I have seen some tutorials for square cornered, flat bottomed, zippered purses (phew.. that was a lot of adjectives) but they don't look quite right to me. When I thought about it for a little while, I realised that if you just cut off the corners to create a flat bottomed purse they flare out at the top. I quite like the idea of the sides being straight up and down, rather than angling out to meet the zip. So I pondered for a while and this is what I came up with:
Let's start with drafting the pattern.....
I have designed this tutorial so you can make any sized purse you like. All you need to do is choose the width, height and depth of the purse you like. For my purse, I chose a width of 23cm, a height of 17cm and a depth of 10cm - big enough to fit my keys, wallet, phone and sunglasses.
2. Next, divide the depth you have decided by 2. For me this was 5cm (half the depth of 10cm). Make two more vertical lines at this distance (for me, 5cm) from the outside of the lines you created in step 1.
4. Draw a line that joins the lower ends of the lines you have made in step 3.
6. I have marked in the final shape of your purse pattern. You are not quite finished yet though - you need to add some seam allowances.
Making the Purse......
- 2 pieces of fabric - an outer fabric and a lining
- a zipper at least 10cm longer than the width of your finished purse
- iron on interfacing (This is not essential but will give a nice structure to your purse. I used two home dec weight fabrics and got away without using it. I would have but didn't have any on hand. If you are using quilting weight fabric you will get a much better finish if you use it.
- the paper pattern you have just made.
Using your pattern piece cut 2 from your outer fabric, your lining fabric and your iron on interfacing.
Iron the interfacing to the wrong side of the lining fabric.
Grab your zipper. Lay out one outer fabric, right side up and put the zip facing down with the zipper pull to the left on top. Place the lining fabric right side down on top. The zipper will hang out on either side of your fabric. Line up the zipper edge with the raw edges of the outer and lining and pin liberally. Here is an image from our previous tutorial to help you along. (Obviously your fabric pieces with be funny shaped triangles, but I am sure you get the idea!)
Flip both these pieces of fabric back so you can see their right sides and the zipper:
Open up the zipper so the pull is about half way down the length of the zip.
Lay out your project so the linings are right sides together and the outers right sides together. You will have something that looks like this:
It's now time to sew the purse together. Using your chosen seam allowance follow the diagram below:
Now, let's move on to creating the flat bottom. You will need to complete the next steps 4 times - twice for the lining and twice for the outer.
At one of the square cut corners, separate the layers of the bag. Match up the side seam and bottom seam. Pin them so they are flat and then stitch using your regular seam allowance.
You are done - your first square cornered, flat bottomed, zippered purse!! Make lots. Make them in different sizes now you know how!