the bottom, pivoting at the corners. Remember to lock your seam at either side of the opening. Clip the corners and press open the seam allowance.
- Turn right side out through the bottom opening. Push out the corners so they are nice and sharp. A chopstick or long knitting needle works well for this.
- Fold in the raw edges of the opening so they are flush with the sewn seam. Press well.
- Find the 11" x 16" lining piece.
- Pin the pocket in place on the right side of the lining. The pocket should be centered side to side (4¾" from each side) and 3" from the top raw edge.
- Edgestitch the pocket in place along both sides and across the bottom, pivoting at the corners and with a generous backstitch at the beginning and end of the seam, ie. at the pocket top. This is a stress point for the pocket and it's smart to secure the seam well. This edgestitching closes the opening used for turning.
- Set this piece aside.
Attach the zipper to the bottom front
- Place the bottom front exterior panel right side up on your work surface.
- Find the 22" decorative zipper.
- Trim the zipper's top tape extensions to ⅝".
- Lay the zipper upside down (teeth facing down on the right side of the fabric) along the top of the fabric section. The trimmed edge of the zipper tape should be flush with right raw edge of the fabric.
- Unzip the zipper.
NOTE: You are using the full length of the zipper for these initial steps as it is much easier to work with. The excess will be trimmed later.
- Find the 8" x 16" lining piece. Place it right side down, aligning all its raw edges with the raw edges of the bottom front exterior panel, sandwiching the zipper in between the two pieces of fabric.
- Pin all three layers together.
- Attach your Zipper foot.
- Using a ¼" seam, stitch across the panel through all the layers. You should be stitching right along the zipper teeth.
- Fold the lining and front piece wrong sides together, so the zipper stands straight up, and press.
- Repeat these steps, with the zipper still open, to attach the opposite side of the zipper to the front top exterior and lining.
- First pin the zipper to the exterior 3½" top section.
- Then layer the 3½" lining piece.
- Stitch together as above, fold the lining down into position and press.
- Topstitch ¼" from the seam across the entire panel along both sides of the zipper.
Trimming the zipper
- You need to secure the end of the zipper with a needle and thread so you can cut off the excess to use as the accent for the front pocket.
- Thread the hand sewing needle and insert it through the teeth along the edge of the fabric. Sew through a few times to secure.
- Move a few teeth out, towards the excess zipper portion, and repeat this securing stitch.
- Cut between the stitched pieces.
- Find the 6" x 6½" exterior pocket piece. Place it right side up on your work surface.
- Place the zipper segment along the top edge (the top 6" side). It should be centered with ½" of the pocket extending on both ends. The zipper tape should be aligned with the top raw edge of the pocket. Pin in place.
- With the Zipper foot attached, stitch the zipper in place, running your seam as close to the zipper teeth as possible.
- Press the exterior fabric down, away from the zipper.
- Place the 6" x 6½" pocket lining piece right side up on your work surface.
- Place the exterior pocket (with the zipper attached) right sides together with the lining. The remaining free edge of the zipper should be aligned with the top raw edge of the lining. Pin in place across the top.
- Stitch the zipper in place, running your seam as close to the zipper teeth as possible.
- Fold the lining and exterior pocket pieces right sides together so the zipper is along the top edge. The side and bottom raw edges should be flush all around. Pin in place along both sides (very top to very bottom) and along the bottom edge. Leave an approximate 2-3" opening along the bottom for turning.
- Using a ½" seam allowance, stitch along both sides and across the bottom, remembering to pivot at the corners and to lock your seam at either side of the opening. We continued to use our Zipper foot so we could stitch as close as possible to the zipper at the two top corners. Go slowly and carefully along that zipper.
- Clip the corners and press open the seam allowances. Turn right side out through the opening.
- Push out the corners so they are nice and sharp. Fold in the raw edges of the opening so they are flush with the sewn seam. Press well.
- Topstitch across the pocket approximately ¼" from the seam.
- Place the pouch front (the side with the zipper) right side up on your work surface. Place the pocket in the bottom right corner. It should be positioned 1" in from the right side and 1⅜" up from the bottom.
- Switch from the Zipper foot back to a regular foot. We used our Satin Stitch foot.
- Stitch the pocket in place along both sides and across the bottom with a wide decorative stitch. We used a modified zig zag.
- Find the 3" loop strip and the 1" ring.
- Slip the strip through the ring and bring the raw ends together.
- Place the loop on the pouch front. It should be positioned in the upper right corner, 1" down the top raw edge. Pin in place with the raw ends of the loop flush with the raw edge of the fabric panel.
Final layering to finish
- Place the front panel right side up on your work surface. Open up the zipper approximately 4-5".
- Place the back panel down on top of it so the two are right sides together and all sides are flush.
- Place the remaining lining piece (the one the pocket is stitched to) right side UP, creating the top layer of our three layer sandwich. Pin in place around all four sides.
- We stitched to our regular presser foot for the remaining steps.
- Using a ½" seam allowance, stitch around all four sides, pivoting at all the corners. Go slowly and carefully as you are stitching through a lot of layers.
- Turn the bag right side out through the zipper opening. Your strap tab should pop out from the right seam. Use a blunt edged tool, like a large knitting needle, to poke out the corners so they are nice and sharp. You can also carefully pull out the corners from the outside with a straight pin. Press well.
- Find the remaining strap piece. Slip it through the ring. Fold in half and pin the raw ends together.
- Stitch strap ends together. Go back and forth on the seam line several times to make sure the seam is secure.
- Flip strap right side out. The little seam you just made should now be pointing inwards. Position this seam over the ring.
- Re-attach the Zipper foot, and make a seam across the strap, getting as close to the ring as you can. You are 'locking' the ring into place. Again, go back and forth along the seam line several times to make sure the seam is secure.
Hints and Tips
You need power
As you've noticed, this project has a lot of layers: fabric, lining, interfacing, zipper... one on top of the other. You need a machine that can stitch through the thickness without choking. Our exclusive sewing machine sponsor here at Sew4Home is Janome America, and one of the things that sold us on Janome quality was the stitching power of their machines. Even during the last steps of this project, when we were sewing through about all those layers and up and over the strap tab, there wasn't even a hiccup in the smooth, running power. I don't say this to brag ... well, maybe just a little. I say it so you keep machine quality in mind when you decide which projects to tackle. Just like you can't whip up a perfect meringue with a salad fork, you can't expect to have success with an under-powered machine.
Project Design: Alicia Thommas
Sample Creation and Instructional Outline: Debbie Guild