With only a week or so until Christmas, I am feeling the crunch. It is always a challenge to balance everything that is expected this time of year. My kids have parties and concerts for school, there are presents to wrap, cookies to bake, and trees to trim. Oh yes, and the usual juggle of work, home, and studio time continues. There just aren’t enough hours in the day to get everything done.
Despite the long list of reasons why I shouldn’t make stitched or quilted gifts for my family and friends (see above), I just can’t resist the siren call of new fabric and inspiring ideas. Last year I decided to put my homemade gift ideas on the back burner and focus on my new job. But I really missed the joy and excitement of passing something I had made to people I care about. There is nothing more satisfying than seeing someone open a gift that was made just for them.
So on my way home from work a few weeks ago I stopped at my local fabric store and bought some coin purse frames. I had seen a gorgeous display of frames at Quilt Market in October. They were from Japan and had that distinctly Asian aesthetic. I could imagine all of the beautiful purses I was going to make, if I only had the time. But I got distracted and forgot to go back to the booth to see where I could buy them.
So when I got these little beauties home, I realized that I had no idea how to use them. They didn’t come with patterns, and I knew I’d have to do some investigating. After a few minutes on the Internet, I learned that I had to take things into my own hands and make my own pattern to fit the size and shape of the frames I had bought. But guess what? It was simpler than I thought.
Here’s the shortened version of how to make a mini coin purse:
1. Make a pattern: Place the frame on a piece of paper and trace the top profile, noting the center (where the clasp comes together) and the bottom of the frame. Continue drawing the exterior of the purse. Add a ¼” seam around the entire exterior of the pattern.
2. Cut out 2 pieces of fabric for the coin purse and 2 pieces for the lining using the pattern you just made. Be sure to transfer the marks from the pattern onto the fabric.
3. Place the outside fabric piece right sides together and sew around the bottom of the purse, from the points where the metal frame ends. Clip the curves and turn the piece right side out.
4. Place the lining fabric pieces right sides together. Mark a 2″ opening at the bottom of the pieces. This will remain unsewn so you can turn the purse right side out. Sew from the 2″ opening to the point where the metal frame ends on both sides of the lining. Clip the corners.
5. Pin the outside of the purse inside the lining, matching the top edges. Sew all the way around the top of the piece. Clip the corners.
6. Turn the piece right side out and push the lining inside the coin purse. Topstitch 1/8″ from the edge around the seam you just made.
7. Slip the finished top of the purse inside the frame (it should fit perfectly!) and stitch or glue it in place. There you have it: an easy handmade gift.
That’s what I am making this weekend for my sister. What’s on your handmade holiday gift list? Leave your answer in the comments section below.