Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Burlap Purse - It's Not as Ugly as it Sounds!

This sweet burlap purse is perfect for the beach, or for just running around town. I found a tutorial here on La Maison Reid, thanks Nancy! It was a very skimpy on directions and pictures, so I thought I'd beef up the tutorial a bit and add a few changes I made.
5/8 yd burlap (you can get less if it's wider than 40")
1/2 yd lining fabric
scraps to make a fun flower embellishment

Step 1: Cut two pieces of burlap 10"x18" each. Take the long side and make 6 pleats like so, 3 on each side of center, folding toward the center. Make your pleats so that that long end measures 13". Sew the pleats in place using a 1/4" seam. Repeat with the other rectangle.
Step 2: Cut two rectangles to be 5"x13". Pin this rectangle along the pleated edge of the piece from step 1. Sew together using a 1/4" seam. Repeat with the other rectangle and remaining piece from step 1.
Step 3: Repeat steps 1 and 2 with your lining fabric so you have two pieces like so.
Step 4: I made a small pocket for this purse, but it's totally optional, if you don't want one, skip to step 5. Cut a piece of fabric to be about 7"x10". I cut mine 7"x16" but it ended up being too big.
Iron the edges on the long sides under 1/4".
Fold in half hamburger style, right side facing out.
Sew the folded top edge together with a 1/8" seam.
Place the pocket piece centered on one of you lining pieces like so with the sewn edge on top. Pin in place so that the bottom edge of the pocket lines up with the bottom of the bag (mine hangs off the edge quite a bit because I cut my pocket piece too big). Sew down the two vertical sides of the pocket using a 1/16" seam. Make sure to back stitch at the top of the pocket to secure it.
Step 5: Place the two burlap pieces right sides together like so. Pin along the sides and bottom.
Use something round to trace to round off your corners. I know my pins mysteriously disappeared for this step, but you should keep some in to hold your two pieces together.
Cut off the excess and sew around the three sides of the purse leaving the top open. Repeat with the lining.
Step 6: Turn your burlap piece right side out and leave your lining piece wrong side out. Fold under the top edge on each piece 1/2" and pin in place. You can turn the top edge on the lining piece down a smidgen more, like 5/8" to help it fit in nicely.
Take your lining piece and shove it inside the burlap piece. Line up the top edges so that the lining is about 1/8" lower than the burlap edge and pin in place. Ack! I love this lining fabric!
Step 7: Now for the straps. I cut two strips each 3"x28", but you can make them shorter or longer based on your preferences.
Fold them in half and sew along one of the long edges using a 1/4" seam.
Turn right sides out.
Step 8: Take your two straps and place them with the edges tucked in between the top edges of the burlap and lining pieces. Pin in place. I just kind of eyeballed where I put mine, but you could measure if you want to make sure they're equal distances.
Sew all around the top edge of the bag about 1/16" away from the edge. I made sure to sew some extra stitches on each of the straps to secure them.
Isn't it sweet? You can add some sort of flower embellishment like the peony here, or a shabby rose, or this other fun flower.

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