No one will know how little effort it took to make this playful yet sophisticated purse. Zipper installation is foolproof, says designer Elizabeth Bailey; stitching it up and adding a cord is a breeze as well.
While you're at it, make two or three. Pick coordinating fabrics from your stash. Or, to match a special outfit, use pieces left over from garment construction or from shortening a hem. It's couture accessorizing without the high-fashion cost.
Finished Size: 6 x 7 3/4 inches
Quantities are for 44/45-inch-wide fabrics. Measurements include 1/2-inch seam allowances. Sew with right sides together unless otherwise stated.
To make the best use of your fabrics, cut the pieces in the following order.
Note: When using silk, brocades, or other fabrics that fray easily, zigzag or serge to finish edges of pieces before assembling the bag.
1. Center and align one edge of a 7-inch-long zipper with long edge of aqua stripe 3-1/2-x-7-inch rectangle; top zipper stops should be 5/8 inch from fabric edge; bottom stop extends beyond fabric edge (Diagram 1). Sew zipper to aqua stripe rectangle, stitching down center of zipper. Press seam allowance away from zipper.
2. In the same manner, join remaining free edge of zipper with long edge of large floral 5-3/4-x-7-inch rectangle (Diagram 2). Press seam allowance away from zipper.
3. Center and align one edge of second 7-inch-long zipper with remaining long edge of aqua stripe 3-1/2-x-7-inch rectangle (Diagram 3). Join as before to make bag rectangle.
4. Sew short edge of a lime green print 8-1/2-x-7-inch lining rectangle to opposite side of second zipper tape. Using a short, wide zigzag stitch, sew across end of each zipper 1/2 inch from the ends to make new end stops as shown in Diagram 4.
5. Turn bag rectangle right side down. Referring to Diagram 5, join right side of remaining lime green print lining rectangle to wrong side of zipper tape at top of aqua stripe rectangle. Fold lining down and press.
6. Topstitch fabric on both sides of both zippers 1/8" inch from fabric fold.
7. Turn under short edge of large floral 8-3/4-x-7-inch rectangle 1/2 inch twice; sew along fold to hem.
8. Turn bag rectangle right side up. Place wrong side of large floral 8-3/4-x-7-inch rectangle on right side of lining rectangle with hem just below zipper as shown in Diagram 6. Using 1/4-inch seam, baste.
9. Baste remaining side of bag to its lining using a 1¿4-inch seam (Diagram 7).
Place center of cord 5/8 inch from edge of open pocket side of bag rectangle; let 6 inches of cord extend below bag bottom on each side. Using a zipper foot, stitch down center of cord with a straight stitch starting at zipper and ending 5/8 inch from the bottom. Repeat with remaining side edge.
If the thought of sewing a zipper causes you to break out in a sweat, consider using wash-away basting tape or a water-soluble glue stick (available at quilt shops and fabric stores) to hold the zipper in place. Then, when you stitch the zipper, use a zipper foot to better control the position of your stitching line.