Placemat Purse Tutorial
Placemats are a wonderful, inexpensive medium for creating purses and totes. I have made several using placemats I bought for a dollar at the Dollar Tree! The following instructions are for making a purse out of 2 placemats and for adding a lining and pockets to the inside.
For this project you will need:
* 2 fabric placemats
* 1 yard coordinating fabric for lining and pockets
* Canvas purse straps or straps made of lining fabric (I made mine out of lining material for this this tutorial.)
* Sewing Thread
1. Remove tags. Place right sides together. Is there a top and bottom to the placemat? Make sure that both printed designs are right side up and will remain so when the bottom seam of the bag is sewn.
2. Sew the two placemats together by stitching a seam along one of the longest sides. Many placemats are hemmed, so place your foot as close to the seam as possible and stitch in a straight line using the hem as a guide. (If there is a top and a bottom to the placemats, make sure that your seam is on the side that will form the bottom of the bag.)
3. Press seam open.
4. Open seamed placemats to form one long strip of fabric and lay out on a cutting mat on top of your lining fabric. Trim your lining fabric to the same size as your seamed together placemats.
5. Cut two 8×10 inch rectangles of lining fabric. These will be used to form your lining pockets.
6. Hem one side of each pocket rectangle.
7. Place pocket (hem side toward top edge) 2 inches down from the top edge of lining fabric. Center it between side edges.
Turn raw edges of pocket rectangles under, pin, and stitch down. (Repeat this step for opposite pocket.)
8. Stitch triangle shapes in each top corner for stability. (If two smaller pockets on each side of purse lining are desired, simply stitch a seam down the center of the pocket rectangle.)
9. Measure 4 inches from each side edge and pin strap to top edge of placemat.
10. Sandwich straps between the placemat fabric and the lining fabric with the raw edges sticking slightly above the seam. (Make sure right sides of placemat fabric and right sides of lining fabric are together.) Stitch down. Repeat for opposite top seam.
11. You should now have a continuous circle of fabric. Open circle up and refold, placing placemats together and lining fabric together.
12. Pin side edges together at seam joint to prevent slipping during sewing.
13. Sew side seams. (On one side, leave a hole in the lining portion of the seam for turning.)
14. Pull on seams and form a triangle shaped point to sew across. (This will form the rectangular bottom of the bag.)
15. Measure down 1 ½ inch and sew a line across the point.
16. Cut the point off, leaving a 1/4 inch seam.
17. Turn purse right-side-out. Use a skewer or a long pair of scissors to poke out all corners.
18. Stitch up the hole in the lining that was used for turning the purse.
19. Sew around top opening of purse to stabilize the top and hold the lining in place.
20. Cut a piece of plastic mesh to go in the bottom of the purse and hold its shape. Cover this plastic mesh rectangle with lining fabric. Place in inside of purse on bottom.