It’s so much fun to sew your own clothing, curtains and other things, but if you’re just learning to sew, there could be some things you simply haven’t learned yet. But, if you’ve gotten to the point where you can put in a zipper you have the ability to create everything from manicure set pouches to makeup carriers to unusually-shaped purses. If you haven’t yet learned to put in a zipper now is a good time to try. If you can sew a straight stitch, you can put in a zipper, and then you’re ready to get creative with these unusual but useful purses.
Any circle of fabric can become one of the carriers. However, to create the perfect pouch or carrier, the circle will be double-sided. That is, the ideal material to start with is two circles of cloth, their wrong sides facing each other, and stitched together all the way around. However, if you’re using felt you can use only one circle to make a lightweight pouch. The felt is the same color on both sides making it one of the materials that doesn’t have to be double-sided for this project. To make things easy on you it’s possible to create the purse you have in mind by starting with a round, cloth place mat.
If you’re going to sew your own circles start by cutting them to the size you want. Small circles will create a very small pouch, of course, and larger circle sets will make a full size purse-type of arrangement. Use small circles to make a manicure or makeup pouch, a medium set of circles for carrying an assortment of medications or other needs, and large circles to make a purse or beach bag. Make sure you launder the fabric before starting so that the finished purse doesn’t later shrink from laundering.
After you’ve cut the two circles you can then begin to sew them together. Place the circles so that their right sides are facing and they are exactly aligned. Begin stitching around the two circles staying a quarter-inch from the edge. When you get to the point where you have only a few inches left to sew, stop. Now turn the fabric right side-out, reset the material under the presser foot, and finish sewing the last few inches. Be sure to back-tack at the beginning of the outside stitching and back-tack again when you finish. Trim these threads very closely.
Now that you have your circles ready you can finish making the purse or pouch. Fold the circles in half to do so. Measure from one end of the half-circle to the other to decide what size of zipper you will need. Allow a little extra length on the zipper. That is, if the piece measures 18″, for example, the zipper you need will be 20″. Open the zipper all the way up and begin pinning one side of the zipper to one side of the half-circle. Pin the opposite side of the zipper to the opposite side of the pouch. Use one pin to hold the very end of the zipper in place. Put your zipper foot on the machine and stitch straight down the two sides of the zipper.
After the zipper is installed the half-circle carrier or pouch is completed. However, there are other designs you can make when you change the way you start the project. For instance, stitch pieces of elastic here and there on one of the circles, then sew them together to create a way to hold objects inside the purse. So, cut the two circles you will be using, then stitch small pieces of elastic to it in a random or organized pattern. Now sew the two circles together, turn right side out, then finish stitching. These elastic pieces can hold nail clippers, tweezers, medicine bottles, baby toys and other items in place so that they aren’t tumbling around on the bottom of the purse. And, with the zipper design of the purse, the entire thing opens up flat allowing you to easily place and remove things you have secured in the elastic pieces.
Once you’ve completed the first half-circle pouch you’ll definitely want to make more. Make ones for your daughters to take on overnight trips for holding their pj’s and similar items. Make other designs to carry as a regular purse. Make small ones to hold your personal implements or medications. These small ones can be held inside the large purse-type ones. They’re so easy and so much fun to make you’ll never stop at just one. Now that you’re on a roll go ahead and make one for all the girls and women you know – they make great gifts for birthdays, holidays or as thank-you’s for favors!