Thursday, September 6, 2012

Using Fat Quarters for a Purse

I made myself a cute Journey Purse the other day!

A while back I had purchased a really cool packet of fat quarters - Retro Boho from Studio e.  So I decided to use 5 fat quarters to make my purse (there was a little left over for other bags, too)!  Scraps of favorite fabrics could also be used the same way!

A Fat Quarter is a quarter yard of fabric cut so it is wider - that is approximately 18" x 22" (half the width of the fabric cut at 1/2 yard mark).  Quilters have used them for years to get more variety in their quilts and there's nothing more tempting in a quilt store than a stack of fat quarters!  They also come bundled - usually many or all the colorways of a fabric line; or coordinating fabrics.  A bundle is a great way to get a variety of fabrics for purses.

The Retro Bundle I bought was the complete line (all colorways) of this fabric design.  It was a little pricey (I think over $40) but so far I've made 3 purses with it and still have a little more.

About 5 - 8 fat quarters will make any of my purse patterns, but some areas will have to be pieced because of the limitation of 22" length.

The fun part is deciding where all the fabrics will go on the purse!  Start by deciding which fabric will be the flap of the purse, which will show the most.  I put my favorite fabric there.

To get a cohesive look, make the straps the same fabric if possible. If you're using fat quarters, you will need to make a seam for most straps.  Cut two strips of fabric the width of strap (3" - 3.5"), the seam the ends of the strips in a 1/4" seam.  Press to one side, then apply interfacing.  ALWAYS piece your fabric before adding the iron-on interfacing.

Then choose the inside, which will be the fabric that will show the least.  I usually choose the least colorful or less interesting of the group.  This also the spot where you can put a fabric that's not a perfect coordinate with the rest of the fabric, because it will not be seen from the outside.

Other coordinates will work for the side pieces or pockets on the purse.

For patterns like the Journey Purse, Adventure Bag, Travel Purse, or Hold It All Shopper; you may have to also piece the multiple pocket section.  Cut the fabric to width, sew with 1/4" seam, press and cut to length.  Try to position the seam so it will be inside a pocket or on the back side of the pocket.

The nice thing about my purse patterns is there are almost no rules!  Have fun and come up with something creative that YOU love.  And then share it on my Facebook page so we can all enjoy it too!!

I made this Adventure Bag with Retro Boho too!   Christina made this cute Hold It All Shopper from scraps!

This Sheila Purse was made with patches - see the full instructions.

1 comment:

  1. How can I make the placemat a bit larger and know how much more material I need to buy?