The closer. In sales, it’s the high-powered whiz kid they bring in to seal the deal. In police work, it’s the special interrogator who solves the case. In sewing bags and totes, it’s the hardware that keeps a flap in place. They’re probably not planning a movie or TV series any time soon about bag hardware, but that’s where they’re missing out. The right hardware turns a simple pouch into a trendy handbag. And we all know how important it is to be carrying the best bag on the red carpet. We used two different closures to set the style and tone for this pair of pretty purses. One light, one dark. One Flip Lock, one Turn Lock. One design, two looks.
This satchel style bag has a curving side gusset that adds structure and creates a sleek profile. All the fabrics used were standard cotton lawn weight, but with the addition of fusible fleece, foam, and standard interfacing, there’s enough body for the purse to hold its shape as well as provide the firmness to carry-off the heavier metal locks.
Foam is used for structure on both the side gusset and the flap while the front and back panels have the fusible fleece, which emphasizes the decorative quilting on the body of the bag.
If you’re a regular at S4H, you know we love to create innovative bags and totes. You also know we are sticklers about choosing the best hardware for the most professional look. Turn, Twist, and Flip locks can be found at your favorite in-store or online retailers. In addition, Etsy and eBay sellers often have wide selections of this more specialized hardware.
In addition to the gorgeous closures, we chose heavier D-rings for our pretty ribbon straps in the same antique brass finish as the locks. Nothing says “cheap and flimsy” like hardware that’s too wimpy.
Each bag uses two coordinating exterior fabrics plus a lining fabric. By creating the flap in a feature fabric against a more muted base fabric, it puts the emphasis on the flap and the closure, making that the focal point of the purse. We originally used fabrics from the Woodland Clearing cotton lawn collection from Robert Kaufman, which is no longer readily available. However, new florals come out every season – each one seemingly prettier than the next!
A full set of pattern pieces for the body of the bag and the flap is included below.
Sewing Tools You Need
- Sewing Machine and standard presser foot
- Zipper foot
- Janome Edge Guide foot; optional but great for topstitching and edgestitching
Fabric and Other Supplies
NOTE: Ingredients listed are for ONE purse.
- ONE decorative lock; we originally used two closures from Dritz®: the 722-38 1¾” Flip Lock for the Light Purse and the 715-38 1½” Turn Lock for the Dark Purse, both in antique brass
NOTE: As mentioned above, Turn, Twist, and Flip locks can be found at your favorite in-store or online retailers. In addition, Etsy and eBay sellers often have wide selections of this more specialized hardware.
- TWO 1″ D-rings; the D-rings should coordinate with the purse lock in color and weight; we originally used the Fashion D-Rings from Dritz in antique bronze
- ½ yard EACH of TWO coordinated 44″+ quilting weight cottons for the exterior
- ½ yard of one coordinating 44″+ wide quilting weight cotton solid for the lining
- ¾ yard of 20″+ wide fusible foam interfacing; we used Pellon Flex Foam
NOTE: You need the extra yardage to be able to cut the side gusset as one piece.
- ⅓ yard of 20”+ wide fusible fleece; we used Pellon Thermolam Plus
- Scrap or ¼ yard of 18″+ wide medium weight interfacing; we used Pellon Décor Bond
- 2½ yards of piping in a color to accent the exterior fabric; we used Wrights Bias Tape Maxi Piping
- 3 yards of ⅞” – 1” grosgrain ribbon for the strap; we used a coordinating ⅞” striped grosgrain, purchased locally
- All purpose thread to match fabric and ribbon
- See-through ruler
- Fabric pen or pencil
- Iron and ironing board
- Scissors or rotary cutter and mat
- Tape measure
- Seam gauge
- Seam ripper
- Straight pins
- Seam sealant; optional, we used Dritz Fray Check
- Small Phillips Head screwdriver for the lock assembly
Getting Started and Pattern Download
- Download and print our FOUR pattern pieces, which have been bundled into one PDF file to make the download easier: Quilted Bag Pattern.
IMPORTANT: Each pattern page is ONE 8½” x 11″ sheet. You must print the PDF file at 100%. DO NOT SCALE to fit the page. There is a guide line on each page so you can confirm your final printout is to scale.
- Cut out each pattern piece along the solid line. Assemble the two pieces (A and B) that make up the full exterior pattern as well as the full flap pattern, aligning the guide arrows on each pair.
- From the fabric for the bag flap and gusset (Needlepoint and Birds in our samples), cut the following:
ONE 3” x 26½” strip for the gusset
Use the assembled flap pattern to cut TWO pieces.
NOTE: If you use a directional fabric, such as our Birds fabric, pay attention to the direction of the motif. You want the motif running top to bottom on both the flap exterior when closed and the flap interior when open.
- From the fabric for the bag front and back panels (Floral and Cross Stitch in our samples), use the assembled exterior pattern to cut TWO pieces.
- From the fabric for the lining, cut the following:
ONE 7” wide x 10” high rectangle for the lining pocket
ONE 3” x 26½” strip for the gusset
Use the assembled exterior pattern to cut TWO pieces.
- Trim the assembled exterior pattern along the seam line and use this trimmed pattern to cut TWO from the fusible fleece.
- From the fusible foam, cut the following:
ONE 2” x 25½” strip for the gusset
Trim the assembled flap pattern along the seam line and use this trimmed pattern to cut ONE piece.
NOTE: The side gusset panels are all cut long to allow extra to work with to get a smooth curve. Each will be trimmed to fit flush after it’s sewn in place.
- From the mid-weight fusible interfacing, cut ONE 6″ x 4½” rectangle for the lining pocket.
- From the ribbon, cut ONE 8” length and ONE 90” length.
At Your Sewing Machine & Ironing Board
Create the flap
- Find the flap panels, the foam flap, and the piping.
- Center the foam on the wrong side of one of the flap panels so there is ½” of fabric extending beyond the foam on all sides. Following manufacturer’s instructions, fuse the foam in place.
- Pin the piping to the right side of the flap around the outer perimeter, leaving the top straight edge plain. Make sure the piping sits ½” from the raw edge of the fabric, which means the edge of the piping won’t be flush with the fabric. Clip into the piping at the curves to ease it through the turns.
- At the each end of the piping, use a seam ripper to open the bias tape and clip back the piping cord about ½”. This will allow a flat end for a smooth finish along the top of the flap.
- Attach a Zipper foot.
- Baste the piping in place.
- Place the finished front flap right side up on your work surface.
- Find the flap back panel and layer it right sides together with the front, sandwiching the piping between the layers. Pin along the sides; the top, non-piped edge remains open. Pin in place all around.
- Still using a Zipper foot, stitch all the way around with an approximate ½” seam allowance. We say approximate, because the goal is to run your seam as close as possible to the piping.
- Clip all the curves.
- Turn the flap right side out through the top opening. Push out the curves so they are nicely rounded. A long, blunt tool works great for this, such as a knitting needle, chopstick or point turner. Press flat.
- Along the top, baste the raw edges together right along the ½” seam line, which should be right along the top edge of the foam.
- Find the eyelet half of the flip lock.
- Fold the flap to find the exact center of the bottom curved end, then measure 1½“ up from the bottom finished edge of the flap.
- Unfold and confirm your center point.
- Use a small Phillips Head screwdriver to remove the two screws holding the eyelet halves together. Drop one half over the marked center point. You’ll use this as a template.
- When you are sure the eyelet is straight and square, trace the inner ring and the two screw holes.
- Connect the inner ring and the dots into a full almond shape. Cut out this shape through all the layers. If your fabric is prone to raveling, you can add some seam sealant to the cut edge, such as Dritz Fray Check.
- Place the bottom half back into position. You should be able to see the screw holes through the cut hole.
- Drop the top half into position, and replace and tighten the screws.
NOTE: We’ve added quite a bit of detail within this tutorial on how to insert our chosen lock, and we also understand your selected lock may differ somewhat, however, all these types of locks are actually quite similar. Review the instructions that come with the lock or check out our own general tutorial on Turn Lock installation.
- Set aside the flap.
Create the front and back quilted panels
- Find the front and back exterior panels and the two fusible fleece panels.
- Fold down the top raw edge of each fabric panel ½”. We used our Clover Hot Hemmer.
- Center a fleece panel on the wrong side of each fabric panel so there is ½” of fabric showing beyond the fleece on all sides. The top of the fleece should sit right along the upper crease line you just pressed into place.
- Following manufacturer’s instructions, fuse the fleece in place.
- Flip the panel to the right side and determine your quilting pattern. For our Light Purse, we chose straight line quilting. Our quilting lines were ¾” apart. We used a pale peach thread and a slightly lengthened stitch. We used our Janome Quilt Guide Bar to keep our straight line spacing precise; you could do the same, or draw in all your lines with a fabric pen or pencil.
- For our Dark Purse, we followed the diagonal cross stitch pattern of the fabric’s motif. We again lengthened the stitch, and for this quilting chose a pale blue-gray thread.
- With the quilting complete, pin piping around the sides and bottom edge of each panel. As you did with the flap above, make sure the piping sits along the ½” seam line. Also as above, at the top ends of the piping, use a seam ripper to open the bias tape and clip back the piping cord about ½”. This will allow a flat end for a smooth finish along the top of the purse.
- Choose one panel to be your back panel. Find the flap. Place the flap right sides together against the back panel. The top raw edges of both pieces should be aligned. The flap should be centered on the back panel.
- Pin together across the top of both panels.
- Staying within the seam allowance (which means your new stitching will be to the right of the original flap basting line), baste the two layers together. Stitch just across the flap itself; you don’t need to baste all the way to the end of the back panel.
- Set the exterior panels aside.
Create the lining
- Find the 7″ x 10″ lining pocket panel and the 6″ x 4½” interfacing panel.
- Center the interfacing on one half of the pocket panel on the wrong side. Following manufacturer’s instructions, fuse in place.
- Fold the pocket in half, wrong sides together, so it now measures 7″ x 5”.
- Pin in place along both sides and across the bottom. Leave 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. Lock your seam on either side of the 3″ opening.
- Clip the corners and press open the seam allowance.
- Turn the pocket right side out through the opening. Gently poke out the corners so they are nice and sharp. Press flat, pressing in the raw edges of the opening so they are flush with the sewn seam.
- We also added a line of topstitching ¾” down from the top folded edge to simulate a top hem.
- Find one of the two lining panels. This will the the back lining panel where the pocket sits.
- Place the pocket on the right side of this panel. The pocket should be positioned 2½” down from the upper raw edge of the panel and centered side to side.
- Edgestitch the pocket in place along both sides and across the bottom, pivoting at the corners. This closes the opening in the pocket’s seam. For the cleanest finish, use a lock stitch to start and end your seam or leave your thread tails long and hand knot to secure.
- Along the top raw edge of both the front and back lining panels, fold down the top raw edge ½” and press to set a crease – just as you did with the exterior panels.
- Unfold so the crease lines are visible.
- Find the side gusset. Fold down one 3” end ½” and press to set a matching crease line with your other folds. Again, unfold so the crease line is visible.
- Find the plain front panel (the one without the pocket).
- Starting at one corner, and with right sides together, pin one edge of the gusset to the front lining panel. To start, align the two ½” crease lines – one end of the gusset and the top edge of the lining panel. As mentioned above, the gusset is a bit longer than necessary so you have extra with which to work to ease around the corner. This means your opposite end will extend beyond the top of the panel. Pin along both sides and around the bottom.
- Using a ½” seam allowance, stitch the gusset in place against the front lining panel.
- Trim away the excess side gusset fabric to the top edge. Clip all the curves.
- You now have one free edge of the side gusset remaining.
- Pin this free edge right sides together with the back lining panel.
- Stitch, using a ½” seam allowance. Press open all the seam allowances, clip the curves, and re-fold the top edge along the ½” crease line. Set the lining aside.
Add the gusset to the exterior
- To give the purse better structure, foam is added to the side gusset prior to assembly.
- Center the foam on the gusset so there is ½” of fabric showing beyond the foam on all sides. Following manufacturer’s instructions, fuse in place.
- We “shaved back” the foam a bit at the top so it nestled nicely against the top crease line. As you did with the lining, one end of the gusset is creased at ½”. The top of the front and back panels should also have ½” crease lines from before when you were preparing the quilted panels.
- Following the same steps as above for the lining, attach the side gusset to the front and back exterior panels, starting at the upper corner.
- Don’t be afraid to use plenty of pins to curve around the panels.
- Remember, on the exterior you are sandwiching piping between the layers.
- With the thickness of the foam on the gusset, and because of the piping, switch to a Zipper foot to stitch both seams in place.
- Trim away the excess side gusset fabric/foam. Clip all the curves.
- The top edges of the sides, front and back, should now be even all around.
The second half of the flip lock
- Fold the flap down into position to double check the fit. You don’t want the flap to pull or pinch across the top opening; it should be an easy fold over. You may want to put a small towel or other items into the purse to make sure you don’t inadvertently collapse the purse more than you should. Our measurements fell at approximately 5″ down from the top raw edge, 3¼“ up from the bottom piping, and centered side to side.
NOTE: Your exact position may vary based on the fabric and interfacing you choose, so we do strongly recommend doing your own test rather than relying solely on our measurements.
- Use the existing half to mark the points for the second half.
- Using sharp scissors or a seam ripper, create two small slits.
- Insert the prongs of the flip lock through the slits from front to back.
- Reach inside the purse to access the prongs. Slip the slotted washer over the prongs.
- Flatten the prongs to secure. Some instructions recommend folding the prongs to the center to secure. Your choice.
- Test the closure from the front. If your fabric is prone to raveling, you can use seam sealant around your slits.
NOTE: As above with the first half of the installation, we understand your selected lock may differ somewhat from ours, however, all these types of locks are actually quite similar. Review the instructions that come with the lock or check out our own general tutorial on Turn Lock installation.
Create the ribbon strap
- Find the two lengths of ribbon and the Dritz® D-Rings.
- Start with the 8” length. Fold it in half, right sides together, so it is now 4”.
- Re-thread the machine with thread to best match the ribbon in the top and bobbin. Lengthen the stitch.
- Edgestitch along each 4” side of the folded ribbon. We used the Janome Edge Guide foot.
- Slip the ribbon through both D-rings.
- Align the raw ends of the ribbon and place the ribbon loop/D-rings against the left side gusset. The top of your purse should be folded along that original ½” cease line. Slide the ends of the ribbon down inside the purse so they sit against the wrong side of the gusset about ¾” from the top folded edge. Pin in place and then hand or machine baste in place. The image below is a close-up of the finished bag, but you can see how the ends of the ribbon are to the inside and the ribbon loop and D-rings are then hanging out and down against the right side of the purse.
- Repeat to fold and edge stitch the 90” length of ribbon down to a 45” strap. Its raw edge is placed in the same manner against the right side gusset and its folded end is what you’ll use to thread through the D-Rings to create the full adjustable strap.
- Find the exterior bag. When you fold up the flap, the seam allowances, which you basted together earlier, will automatically turn down toward the inside of the purse. However, since you’ve just basted the flap in place within the seam allowance, you still need to adjust the original crease line along the back of the bag. From the right side of the back panel, make sure the top folded edge of the panel is pulled up and covers the basting line at the base of the flap. Pin in place.
- Find the lining bag, which should still be wrong side out. Slip it inside the exterior so the two are now wrong sides together. Align the side seams of the gusset. The pocket should sit against the back of the bag.
- The top folded edge of the lining should sit just below (about 1/16″ below) the top folded edge of the exterior bag. If it does not align as described, re-fold one or both edges to get the best even yet slightly off-set alignment all around.
- Pin the lining to the exterior all around the top.
- We first basted the layers together from the lining side.
NOTE: This basting may seem like an extra, unnecessary step, but we feel the extra basting gives you better control to insure the layers don’t shift during the final edgestitching. When working with dimensional projects like bags and purses, we prefer to err on the side of extra basting. Basting stitches can always be removed, but ripply layers due to shifting layers are hard to fix.
- Edgestitch all around the top, through all the layers. We used our Janome Edge Guide foot; you could also use a Walking or Even Feed foot since you are stitching through several layers. Remember to keep the ribbon straps out the way and the flap flat.
- Remove any visible basting stitches.
Project Design: Alicia Thommas
Sample Creation and Instructional Outline: Debbie Guild