May 25 09

The Mini Purse Tutorial!

Happy Memorial Day! We had so much fun this weekend and also got so much yard work done! It is so nice to see all this luscious color coming to life in our yard! On top of that, I whipped up another mini purse:

…and what follows is a step by step description of how to make one of these mini purses. These are quick to make and if you want to save yourself some extra time, make a few at a time and work it in an assembly-line type of fashion. They make great gifts!

Begin by quilting a pair of quilt sandwiches. I am using 9 x 12 inch sandwiches, but you can make this in any size you wish. Once quilted, trim them so they are exactly the same size:

Now set these 2 sandwiches aside. Pick some coordinating fabric for your top border and cut 2 pieces sized 9 in x 4 3/4 inches. Actually, the width of your border is somewhere to be flexible; if you’ve got a border print that’s 4 inches wide, go with that. Feel free to do whatever you want for the width of that top border! Also cut a piece that’s 4 3/4 in x 1 inch; this will be used for your button clasp. Using a chalk pencil, mark a chalk line on the good side of the fabric that’s 1/2 inch from one edge on each piece of your border print:

Using the chalk line as your guide, fold the edge over to the backside and press. Pin the good side of the border to the wrong side of the front sandwich for your purse and pin along the top; sew together using a 1/4 in seam and you will have:

The backside of your purse will have the button clasp sewn to it. To make this, fold your 4 3/4 inch x 1 inch piece in half and press on the fold; now it is 1/2 in x 4 3/4 in. Pin one side to the fold line as below:

Fold the opposite side in toward the center fold as before, then stitch the 2 finished edges closed. This gives you a 4 3/4 in x 1/4 inch clasp. Find the center of the top of the wrong side of your purse’s back sandwich and pin this clasp so that the tips kind of overlap. Place this pinned clasp at 1 /8 inch from the top of the sandwich, as below:

Pin your top border on top of this clasp, then sew together with a 1/4 inch seam. Press the border to the good side of the sandwich and then top stitch the top edge at 3/8 from the top. Now the front and back of your purse will appear as below:

This next step is your opportunity to add some zip to your purse! Find something that will add just a bit of extra interest to your purse. What I’m adding here is a line of Wright’s commercial piping, but you could add rickrack, beads, anything you want! Here, I’ve pinned my piping in place and then you just top stitch it down:

Here’s a shot of one side with piping and the other without piping. (The color isn’t right here but the point of this photo is to show you that the piping adds a lot!):

Bottom line is that you just don’t want to pass up this opportunity to add some more zing to your purse! Once the piping’s on both sides, use your plexiglas ruler and trim the excess off the top border. The front and back of your purse are now done!

Measure an appropriate length for your shoulder strap; for me, this was cut at 47 inches long. On one side of your purse, (doesn’t matter which side), stitch your shoulder strap 3/4 inches from the top. Place this stitching no more than 1/8 inch from the edge:

Arrange your strap toward the center of your purse, just like in the picture above. Place the other sandwich on top so good sides are together. Once you’ve assured yourself that the straps are outside the seam area, pin sandwiches together and sew together using a 3/8 inch seam as below:

Now, you have 2 options…you could turn your purse inside out and sew the button to the front and your purse would be done! Or, if you don’t like looking at those unfinished seams with batting inside, you can finish them off. If you want to cover ALL the interior seams, then cut a piece of fabric on the bias measuring 1 inch by 40 inches. If you’re like me and somewhat lazy and all you care about is those visible side seams, then cut 2 pieces of fabric (not bias) that measure 1 inch x 14 inches. Leaving at least a 1 inch overhang on each end, pin to wrong side of each side seam and sew a 1/4 inch seam as below:

Flip the side edges over to the opposite side, turning the exposed edge under. Pin these all along each side and turn under the top and bottom so every aspect of these side seams will be finished once you sew that final top stitching seam:

Once that last seam is done, turn your purse inside out, add a button on the front that fits inside your clasp, and you are done:


  1. LuAnn in Oregon Says:

    Hi Patsy……..Thanks for the tutorial and your generosity.
    You are a peach!
    LuAnn in Oregon

  2. webfrau Says:

    Thanks. This is great. These would make fabulous gift bags too.

  3. Anita Heady Says:

    Love the tutorial, Patsy. Thank you!

  4. Judy Says:

    Thanks Patsy…

  5. Tina J Says:

    Thank you! I love the idea and the tutorial!

  6. Kathy Says:

    Thanks Patsy. Can’t wait to give it a try. Thanks again for sharing with us.

  7. Maureen Says:

    Thank you for sharing. Those purses are so cute.

  8. Elisabeth Says:

    Hi, Patsy.
    Thanks for the tutorial!You makes it easy to follow,good pictures. Have a nice Weekend!

  9. Shared Items - May 31, 2009: A Peach in Stitches Says:

    […] The Mini Purse Tutorial! […]

  10. Babs McInnis Says:

    Am definitely going to have a go at making one of your purses, Patsy. A change from my feather practising!!!
    Will try and print out the instructions.


  11. Holly Says:

    THANKS so much for sharing the tutorial. it’s such a cute purse and would make great gifts. love your colors too!

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  13. samantha Says:

    Hello Patsy,looked at your purse tutorial today, and this is a very versatile, mini purse to make, including shortening the straps and lots of creativity bounds with these type of purses. thank you for sharing. Samantha krista

  14. Linda Says:

    Great tutorial! I’ve added your tutorial to my directory of free patterns and tutorials for Purses, Totes & Handbags at
    Thanks for sharing!

  15. NANCY Says: