New twist on an old favorite

I was pondering the making of a small book purse, of the style that opens at the top. It has always been awkward to me to glue the side pieces in and glue the straight piece into the book cover. I wondered if I could figure out how to sew it all together as one piece, then glue. I think I hit on how to do it.

Since I am using quilting cotton, I used two layers and even decided to have the outer layer a sky blue blender, and the inner layer as a lining, in white on white. For the main straight piece of the lining, I added interfacing to the middle. I’ve found that the craft glue tends to bleed through thinner fabrics. Layer the fabric in this order: interfacing on the bottom, outer fabric facing up, lining fabric facing down. The right sides are together.

For the side pieces, shaped like triangles, I omitted the interfacing because I want them to easily fold together inside the purse when in use. I sewed a straight seam where the top of the piece is, turned and pressed, and then topstitched with a decorative stitch that coordinates with the book cover.

I marked the outer edges of the book cover when open as far as I want the purse to open. To mark the second piece, I stacked the pieces, poked pins through at the points of the line drawn, and turned it over to draw the same on the other piece.

Mark on the straight piece the straight edge of the two long sides of the book cover, with marks for the edges of the cover and the spine portion.

Trim the triangle piece close to the stitching lines marked. Insert it lining side up between the lining and outer fabrics. Line up the marks for the spine on both white fabrics. Sew only that portion of the line.

Make a diagonal clip at the corners, on the side piece only. Pull one side of the side piece so that the stitching lines are lined up and pin like crazy. I was afraid this part would shift on me, but it didn’t. Then stitch just that portion.

Do the same for the other side of the same piece.

Of course, you would repeat for the side piece that goes on the opposite side of the purse. You may need to carefully maneuver the pieces as you sew. This part doesn’t show in the pictures, but trim the fabric close to where you stitched.

Reach inside and pull the side pieces out, turning the white lining fabric to the other side of the whole piece.

Now you have one piece, a complete purse liner! Time to finish the two upper edges.

I took short lengths of bias binding. Line up the stitching line on the binding with the edge where the side piece ends. Do the same on the other side, and pin between, making sure not to stretch the bias binding. Repeat for the other side.

After stitching, trim the excess fabric.

Pull the binding to the inside, pin in place, and stitch.

I chose to use a webbed belt for the handle of this purse. You would attach handles in the manner you choose. When I glue, I glue beneath the purse portion.

Use plenty of craft glue on the spine portion, carefully place your purse lining, and press into place. When it dries, you can glue the rest of the purse into place.

I’m posting this before the glue is dry enough to finish gluing, so I plan to update this post with the finished picture of the purse.



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