Santa Purse


A detailed tutorial on making an easy little lined, boxed-corner tote bag in white fur and red corduroy - the gallery has variants, including non-Christmas versions.

I acquired some cerise wide-wale corduroy, with the intention to make my pink-lovin' sister a Santa purse, and decided to go through the steps and take pictures this time. I think I goofed up some of the measurements in the original instructions, so use these instead.

If you use a quilted fabric for the lining, your purse will have a lot more body. I just used the pink cotton duck - it's not easy matching cerise! Note the Christmas-red loop (left over from a previous purse) in the first picture - it's there for color reference.

Step 1:

Cut everything out

Fur trim: Two pieces 3" tall by 16" wide.

Bead/dangly trim (optional): One or two pieces 16" wide (depending on whether you want one side to be the "front" of the purse).

Purse body: One piece 18" tall by 16" wide (or two pieces 9.5" tall by 16" wide, if your fabric has a nap or directional pattern).

Purse lining: One piece 22" tall by 16" wide (or two pieces 11.5" tall by 16" wide, if your lining fabric has a nap).

Inside pocket, if you want one: One piece 6" tall by 7" wide (adjust to taste, leaving 1/2" seam allowance all around).

Self handles: Two pieces each of body and lining fabric, 2.5" wide by 14-16" long OR two pieces of body fabric only, 4" wide by 14-16" long.


Shoulder strap: One pieces each of body and lining fabric, 3.5" wide by 26" long OR one piece of body fabric only, 6" wide by 26" long.


Loops for purchased handles: four pieces of body fabric, 3" wide by 6" long.

Step 2:

Piece the purse body

Pin RST and sew the two purse body pieces together at the bottom if you have two. Baste the beaded trim strip(s) onto the top edge(s) of the purse body, then pin RST and sew the fur trim onto the top edges. Ensure that the fur goes the right direction (nap points toward the bottom of the purse), combing it out of the seam allowance - with heavy fur you may want to "shave" the seam allowance (but don't get carried away or you'll have bald spots!). After sewing, pick the fur out of the seam on both sides.

Pin RST and sew the two lining pieces together if you cut two. Leave a 4" opening for turning in the middle.

Step 3:

Sew the straps and pocket

For the two-part straps, match the body and lining pieces RST, pin and sew the side seams. Turn and press, rolling seams slightly toward the lining side.

For the one-part straps, fold in half RST lengthwise, pin and sew the side seam. Press the seam open, turn and press with the seam centered on one side.

If desired, topstitch the straps a scant 1/4" from each edge.

Fold and press the top edge of the pocket piece over a scant 1/4", then another 1/4". Top-stitch 1/8" from the edge. Press the other three seams under 1/2", position 3" down from top seam of lining and centered horizontally, and sew scant 1/4" in from edges, overrunning the top of the pocket and backstitching at both ends.

Optional: For magnetic snaps, cut two small pieces of Timtex (etc.) and fuse or sew them to the lining just below the seam line, then attach one half of the snap to the lining at each side, making sure the prongs go through the Timtex and are securely flattened down.

Step 4:

Sew the side seams

Fold the purse body in half RST along the bottom seam or fold. Pin the side seams, being careful not to catch the fur or beaded trim in the seam, and sew.

Open one the purse corner and match the side seam to the bottom seam/fold. Sew a 3" seam across the corner and trim to a 1/3" seam allowance. Repeat for the other corner.

Repeat this step for the purse lining, leaving a 4" opening on one side for turning if you didn't piece the lining. (Be sure your turning opening is far enough from the corner!)

Step 5:

Sew the lining in

Turn the purse body right side out.

For self handles or shoulder strap: pin the handles to the right side of the purse body, matching the raw edges and making sure the body fabric or non-seam side of the purse handles is facing the purse body.

For handle loops: fold the loops in half, seam side in, and pin to the right side of the purse body, matching the raw edges and making sure the spacing is correct for the handles you plan to use. If you are using D-rings, thread them on the loops first.

Place the purse body inside the lining (which is still wrong side out), match the side seams, and pin the tops together, matching the raw seam edges on the purse body, lining, and handle/loop ends.

Sew around the top edge of the purse, backstitching over the handle/loop ends. Pick any trapped fur out of the seam.

Step 6:

Turn and finish

Carefully pull the purse body through the turning opening.

Optionally, cut a piece of Timtex, Peltex, light cardboard, or plastic canvas 3" by 12" and slip it through the turning opening and into the bottom of the purse body, to give the purse bottom a little more shape.

Then ladder- or whip-stitch the opening closed. Tuck the lining into the purse, pick any trapped fur out of the seam, attach the purchased handles if you're using them, and you're done.


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