Sunday, February 7, 2010

Felted Wool Purse Tutorial

Note: This pattern will have to be adjusted to whatever materials you use. If you have any questions about any of the steps, please be sure to ask in the comments or send me an e-mail. I hope you enjoy this tutorial!

This project started with a felted wool vest. You could make the same bag with fabric but you would have to insert the zipper. I used the zipper that was already in the vest.

I removed the pockets with a seam ripper and repositioned them, orienting them correctly for the purse.

Fold the vest wrong sides together, with the zipper at the top. Pin through the layers and mark straight cutting lines for the size of your bag. Cut along the lines. The side seam of the vest worked fine in the style of the purse, no need to worry about that.

Cut two pieces of lining fabric the same size as your bag, plus 1/2 at the top zipper edge. Cut pocket for lining 16 inches x the width of your purse.

On the wrong sides of purse and lining fabric, mark 2-inch squares at both bottom corners. Do not cut out the squares.

Press under 1/2 inch on top edge of both pieces of lining. Pin to edges of zipper on wrong side of purse fabric.

Flip over to right side and pin next to zipper, through all layers.

Leaving pins in right side of purse, remove pins that you put in lining fabric. Flip back over and stitch through all layers, next to zipper.

Fold your pocket fabric right sides together and stitch along width. Turn tube right side out and press. Stitch pocket sides and bottom to right side of one of your lining pieces, with bottom of pocket positioned 3 inches from the bottom of lining piece. Sew a seam dividing the pocket into two pockets (these can be any size you'd like).

Unzip zipper (very important step). With ride sides together, stitch sides and bottom of purse together and sides and bottom of lining, leaving a 4-inch opening in the side of the lining for turning.

On wrong sides, pull out corners on the bottom of the purse and the bottom of the lining. Pin and stitch along the lines you drew for the 2-inch squares. Trim this seam as shown in the lining photo below.

Turn right side out through the opening you left in the side of the lining. Fold lining opening under and stitch together close to the edge.

Push lining down into the inside of the purse. You should have something that looks like the photo below!

The vest had a separating zipper, so I put a few stitches across the zipper (see below) to make it unable to separate. I also stitched up the edges of the purse by the zipper area by hand that were too thick to sew by machine.

I used a woven belt for the strap. I cut a rectangle of purse fabric and folded it to encase the ends of the belt and stitched it on all sides, through all thicknesses including the lining. I sewed through the belt by hand since it was too thick for machine stitching. I made the stitches go through the weaving on the belt so I didn't have to go through the leather.

I cut a 1/2 inch strip of purse fabric and pieced it to make it long enough. Using a crochet hook, I wove it through the belt strap. 


Mary on Lake Pulaski said...

Very cute! I would definitely try it if I had a felted wool vest with a zipper.

Chris said...

Very nice! Love to see good fabric re-purposed. Might also work with a fleece vest.

Sew It UP! said...

This came out so great and thanks for the tutorial.

Nanette Merrill and daughters said...

I looked for thrifted wool but didn't find what I wanted so I bought some :-(. I'm taking a wool bag class in 2 weeks. Can't wait. Yours is lovely.

Anonymous said...


Thank you for your kind words on my Baby Steps quilt...

Your wool vest purse is such a clever idea - I am absolutely impressed.

Karen said...

Sue, Thanks for stopping by and entering my apron give away.
I LOVE the purse! Red is fast becoming my favorite color.Must be old age.LOL
I'll add you to my blog roll.
Hugs, Karen

Karen said...

Great tutorial! I LOVE the bag.

Michelle @ Periwinkle said...

I like this a lot, especially the way you did the strap, michelle

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