Crafty Tutorial Part 1: Upcycled Travel Purse

African Savannah Travel Bag Front and with pouchOur resident sewing genius, Joyce, has created this sleek, utilitarian-styled travel purse using one of the newly released collections by Clothworks.  What better fabric to use for a purse to take along on your jet-setting safaris than African Savannah by new Clothworks designer, Eugene Smith.  Not only is this bag fashion-conscious, it’s also eco-friendly!  Leave it to Joyce to find a way to use findings from a second hand purse and up-cycle it into a totally new creation.  Now let’s begin with the basics!

Travel Purse Tutorial by Joyce:

It is sometimes hard to find hardware to create a purse. So I like to head over to my local second hand store to find these items:

  • 6 ½” zipper (or larger and it can be cut down)
  • Shoulder strap and hardware to attach to purse

I actually had a purse that was falling apart and terribly dirty, but the hardware was in good condition and luckily, exactly what I wanted.

purse findings

Fabric and other items you will need:

  • Purse Front – 7 ¾” x 7”
  • Flap Lining – 7 ¾” x 6”
  • Pocket Lining – 7 ¾” x 13”
  • Zipper Ends – Four pieces of 2” square fabric
  • Flap Front and Purse Back – 7 ¾” x 13” If you are using a directional fabric it might be a good idea to piece these fabrics so both the back and the front flap will be upright when finished. I sewed 3 pieces together  (8” x 2 ¼” x 3 ¾”) with ¼” seams
  • 3 ½ times the width of hardware attaching to purse x 7” long
  • Boning – Two 7” pieces of ½” width
  • Canvas or other bottom weight fabric – If you are using quilting cottons or other light weight fabric you will want to give the bag some body by interlining it with a heavier fabric (6-8 oz). This will add body without making it rigid. To do this cut a matching piece of canvas for the Purse Front and the Flap Front and Purse Back. Layer the canvas on the wrong side of the fabric and treat them as one piece of fabric. You can pin them together or baste them down the middle.

purse 1

purse 2


purse 3


Check back next Friday to read Part 2 of Joyce’s Tutorial for the Travel Purse!

One thought on “Crafty Tutorial Part 1: Upcycled Travel Purse

  1. Pingback: On The Go Quilting » Friday Finds, June 27

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