Nov 11, 2013

envelope purse tutorial

My next hop entry is finally quilted and I am down to the hand work part for binding, label and sleeve.  Woohoo there!  Now that I have breathing room, I though I would go ahead and post the photos/tutorial for that little trick or treat bag/envelope purse I made for the Wicked #3 hop.

Again, I do not know the source of it or I would share it. I don't really know what to call it either but chose envelope purse as it does remind me of that.   The girl showed me was not aware of where it came from--"something that they did a guild and no pattern", she said.  A commenter in Wicked Hop thought it might be from the Spring/Summer Quilt Sampler 2013 but I believe Donna's bag proceeded that.   Plus how do we know that the construction technique is exactly the same just by looking at the exterior.  One might have trimmed off a point, layered it differently, turned it instead of bound it, etc.   This is soooooo simple that anyone could have come up with it or added their own twist to simple pattern.

Okay with that out of the way----this is how I did it.

Select two fabrics for the body of the bag and something contrasting for the binding.  I cut mine 20 inches square.  Donna had the Belles who tried this at 18 inches so you could use a fat quarter.  Cut the binding your preferred width.

I knew that I wanted a narrow strap and would use the purse cross body.  I went for 2 1/4 inch strips and two strips for a finished length of 53-55 inches.  I lost about an inch or so inserting it in the final seams.

In case you don't know how to make the strap.  Press the strip in half as you would for binding but then open it up.  You should be able to clearly see the center fold.  Fold half of the strip to the center fold mark and press.  Do the same with the other half.  Then press it in half again.  Stitch about an 1/8 inch from both edges.  Trim to your desired length.

Other option:
My girlfriend did a matching cloth braided strap but I have no idea what length those strips were cut to obtain that.  I also considered using some braided rat tail cording.  If I had had some yellow on hand to go with the lime green and orange I did have, I would have in a heart beat!

Cut a batting square the same size as your cut square.  Quilt it in some manner.  I don't free motion so I marked a 2 inch cross hatch grid with my Frixion pen.  Trim once completed.  I lost about a half inch all around, making me wish I had cut it bigger to begin with.

Bind the piece.  This was one of those rare times where I did it on the machine rather than by hand.  You may prefer to use some rick rack or trim and turn it.  Bet that would be cute too.

Fold it roughly in thirds at this point.  I needed to adjust mine as it was uneven when I folded it up.  Press in a nice crease with your iron and maybe a damp pressing cloth.  I did not measure it, just eyeball it.

Mark a square even with the binding----it will look like a square on point.  This should catch all of the layers so I suggest using a jeans needle and a walking foot on your machine.  Mine was already on the machine because of the quilting but I did switch to a heavier needle.  You'll need it for the final step for sure!

Fold up the bottom half.  Press firmly to set the seam.  Stitch close to the edge all around the bag but near the top open it up a tad to insert the strap.  Catch the strap in the seam line.  Almost done!

There are four small interior pockets and one larger one.

Embellish as desired.  I did a yo-yo and button deal on both sides.  Others did kanzashi flowers.  You might want to tack the flap down, one side of mine keeps flipping up as I did not sew the yo yo through all the layers.

And there you have it-----


  1. Awesome tutorial and great bag!!!

  2. Oh, goody!!! - another addition to my "Gotta Make One of These!!!" list - ;))

  3. Oh, that's how that's done! Someone made one for me for Christmas one year and I loved it, but couldn't figure it out! Thank you so much for clearing up the mystery. It looks like magic to me, magic that I might have to try.

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