How to Sew a Purse + Free Pattern | Sew Simple Home
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How to Sew a Purse + Free Pattern

My mother has a love hate relationship with purses.  She gets a new purse once if not twice a year.  Not because she likes to get a new purse, but mostly because she hates every purse she has.

We've discussed every purse she's ever had and why she hates them all.  Because of all these discussions, I decided long ago to always sew up my own purse.

Grab this free pleated purse pattern and learn how to sew a purse.
This post contains affiliate links to products I recommend.  I do make a portion off any you may purchase.  See full disclosure here.



This pattern is actually one of the first purse patterns I created.  It is a simple pleated purse but it is a great tutorial on how to sew a purse.

The pattern is a lined purse.  And it has an optional pocket you can include.  It is a wide enough pattern for a notebook or tablet but not a big bulky purse.

And with the pocket on the inside, you have a place to store keys or other items you don't want to loose at the bottom of your bag.


beginner cross body bag pattern

The pattern comes in two sizes:  
15" x 14" - Adult Size
11" x 10.5" - Mini Size

That means it makes a fun mommy and me purse or bag.


The pattern comes with a printable strap, however, you can lengthen the strap if you need. The best way to determine this is to take a tape measure and measure over your shoulder and across your body. 

Next, decide on a strap length. If the length needs to be shorter or longer, adjust the strap piece accordingly.


Grab this free pleated purse pattern and learn how to sew a purse.



How to Sew a Purse


Materials Needed


Seam Allowance is 1/2"

beginner cross body bag pattern

Step 1

Cut 2 of bag piece and yoke in fabric, lining and interfacing.  Cut 2 straps in fabric and 1 strap in interfacing.  Iron interfacing to the wrong side of the bag pieces, yoke, and straps.






how to sew a purse 


how to sew a purse

Step 2

Optional Pocket with or without zipper. If you do not wish to add a pocket, skip to step 6. 

Take the Zipper Pocket Pattern Piece, transfer the rectangle from the pattern onto the wrong side of your pocket fabric piece. With Right Sides Together (RST), place the pocket piece 1.5" down from the top straight edge and 1.5-2" away from the right rounded edge of one of your lining pieces and pin. 

Stitch the pocket to the lining around your traced rectangle. When you are finished, the pocket will be sideways. This is on purpose.





sew a purse

sew a purse

Step 3

Take scissors and carefully cut down the center of the rectangle, through both layers, and into the corners. Take your pocket flip and it through the opening so that the wrong side of the lining and the wrong side of the pocket are now touching. Press. 

If you are not adding the zipper to your pocket, skip to step 5.




sew a purse

sew a purse

Step 4

Turn your lining so that the lining is right side up. Place your zipper underneath your lining with the zipper head at the top and pin in place. Make sure that the head of the zipper is visible. 

Carefully topstitch the zipper to the lining by following the outline of the pocket opening. If your zipper is a bit longer, cut off the extra at the end. 

If you do not wish to have a zipper, just topstitch around the opening of the pocket so that the lining and pocket stay in place.







fabric purse pattern

Step 5

Fold the bottom edge of the pocket piece up so that it matches the top of the pocket piece. Pin in place. Sew 1/4" around the pocket piece, but be careful to only sew around the pocket and avoid catching the lining.





fabric purse pattern

fabric purse pattern

Step 6

Find the center front of one of the bag pieces, fold the fabric from the line marked on the pattern piece towards the center fold of the bag . Repeat on opposite side. 

Pin the folded edge. Stitch the pleat in place using a basting stitch at 1/8". Repeat with other side and both lining pieces.






fabric purse pattern

fabric purse pattern

Step 7

With rights sides together (RST), place yoke on straight edge of bag and pin in place.

Stitch yoke to bag. Press yoke seam up toward the top of the bag. Repeat step with other side and both lining pieces.








fabric purse pattern

Step 8

With RST, place the main bag front to the main bag back and pin. Stitch around bag from the top edge all the way around to the opposite top edge. Leave the straight side open. 

Clip with scissors around the rounded edge of the bag. Repeat step with lining front and back bag pieces.






fabric purse pattern

fabric purse pattern

Step 9

With RST, pin the two strap pieces together along the long side. Stitch down each of the

long sides at 1/4". DO NOT STITCH THE SHORT SIDES. Carefully turn the strap right side out. (You can do this easily if you attach a safety pin to one side of the strap and thread it through the strap.) Press strap. Topstitch down the length of the straps.








how to sew a purse

how to sew a purse

how to sew a purse

Step 10

With main bag wrong side out. Pin one side of the strap to the main bag piece right at the side seam. Repeat with opposite strap to opposite side seam, making sure not to twist the strap. 

Turn the lining so the right side is out. Place the lining inside the main bag. Pin lining to bag matching side seams and pleats. 

Stitch lining to the bag around the yoke, making sure to leave a 3” opening for turning the bag.









how to sew a purse

how to sew a purse for beginners

 Step 11

Pull the right side of the bag out through the opening. Push the lining into the main bag.

Follow along the seams with your hands to help shape the rounded edges. Press the top edge of the bag so that it sits nice and flat. Press the remainder of the bag.







how to sew a purse for beginners

Step 12

This bag can be reversible, however, you would want to skip adding the velcro. Stitch around the top edge of the bag to keep the lining in place. 

Take one side of the Velcro and pin it to the middle of the bag yoke on the inside. (To easily find the middle, find the center of the pleats and go up 1.5".) 

Sew around the Velcro in a box shape then sew an "X" through the middle. Repeat with opposite side of Velcro on the opposite side of the bag.


That's it.  Now you've got a simple, lined purse you can swing over your shoulder and be ready to go.


pleated purse pattern free

Want the free pleated purse pattern?  Simply click the button below to download.




how to sew a purse for beginners


Grab this free pleated purse pattern and learn how to sew a purse.


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