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purse pattern

Vintage 70's
Shoulder Bag

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Create Outer Pocket & Pocket Cover


Sew pocket to pocket lining, right sides together, along 3 lower edges (leave top open). Clip curves. Turn right side out; press. Fold under upper pocket edge 1/4"; press. Turn under again, over upper edge of lining. Topstitch close to upper edge.



Stitch the two pocket cover pieces together, right sides together, around three sides, leaving the long straight side open. Clip curves. Turn right side out; press. Turn under a 1/4" hem on the open side. Pin open edges together. Topstitch around all sides, closing off the open edge. Place the pocket cover on the purse front (right side), curved edge up. Place the pocket over the cover, covering the lower 1/2" of the cover. If you are satisfied with the placement, draw a line on the cover along the top edge of the pocket. This will be the fold line where the cover will fold down over the pocket. Remove the pocket. Stitch across the lower edge of the cover, over previous stitching. Stitch again across the cover's fold line (the line you drew).

Place pocket over cover. Topstitch around 3 lower sides of pocket. Place a piece of velcro on the underside of the cover and on the pocket, to secure the cover when it is folded down over pocket. NOTE: I like to use the stick-on type of velcro. Put the two corresponding pieces of velcro together. Remove the paper from one side; stick the velcro to the pocket cover (what will be the underside). Remove the paper from the other side and fold down the cover. The other side of the velcro will stick to the purse pocket.

Create Inside Zippered Pocket


The inside zipper does not need to be an invisible zipper. Again, use a 1/2" seam allowance when you sew the two lining pieces together (right sides together). Use a regular stitch on each end and a basting stitch where the coil will be. Sew the zipper into place as you normally would install a center zipper (topstitching will show around the zipper). Refer to Centered Zipper Instructions if you need a refresher course on zipper installation. Be sure to tack off both ends of the zipper. Remove basting when zipper is sewn into place.

Sew the lining to the purse back, wrong sides together.

Assemble Top & Sides of Purse


Pin one long edge of the top to the upper edge of the purse front, right sides together, easing in the top edge along the purse's curved edge. NOTE: the purse top is not cut on the bias (which assists easing straight edges into curves) but we allowed extra length on the purse top. The top may extend slightly past the ends of the purse front. That is ok; it can be trimmed. Be sure the top is centered on the edge. Stitch.



wrong side

right side (pocket not shown)

Repeat on the other side. Sew the other long edge of the top to the purse back, right sides together.

NOTE: In the photo at right, the cover is missing from the pocket. It should be in place at this point.

Sew Bottom To Purse


This is kind of a tricky part. If you are sure that your purse bottom will fit exactly to your purse, you can sew the D-ring holders into place at this point. Otherwise, continue on.

Seams that connect the top to the sides should be pressed toward the purse top. Unzip purse. Pin one short edge of the bottom to a short, open edge of the top, right sides together, with a pin at each seam. Refer to photo at right. Stitch between pins.

Pivot your piece so that you can now pin one long straight edge of the bottom to the long curved edge of the purse, right sides together. Pin all the way around until you come to the opposite end of the top. The final pin will be at the seam. Stitch.

Repeat on other side. All four sides of the bottom are now sewn. Turn bag right side out.

Create D-ring Holders; Attach Handle


Iron under all four sides of the D-ring pieces 1/4". Fold the D-ring pieces lengthwise. Topstitch around all four sides. Slip the holder through one D-ring. Stitch across bottom edges, over the topstitching.

Use a pin to mark the place you want the top of the D-ring to be on your purse. Place the holder on the purse and stitch into place (stitch along lower edge of holder, and - optionally - half way up the sides).

Slip the ends of the purse strap through the D-ring. The ends should be on the underside of the strap. Stitch across ends, securing the ends of the strap into the D-rings.


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