Some time back, I made a little purse for a friend’s two-year-old from a free pleated pouch tutorial on Skip to My Lou. Sweet Paige unwrapped it, slung it over her shoulder and strutted around for the rest of her party with her new purse. Winner gift!
The Pleated Purse
I loved the way Paige’s purse turned out but it was definitely sized for a toddler. So when Tau’s friend Isabella turned five, I went looking for a bag for her. Isa is, of course, into princesses and anything pink or purple but I wanted a design and fabric that would outlast this phase. She has the loveliest chestnut hair and dark eyes and I found the very pretty pastel and brown fabric you see above. It really suits her perfectly.
The search for a pattern was fun too. I wanted something stylish but not fussy, and a design that would sew up quickly, so that I could make it again for other girl birthdays.
Have I mentioned the birthdays? The steady string of one or two parties almost every weekend?
Fodder for another post all together but suffice to say that it helps to have standard girl and boy gift on hand, so that you don’t have to scratch your head and find something totally original for each child.
Searching through the gazillion purse tutorials on the web, I found this one by Bolsa Chica at Deliberately Domestic. It was exactly what I was looking for but sized for an adult. Sad face. So I kid-sized it (8 x 12 for the first panel) and added slightly longer straps (proportionally). Happy face.
What I like about this kind of pattern is that there is no pattern. You start with the measurements of the first panel, and then cut the other pieces, as you go, based on the finished dimensions of the preceding pieces. This makes it very easy to customize.
I added Isa’s name in simple hand stitching and then, because I couldn’t bring myself to stop working with that pretty fabric, decided she needed a matching coin or chap-stick purse. Because some days enough is just not enough with me.
The Coin Purse
Try Googling “coin purse tutorial” — there are a million of them out there. I was looking for small, simple and zippered, and I found it here on Susan’s blog Freshly Picked.
Susan’s directions are for oil cloth but I changed it up a bit (me? you don’t say!) using the pretty Isa fabric, lined with the pink to which I’d ironed a layer of interfacing. The three layers gave it just about the same firmness as the oil cloth.
I kid you not when I tell you this is a 15-minute project. Sew the zipper in, stitch the side seams, clip them with the pinking shears and DONE!
Needless to say, Isabella was thrilled with her bag and purse, and I’ll be making a few more of them in months to come!