From quilted tote bags to little purses, I'm kind of a sucker for handmade bags.
Whether simply stitched or pieced and quilted, bag patterns come in many varieties. Once you find a couple of favorites, you can change the look and style just by changing the fabrics and embellishments.
One of the sweetest and easiest little bags I've made is this mini coin purse, based on a Japanese version I saw at Quilt Market last fall. I bought the purse frame at a chain sewing goods store.
Here's the shortened version of how to make a mini coin purse. If you want to quilt this bag, just layer a piece of lightweight batting with the outside fabric and free-motion stitch before cutting the pattern pieces.
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.
I made a bunch of these little purses for Christmas gifts, and they're perfect for graduation gifts, too (especially if you tuck a little surprise inside).
Because quilted bag patterns are so popular, we've put together a bundle of fabulous quilting and sewing projects from flex-frame coin purses as simple to make as the one above (including three metal flex frames) to totes, shoulder bags, cosmetic bags and more. We call it the Hold Everything Premium Collection Value Pack, and I know you're going to love it.
P.S. My must-have bags are totes. I just can't have enough. What is your favorite type of bag? Leave your comment below.