1 April 2010


Some time ago I bought a job lot of 100 zippers from Ebay for next to nothing.  I have been valiantly trying to use them up ever since, and decided to have a go at some little purses this week while I'm on holiday from work.  It seemed a good idea to make a tutorial whilst I was at it, so here goes...

For each purse, you will need:

2 outer pieces of fabric, interfaced with iron on interfacing, medium to lightweight
2 lining pieces of fabric
1 2" x 3" piece of the lining fabric for keyring tab
1 split ring
1 zipper at least 1 inch longer than the width of your fabric pieces (this makes it easier to sew in)

(I haven't specified an exact size for your purse as this is down to personal preference, I made several slightly different sized purses but used a 6" zipper for each one, so I made them all around 5" wide).


First take one of the outer pieces and one of the lining pieces and pin them either side of the zipper as shown, with the outer piece face down on the right side of the zipper, the lining piece face up underneath the zipper
Using the zipper foot on the sewing machine, sew through all three layers, then flip over and press as shown.

These photos show the outer and lining as they are placed on the zipper.  Repeat for other side of zipper.

Open the zip so that you can turn the bag right side out when you have finished!

Now make the keyring tab.  Fold and press the 2" piece of fabric in half lengthwise then fold and press the sides towards the middle.  Topstitch all the way around.  Fold the tab in half around the split ring and topstitch in place.

Place both lining pieces and both outer pieces right sides together, pin so that the teeth of the zip are facing towards the outer pieces as shown and leave a 2" gap in the lining for turning.  Place the keyring tab close to the zipper in between the outer pieces.

Now throw the cat off the sewing chair...

...and starting from the gap in your lining, sew all the way around the purse, sewing right sides of outer and lining together, sewing carefully right through the zip at each end (only if it is a nylon zip, if it is metal, sew as close as possible up to the teeth on each side).

Sorry about the quality of this photo but I think you can get the idea.
Here's a close-up showing how I've placed the tab and sewn right through the zip.

Turn the bag right sides out, sew up the opening in the lining either by hand or machine.  Press lining and bag and then push the lining down inside the bag.  Press again and here is your little zipped purse!

Hamish was determined to stay in that shaft of sunshine, and who can blame him!


  1. Well, thank you for that tutorial...I have sent it over to my favourites list for later reference. Cute little purses...would make nice gifts for friends...and I like the fabric you used.

  2. Great tutorial! Looks simple enough for me ;D Love your fabric. Must give it a try!

  3. It's very lovely ... thanks (but I dont understand much :( )
    Very nice to know your blog


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