I had a fun idea for the purse I wanted to make for A Lemon Squeezy Home’s Purse Week (going on now!), but needed to do a little trial run to see if I could make it happen in real life. I decided that if I was going to practice, I might as well make it as fun and functional as possible, even if tiny. This is what I ended up with
I little circle-shaped bag with a zippered top
A wide base
And just large enough to fit in whatever smallish items you need stashed away. In my case, my point n’shoot and its battery charger
The handle makes it work as a clutch, but it can easily be used for whatever you want: Make-up, small electronics, snacks
And I kind of am in love with the pleating
-2 fat quarters of fabric, one for the outer, one for the lining (I used Joel Dewberry’s Aviary II in lilac)
-some plastic canvas, my favorite of all hidden mediums
-1 7-inch invisible zipper (it shows two, disregard. Trial run, remember?)
-1 package elastic cording (not shown. Trial run!)
Begin by pressing one inch pleats the entire width of your outer fat quarter piece. I just eyeballed it, but you could probably be all good and measure things out. Baste the sides to secure the pleats for now.
Lay your pattern piece on the pleated fat quarter (you could totally do this with any pattern; the pleating. just use about 2.5 times as much fabric, pleat, then cut)Cut two. Baste the outer edge, securing the pleats. Again.Remove the basting stitches out of the leftover pleated fabric and press the pleats out
Use that piece to cut two strips 1.75 inches by 12.5 inches (or longer for the one piece, as it will become the strap. I made mine crazy long. Trial run!)Now cut out two circles and two strips from the lining fabric.
With the left over of the lining, cut a bunch of one-inch strips on the biasAnd make some bias tape. You’ll need a total of about 48 inches in length of the tape (how to make bias tape HERE)Now fold the tape over the elastic cording with the cording right at the fold and the right sides of the tape facing outUse a zipper foot to sew along the edge of the cording in the tape, making…Piping! YAY!
Raw edges matching, sew the piping to the outer edge of the pleated circles, both of them
Now take one of the strips you cut of the outer fabric. Using the pattern as a guide, sew, right sides facing, the strip to the circle from X to X (the bottom, longer side) as indicated on the pattern piece.
Use a zipper foot again, so that you can butt up against the cording within the piping, leaving that part to show on the finished bag.
Attach the other pleated circle side the same way on the other side of the bottom panel
And then repeat for the lining
Right sides facing (so one wrong-side-out and one right-side-out) place the outer bag into the lining bag, matching all raw edges
Sew along the raw edges EXCEPT leave about a 2.5-3 inch opening at the top of each side
Cut out two plastic canvas circles, using the pattern but cutting in about .5 to 1 inch to make smaller circles
Fold the plastic circles to fit into the openings of the bag and slid inside the sides. Unfold and smooth once inside the opening completely.
The plastic canvas will keep the bag sturdy and more importantly, it will keep whatever you place in the bag from contorting your pleats, keeping things looking smooth and neat on the outside all the time. Cool, huh? Love plastic canvas!
Fold the openings inside to match the seam allowances
And stitch closed
Fold your second strip and sew to make a handle strap (I used the lining fabric, so then I just had an extra strip of the outer leftover for whatever another day)
If I were to do this again, I would have put the strap in before sewing the lining to the outer, but-trial run!-I didn’t add it until now so had to fold it in half and tack in place along one side of the inside of the bag.
Now insert your zipper. I used an invisible zipper, but didn’t put it in as an invisible zipper. I just wanted the hidden teeth and was fine with the tape of the zipper itself showing.
You want the pull of the zipper to start at the opposite side of the handle. At least I did. Do what you want.
Looking for a fun place to go with your new little accessory (you know, I work on the presumption you’re totally already making the Circle Clutch…)? OnStar FMV can help you find your next date or girls’ night destination. Read about it HERE!