Purses made from linens are a thoughtful gift for bridesmaids and for carrying to the wedding reception.
1. Download the free pattern for this project. (Downloading requires Adobe Acrobat software.)
2. Trace the desired purse patterns onto tracing paper, and enlarge 200 percent. Cut them out. Cut a 1-1/2 x 13-inch gusset for the smaller purse and a 1-1/2 x 16-inch gusset for the larger purse.
3. Hand-wash the monogrammed towel if necessary. Cut a piece of fusible interfacing the same size as the towel. Fuse the interfacing to the wrong side of the towel, following the manufacturer's instructions. Position the purse-front pattern over the monogram on the towel as desired; cut out the purse front. Cut one purse back and one gusset from the remaining towel fabric. From the lining fabric, cut one front, one back, and one gusset.
4. For the rectangular purse: Let the hem extend slightly beyond the bottom edge of the front pattern and do not cut on the bottom edge of the pattern. Cut an additional front from the lining. Position the embroidered purse front on one front lining, aligning the top and side edges. Baste the layers together and treat as one layer.
5. Position the piping between the dots on the purse with the piping stitching line on the seam of the purse. Baste the piping to the purse front and back. For the embroidered hem, sew the piping to the lining only at the bottom edge of the purse, keeping the embroidered hem loose.
6. For the round purse: Cut two 1-yard lengths of 5/8-inch-wide ribbon. Machine-sew a row of gathering stitches 1/4-inch from a long edge of each ribbon length. Pull the gathers to fit a ribbon length between the dots on the purse front as indicated on the pattern. Baste the gathered ribbon to the purse front. Repeat for the remaining ribbon length and the purse back.
7. For both purses: Carefully sew the gusset to the purse front and back between the dots indicated on the pattern. Turn the purse right side out; press. Sew the lining pieces together in the same manner, leaving an opening on one edge.
8. Slip the purse inside the lining with right sides together. Sew the lining and the purse together at the top edges between the dots. Turn the purse right side out through the opening. Tuck the lining into the purse. Fold under the seam allowances at the ends of the gussets. Hand-sew the folded edges together.
9. Open the purse frame. Matching the gusset with the joints of the frame, position the purse in the frame, and baste loosely. Thread a sewing needle with a doubled length of strong thread. Beginning at one end and working from the inside of the frame, carefully backstitch through the fabric, into an opening in the frame, and back into the fabric. Continue backstitching along both sides of the frame. Remove the basting threads.
10. For the handle, tie one end of the 3/8-inch-wide ribbon to the purse frame. Secure the knot with thread, and trim the ribbon end at an angle. Tie overhand knots in the ribbon length about every 2 inches to make five knots. Attach the remaining ribbon end to the frame in the same manner.
11. Matching the gusset with the joints of the frame, position the purse in the frame, and baste loosely. Thread a sewing needle with a doubled length of strong thread. Beginning at one end and working from the inside of the frame, carefully backstitch through the fabric, into an opening in the frame, and back into the fabric. Continue backstitching along both sides of the frame. Remove the basting threads.