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Monday, September 7, 2015

French Seam Purses

       French Seam Purses
       4 1/2" x 4 1/2"                   11 1/2" x 11 1/2"

Recently I decided to make some small purses to sell at a local craft store.  So I thought I'd do it the quick and easy way. LOL
And then I also decided to make a larger bag.

I've made many little purses over the years and one of my favorite
treatments of seams is the french seam. This is used in making clothes and is a great way to do seams in a purse.

This purse is going to have 2 sides and I decided not to add any inset bottom.
You can piece a front for your bag or you can use a nice print or fun fabric for the front. It's all up to you.  Large or small is up to you also.

To see how I pieced this front go back to the previous post and see the picture and explanation there.

So you need -
  Front fabric - sm purse 5"   lg purse 12"
  after assembling your front fabric whether pieced or not
  you then need to cut 3 squares the same size as your front.


 You need a strip of velcor. It should be at least 3/4" shorter on each end than your fabric square.
  Sew on one half of your velcro to the plain square. I placed it 3/4" down from the top edge.  I like to sew around the velcro at least 2 times and on the ends I backstitch several times to give it some staying power. the velcro will get pulled alot so it needs to be really stable.

Now you need to sew the front to one liner ( plain square with velcro).

Repeat this with the other half so you should now have front and back halves of the purse ready to sew together. I like to sew a finish seam across the top edge of each half. It just makes it look nicer and gives it a nice finished look.

Okay now you just need to place the two halves together face to face. Pin in place and then sew along the sides and the bottom to join them together in the first seams. Use a scant 1/4" or 1/8" for the small purse. For the larger purse you can use the 1/4" if you want to here. but if you do use 1/4" then the next seam should be slightly wider than 1/4".
  The seam you see at the top is the finish seam we did before we put the two halves together. Do NOT sew across the top at this step now. Just the sides and the bottom.

Now turn the purse right side out and pin in place. Sew along the sides and bottom again. The idea of the French Seam is to sew a seam / turn it rt side out/ sew another seam enclosing the first seam inside the second seam. So here you want to use a wider seam allowance than you did in your first seam. The size of your seam allowance is up to you. It can be anything you are comfortable doing. 

I used a 1/8" seam allowance and then a 1/4" seam allowance here but you can do a 1/4" and then a 5/8" - 1/2" seam the 2nd time. You just want to be sure you are catching all the raw edge inside the second seam. 

Here you can see the inside of the large bag I made. You can see the enclosed seam on the inside. I realized this also makes it possible to make this bag reversible. You could leave the velcro off and use tabs with buttons if you wanted it reversible. Just a thought. 

Hope you have fun with this one!! Rhonda