If we must say so ourselves (and sometimes we must), these little coin purses are about as adorable as they come! Not only do they get five stars on the cuteness chart, they are super easy. Make one for yourself (because you deserve it!), then make a bundle for your friends. They are the perfect fast and fun gift. Fill them with coins and gift cards, tasty treats, or other little goodies. We used a variety of different eye-poppin' colors and patterns for our exteriors with an awesome matching chevron stripe on the inside of all three to tie them together as a set. Spare change just got a whole lot more fun!
The front of each little purse features a beautiful pleated strip accented with decorative stitching. We then selected a matching embroidery floss to stitch the metal frame in place along the top. It's unique, personalized details like these that turn a simple gift into something extra special.
We originally used fabric from the Simply Color collection by Vanessa Christenson for Moda Fabrics. This is an older collection and so can be difficult to find currently. As a new option, we found two great collections at Fat Quarter Shop and Fabric.com.
Our first suggestion is The Littles by Michael Miller Fabrics. Click on the link to the left or the swatches below to view more and shop.
Another fun option is Moda's Hubba Hubba. Click on the links to the left or the swatches below to view more and shop.
Sewing Tools You Need
Any Sewing Machine (we recommend the Janome Décor Computer 2014)
Fabric and Other Supplies
Ingredients shown below are for ONE coin purse. We used pre-cuts for our samples (Fat Quarters and Jelly Roll strips). We have a good Lesson in Pre-cuts if you're new to these handy fabric bundles.
- Two Fat Quarters - one for the exterior and pleated accent, one for the lining; if you do not use Fat Quarters, you will need two coordinating cut pieces, each 18" x 22"
- ¼ yard or scrap of low-loft batting; you need a 8" x 12" piece
- One ready-made purse frame; we used a Everything Mary 5" sew-on purse frame from Jo-Ann Fabric
NOTE: The frame we used is available from the Jo-Ann website linked above and likely in-store in many locations, however, other frames would work as well. Find a frame you like in the same approximate size; you may then need to adjust our pattern slightly to fit. Etsy is also a good online option for frames.
- All purpose thread to match fabric
- 40wt. embroidery thread in a contrasting color for front decorative stitching; we used Madeira Rayon
- 6-strand embroidery floss to match embroidery thread to stitch the frame to the purse; we used cotton floss by DMC
- See-through ruler
- Fabric pen or pencil
- Iron and ironing board
- Scissors or rotary cutter and mat
- Seam gauge
- Seam ripper
- Straight pins
- Hand sewing needle with a large eye for sewing with floss
- Regular hand sewing needle
- Download and print the Frame Purse Pattern.
IMPORTANT: This pattern consists of ONE 8½" x 11" sheet. You must print the PDF file at 100%. DO NOT SCALE to fit the page.
NOTE: The dots shown on our pattern correspond with the purse frame we used. As we've mentioned above, you may need to adjust the size and shape of the pattern a bit to best fit the frame(s) you use. This includeds the position of the dots. When measuring for the dots, you'll want to place them just behind the frame's hinges on either side.
- Cut out the pattern along the solid lines.
- From the fabric for the front and pleat, cut the following:
Using the pattern, cut TWO pieces (one front and one back)
ONE 2½" x 22" strip (you could also use a Jelly Roll strip for this element)
- From the fabric for the lining, using the pattern, cut TWO pieces (one front and one back). Transfer the marked dots on the paper pattern to the wrong side of both lining pieces.
- From the batting, using the pattern, cut TWO pieces (one front and one back). Transfer the marked dots to each of the batting pieces.
At Your Sewing Machine & Ironing Board
Pleated accent with decorative stitching
- Find the 2½" x 22" strip.
- Make a ⅛" double-turn hem along each 22" side of the strip. To do this, fold in the raw edge ⅛" and press, then fold in an additional ⅛" and press again, encasing the raw edge in fold. Stitch close to the fold to secure.
NOTE: If you are new to making simple hems, you can read our tutorial. You could also use a Rolled Hem foot for this step.
- Fold the strip into ¾" box pleats, starting ½" from one end.
- Pin in place. There will be some excess fabric at the opposite end.
NOTE: If you are new to pleating, check out our tutorial on Box Pleats.
- Place the pleated strip on the purse front, centering the pleats. Pin in place. Trim excess fabric so the ends of the strip are flush with the top and bottom of the purse front.
- Thread your machine with bobbin thread in the bobbin and the 40wt embroidery thread in the needle. Following the settings and process for your machine and model, select a favorite decorative stitch, and stitch the pleats in place. You are stitching along the exact center of the strip through all the layers.
NOTE: If you are concerned about keeping your stitching line consistent, you could use a marking pen or pencil to draw in a centered line to follow.
Purse body assembly
- Pin the pleated purse front and the plain purse back to a matching piece of batting.
- Place these to pinned pieces right sides together, matching the raw edges all around. Pin in place.
- Switch from embroidery thread back to regular thread.
- Using a ¼" seam allowance, stitch around the lower part of the purse, through all the layers, from marked dot to marked dot.
- Carefully clip the curves, and turn the purse right side out. Use your finger or a long tool with a blunt end, such as a chopstick or knitting needle, to smooth the curved seam.
- Find the two purse lining pieces.
- Place the pieces right sides together, matching the raw edges all around. Pin in place.
- Using a ¼" seam allowance, stitch around the lower part of the purse from marked dot to marked dot, but leaving a 2" opening at the bottom. Remember to lock your seam at either side of the 2" opening.
- With the purse exterior right side out and the purse lining wrong side out, place the purse exterior inside the purse lining, The exterior and lining are now right sides together. Smooth the layers so the pieces lay as flat as possible against one another.
- Align the upper raw edges of the purse and lining, and pin in place from marked dot to marked dot on both the front layers and the back layers. In other words, from the points on either side where the purse body seams stop. Remember, you are pinning the front layers and back layers separately; you are not pinning through all four layers... you wouldn't be able to open the purse if you did that!
- Using a ¼" seam allowance, stitch the front layers together. Repeat to stitch the back layers together.
- Carefully turn the purse right side out through the bottom opening in the lining.
- Smooth the lining down into the inside of the purse.
- Finger press the seams, then very lightly press the entire purse. Fold in the raw edges of the opening used for turning so they are flush with sewn seam. Pin the opening in place.
- Thread the regular hand sewing needle with matching thread and slip stitch the opening closed.
- Slide the upper edge of the front and back into the purse frame. The frame should end just above the seam on each side, leaving a bit of a gap behind the hinge, which allows the purse to open more easily.
- Thread the large-eyed hand sewing needle with 6 strands of embroidery floss and hand stitch the purse frame in place.
Project Design: Alicia Thommas
Sample Creation and Instructional Outline: Michele Mishler