A Purse Thingy

So, how was your weekend?  Mine was fun, but exhausting.  I decided to go and visit TheSecondChild on Saturday.  It’s a six hour drive, so I got up early and I was down there by noon.  I made a quick fabric shop stop and then TheSecondChild and I had a little lunch.  Then we had a fun-filled afternoon of cleaning the house he lives in with 2 other 22-yr. old pigs guys.  They had the clutter pretty well picked up, but boy, was it ever dirty.  While we were cleaning, TheFirstChild and SweetiePie called to say they were on their way home from spring break in a crowded vehicle of seven people and would I mind meeting them on the road (we were traveling the same route) so that they could move to my car and then I would take them home?  I was happy to have some travel time with them, but since we didn’t meet up until 10 p.m., we didn’t get to their place until 5 a.m. on Sunday morning.  I slept there for about 4 hours and then came home.  I’m getting too old for that college behavior!

Anyway, last week. before all that excitement, I had fun making some little keychain cell phone id coin whatever-else-you-want-to-throw-in-there purses.  I’ve seen little fabric/vinyl purses like this in the stores and I thought it would be fun to make some of my own.  I’ve been using mine for about a week now and I love it for the times when I just want to run a quick errand (not to mention how convenient it is to just pull my id purse out of my pocket instead of rummaging through my big wallet when I’m in the airport.)  Plus, I figured they will make nice little gifts for new graduates, bridesmaids, etc. now that spring is here.

Key Chain Purse

They’re pretty easy to make and I thought you might like to make some too, so I took some pictures of the process and thought I’d write a little tutorial.

Key Chain Purse

Here’s a shot of the back of the purse with my cell phone tucked into the little pocket.

Key Chain Purse

So, shall we start?  Here’s a picture of what you will need:

Key Chain Purse

Some scraps of fabric — I used three different prints.  You can use more or less, however you want your little purse to appear.
One 7-inch zipper.
One 3 1/4″ x 5 1/2″ scrap of quilt batting or heavy fabric like flannel.
One 3″ x 5 1/2″ piece of Heat and Bond or Wonder Under double sided fusible.
One 2 1/2″ x 3 3/4″ piece of vinyl.
One 6″ long piece of 1/2″ wide steam-a-seam.
One 3 3/4″ long piece of 1/4″ wide elastic.
One 5″ piece of coordinating ribbon for the zipper pull.
One keychain ring.  The ones I used came from Michael’s craft store.

Purse Back: Cut a 7″ long x 5 1/2″ wide piece of fabric.  Place the scrap of flannel on one end of the wrong side of the fabric and fold the other end over the top of the flannel.  This will sandwich the flannel in between the larger piece of fabric.

Key Chain Purse

Quilt this little sandwich however you would like — stipple, straight lines, or make up your own.

Key Chain Purse

For the cell phone pocket, cut another piece of fabric, 8 1/2″ long x 4″ wide.  Fold the fabric, wrong sides together, so that the 2 4″ edges meet at one end.  Sew a line of stitching next to the folded edge.  Then sew another parallel line of stitching, 3/8″ away from the first line.  This will form the channel for the piece of elastic.

Key Chain Purse

Feed the elastic through the channel and secure the elastic at each end of the channel with a tacking stitch.  Your fabric will now have a slight gather across the top.

Key Chain Purse

On the opposite end of this pocket, where the 4″ edges meet, sew a few lines of basting stitch 1/4″ and less from the raw edge.  You’ll use this stitching to slightly draw up the end of the pocket.

Key Chain Purse

Lay the quilted back on the table with the folded edge to your left and place the gathered pocket on top and to the bottom of the back so that there is a 1/4″ overlap along the left side.  Press that 1/4″ overlap around the folded edge of the back.  Slightly gather the basting stitches on the bottom of the pocket until the pocket is the same width as the quilted back.  Secure with a few pins and set aside.

Key Chain Purse

Purse Front:  Cut a piece of fabric 7″ long x 5 1/2″ wide.  From a piece of paper or cardstock, make a little window template that measures 1 3/4″ wide x 3″ long.  Place the window template on one end of the fabric, 1″ from the end and centered width-wise.  Trace around the template with a pencil.  Draw another window 1″ from the other end of the fabric.

Key Chain Purse

Draw another, smaller window 3/8″ in from each edge of the larger window.  Cut out the smaller window and then clip the corners of each window up to the outer lines.

Key Chain Purse

Turn the fabric over and press the 3/8″ edges to the inside of the window, folding along the pencil line.

Key Chain Purse

Fold the two windows, wrong sides together, so that they meet each other and press.  Slip the piece of vinyl between the two windows and secure with pins.

Key Chain Purse

Take the window to the sewing machine and topstitch close to the edge to secure the vinyl between the two windows.  Set aside.

Key Chain Purse

Now you need to make a piece of fabric that will go behind the window to form a pocket to hold an ID.  Cut a piece of fabric 5 1/2″ wide x 6″ long.  Place the piece of wonder under along the wrong side of one end and press.

Key Chain Purse

Peel the paper off of the wonder under, fold the end of the fabric over the wonder under and press again.  Now you will have a little wonder-undered sandwich of fabric.  Set aside.

Key Chain Purse

Assembly:  Take the 6″ long piece of steam-a-seam and cut it in half horizontally.  You will now have two pieces of steam-a-seam that are 1/4″ wide x 6″ long.  Flip the purse back over and press the steam-a-seam along the edge where the cell-phone pocket wraps around the folded edge of the back.  This is a little tricky, as the quilted piece will try and slip away from the folded edge that overlaps it.

Key Chain Purse

Peel the paper off of the steam-a-seam and center the purse back along one edge of the zipper and press until the purse back is adhered to the zipper.  This will help hold the fabric in place along the zipper until it can be stitched.  Repeat this step for the window piece, placing the steam-a-seam along the folded edge of the window piece and ironing the window piece to the other side of the zipper.  Be careful not to place the iron on top of the vinyl or you will have a sticky, gooey, melted mess.

Key Chain Purse

Stitch both the front and back pieces to the zipper, using your zipper foot and stitching closely to the edge.  You might need pins to help keep the quilted back piece tucked up into the edge of the cell phone pocket, so that the stitching will catch the quilted edge.

Key Chain Purse

For the little key-chain tab, cut a scrap of fabric 1 1/4″ wide x 1 1/2″ long.  Fold in 1/4″ on each long side and press, then fold wrong sides together and press again.  Stitch along the folded edges to hold the fabric together.

Key Chain Purse

Fold the little tab in half and pin along one edge of the window front, about 1 inch down from the zipper.

Key Chain Purse

Oops!  We forgot to place the wonder-undered sandwich of fabric behind the window to form the id pocket.  Ideally, you would do this before you attach the window half to the zipper, but you can do that now.  Place the pocket on the back side of the window, so that the pocket overlaps the top of the window.  If the raw edge of the pocket is longer than the window piece, don’t worry, you can trim it later.  The folded edge of the pocket will run along the edge of the zipper, but not necessarily right up to the zipper.  Pin the pocket in place.

Key Chain Purse

Flip over and stitch approximately 3/8″ from the edge of the vinyl on three sides of the window, leaving the top edge open.  Start and end up against the zipper.

Key Chain Purse

Fold right sides of the purse together, with the zipper forming one edge and stitch a 1/4″ seam along the three non-zipper edges.  Be careful when stitching across the zipper on each end — I like to use the hand wheel on my machine and take it slowly so the needle won’t hit the zipper teeth.  (Make sure you have unzipped the zipper at least 1/2 way before you stitch the 1/4 inch seams or you won’t be able to turn the purse when you are finished.)  Trim the ends of the zipper off.

Cut a binding, 15″ long x 2″ wide.  Press binding in half, length-wise, wrong sides together.  Sew binding around raw edges of purse, leaving tails at the zipper edge.  You can find instructions for how to sew the corners HERE — I did this binding just like you would a quilt binding.

Key Chain Purse

Wrap the binding around to the opposite side, tuck the tails in, and stitch the binding down.  I just left my tail ends raw since they’ll be protected inside the coin purse, but you might want to give them a prettier finish.

Key Chain Purse

Turn the little coin purse inside out, attach a key ring on the tab, stick the ribbon through the hole in the zipper tab and Voila! you’re finished!  (Note:  The corners will not pop out perfectly square because of the bulk of the binding.  This doesn’t bother me, but if it bothers you, you might want to make a bias binding and make rounded edges to your coin purse.)

Key Chain Purse

So, that’s it.  It seems long and involved, but each step actually goes quickly, and it doesn’t take very long to make one of these little purses.  Make more than one while you’re at it.  If you make any, let me know — I’d love to see them.

Have a good week!

78 Thoughts on “A Purse Thingy

  1. Excellent tutorial. I love the whole project, am crazy over the fabrics you used, and definitely appreciate the practical application the end result offers. Thank you!

  2. Oh, I love your little purses! I wish I had time to make one RIGHT NOW, but I’m supposed to be (ahem) marking essays… I’m easily distracted. I will definitely put this on my ever-growing Projects I Want to Do List.

    Funny funny description of your 22-year-old and his live-in pigs, I mean room-mates. Isn’t this the same wonderful child we all just wished a Happy Birthday to? I don’t suppose you’re interested in coming over her and cleaning up the OnlyChild’s bedroom…are you? Didn’t think so.

    I hope your night is turning out to be more exciting than mine. Back to the damn essays…

  3. so cute! my heads all sleepy right now – so i’m saving your tute for when I’m more awake :) I feel like you must have after all the cleaning and driving . . . THANK YOU for sharing :)

  4. hmmm…siggy blocks or purse thingy? i’ll take the purse thingy! great tutorial! thanks a ton for sharing!!!

  5. That looks awesome! I want to try to make one…note the ‘try’ comment..I don’t know that mine will turn out as good as yours…

  6. What a great tutorial! And so practical, too. Must file away to work on the weekend maybe. Hope everything is well, Anna. Especially after reliving college hours. LOL! Gotta catch up with all your other posts.

  7. It sounds like you had a great weekend!! Cleaning house….driving kids places…..no really – it sounds like you had a nice time with your kids! I love the little purses too….good idea to have the little clear window!

  8. Thanks for the wonderful tutorial!

    Love your cleaning-weekend-story!! I bet you had a lot of fun while decluttering the college kids stall…!

  9. I can understand not being able to handle the college behavior, but making the little bag surely makes us all feel grown up. It is so cute and the tutorial is great. Love the Driver’s license picture! What a hoot. Also, the one shot in the tutorial looks like the fabric is a light switch cover, very fashionable!

  10. You are absolutely amazing! That is just wonderful!Now if I could just figure out how to be a bridesmaid or a graduate…LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  11. Oh, this is going on my to-do list. I’ll have to change it a bit to fit my iPhone but I’ll let you know how it goes.

    I love your scrappy look!

  12. Wow Anna you did have a busy weekend. Your little Charisma-tic purse thingy is so cute and useful, it would match one of my quilts too, LOL. I am going to put that on my list of things to I want to make. I’m having inspiration overload with all the wonderful blogs out there. P.S. I think the Moda Bake Shop should give you a call!!!!

  13. Loved reading about your quality time with second child!!! I have two slobs, I mean sons in training!! We enter their room with masks and gloves!!! Love the tutorial and I am going to give it a go although some of the supplies are going to be hard to come by over here on the emerald isle!!!

  14. Great tutorial Ms Anna! I’ll be saving this in my favorites for a future project. I’ve got lots of cute scraps for these. Thanks!

    Your kids are lucky to have a mom that still provides cleaning and taxi services!

  15. Great tutorial…I love it. I love idea to have a spot for the cell phone, we can never be without that. You could give VB some tips.

  16. I think these little purses are going into a couple of Easter baskets of some young women I know. And one for me too. Love the tute; I need visual directions.

  17. Fabulous tutorial Anna!! I will have to whip up some of these.

  18. Hi Anna…well, aren’t you the creative little chickadee. I just love your purses and thought the directions superb. Now all I need is some time to descend to the sewing “room,” and I think a cup of tea in the bargain. Have a wonderful week.


  19. Oh…thankyou Anna for a wonderful tutorial on this fantastic little useful bag!!! :o)
    And I loved your story about your second child…the pig… sorry lovely boy…:o) and I can assure you… I have had the same experience with my second child… wow…that was a pigsty…and the pig was my daughter!!!! :o)

  20. I must make one or two or more of these! What an awesome application of fabric. Very creative! YOu are one amazing seamstress! HOpe you’re recovering from your travels. We’d do anything for our kids wouldn’t we?

  21. I just noticed, Are those BRIGHTON keychains? If not, they are equally darling. I love Brighton and have several pieces of jewelry and a couple of other accessories.

  22. Fabulous Tutorial Anna! Way fun.

  23. Wow. I need to make these. Awesome! Thank you for sharing the tutorial.

  24. Fabulous, Anna! Thanks so much. I could really use of these. I can hardly wait to make one.

  25. The purse thingy is so cute. What a nice tutorial.

    Your road trip sounds fun, but exhausting. What a nice mom you are to help clean up the boy house. I can just imagine what that was like.

  26. I am sooo going to try this purse thingy. Thanks for the tute, Ms. Anna.


  27. What a fabulous tutorial Anna – I definitely want to make some of those! But what is “steam-a-seam” – or, what does it do?

    Lucy xxx

  28. This is fabulous Anna – one to stow away for when I inherit my Gran’s sewing machine and learn to use it. Many thanks! Emma x

  29. Wonderful tutorial. I’m gonna have to make myself one and some others for giftys.. LOVE IT! Thanks so much for sharing.

  30. Oh, so cute! I am so going to make at least five of these …

  31. I swear, you are too clever. I LOVE IT. I am going to make some these some day soon. :) AND, the zipper no longer scares me….so thanks to you that is a non-issue. :) I EVEN showed my mother the last time she was here how easy they are.

  32. brigita on March 24, 2009 at 4:34 pm said:

    you are sooo smart. has anyone told you how smart you are today? thanks for sharing. i am going to make some of these someday.. even though CHILDBIRTH would be a little easier for me…. but now that i’m getting too old for that, i guess i’ll make a purse instead. and now that two of mine are teenagers and the other one thinks he’s smarter than i am, a purse sounds better than another child all around!

  33. You’re such a clever girl! Your directions sound superb…..There are many times when I just want to grab the essentials, not the whole kitand caboodle! Think I’ll make me your little caboodle!

  34. This is kick ass!

    I need something like this for my trips to the dog park when all I need are my keys, license and blackberry.

    Thanks anna!

  35. This is an amazing tut. You totally need to send this over to Rachel at One Pretty Thing! It deserves to be featured! I love your fabric choices too!

  36. My goodness, Anna, what a beautiful job you did of making and of explaining! Thank you. Hmmmm….wonder if I could shoehorn one of those into my schedule?

  37. Love the blog post title! You are a hoot! :)

  38. bloody brilliant tutorial anna!
    i’m adding this to my list of must makes!

  39. ADORABLE!! Absolutely adorable!

  40. you’ve done it again Anna, this is such a great tutorial and a cute original gift. love it.

  41. Trish on March 25, 2009 at 1:01 pm said:

    Anna this is the cutest…. Thanks so much!

  42. Whew! I couldn’t stay up that late.

  43. It would appear that tutorials are the new blog posts! lol…as for that hateful journey, all those hours driving, you must be crazy! I would take weeks to recover from doing a night shift like that. I love the photo ID card in the purse, that bunny gets everywhere! I so want to make one of these little purses. You are so clever!

  44. great project! And “steam-a-seam” … who knew!!

    Btw, I love the new format of your blog!

  45. What a wonderful tutorial this is, Anna. Thank you for taking the time. I think this is a wonderful thing for those of us who are walkers and don’t want to take more than the neccesary things along when we go.

    I love the embroidery on your mug wrap in the previous post down below, too!

  46. The purse is really neat – you are so clever at making things. I visited my Second Child too this weekend but didn’t have quite such an exhausting time as you seem to have had:)

  47. What a very good Mummy you are! They are so lucky to have you!
    Very cool little purse!

  48. fantastic tute anna, thanks so much i cant wait to get started:)

  49. You are so smart and quite talented to. Clarice

  50. What a clever little thing! Great tutorial, Anna!

  51. Wonderful tutorial. I feel a bit bad…. I have curtains that very badly need hemming and here I am ogling little doodads!! Oh well. Life is too short.

  52. Annalea on March 27, 2009 at 12:45 pm said:

    Love the little purse, Anna! Did you ever state the finished dimensions? I know I could probably figure out what they are, but not this morning. lol I’ve got a bulky cell phone, and this would be perfect for it, if it would fit.

    And than you for demonstrating that binding! That’s so much easier than the way I was taught, back when dinosaurs roamed the earth . . .

    Hope you’ve had a great week!

  53. My goodness Anna where do you get all your energy from? Not only do you undertake a marathon of driving but then you go on to produce the most gorgeous purses AND a tutorial for us. I would need to sleep for a week after doing any of those … Have a great weekend and sit still!!!!!

  54. Oh WOW Anna! I love these! Talk about amazing gifts… Thanks so much for sharing this. I’ll be linking.

  55. Love the tutorial. You did a great job on it.

    I understand about the college thing. I have two in school and am always shocked at the grunginess of where they live. I help when I can and try to put it out of mind the rest of the time. Ha. If I can see it, think about it, etc. it must not be there, right?

  56. The little purse is very sweet.
    Thank you for charing this idea.
    Greatings from Germany

  57. Well, gosh I went to JoAnn’s and Hobby Lobby today and only got home with half of what I needed to make up a couple of these cute little purses. I knew I should have made a list. As I get older I miss my mind the most!!!

  58. Cuuuuuuuuuuuute! Maybe I could actually do that. I think you need a giveaway ;-)

  59. I have purchased ones like these for our daughter and I am so excited to have a tutorial to make one now! Thank you SO much!!!!

  60. These are adorable! I purchased a store bought one several months ago and love the convenience of it. But it was a bit pricey. Thanks for the very detailed tutorial–now I can try making my own!

  61. Now you KNOW I will be making some of these! What a super cute and very useful idea. Thanks so much for sharing your smarts with us! I’m adding vinyl and zippers to my shopping list. sw3 x

  62. Those are lovely! I wonder if my little bit of sewing ability would be enough to try one for myself. :o)
    Thanks for the great tutorial!

  63. Anna those are toooo cute. I love it. Thanks for the tutorial.

  64. This is fabulous!! It’s getting added to my “must sew” list. I posted a link to your tutorial on Craft Gossip Sewing Blog:

  65. thank-you so much for the purse thingy tut Anna! My favorite part was the zipper, no really! I learned a thing or two from you today about putting a zipper in. I can always use zipper help!

  66. This is just the cutest and I love the little window. Brilliant! Thanks for the tutorial.

  67. Wow! Beautiful purse! Thanks a lot for the tutorial! It seems very easy to follow!

  68. Hi Anna!
    Just catching up over here! What a great tutorial, but I’m afraid you left out a crucial step: the step that tells where we can order one ready-made from Miss Thimbleanna herself! These are adorable, and I”m not much with a needle and thread. (If you remember, I’m a sewing class dropout.)
    I may give it a whirl anyway. Wish me luck!!

  69. Hello Anna! I did make the purse thingy just this afternoon. I love it. It was so easy. I will post a picture of it in my blog, come visit!!

  70. those are so so cute! i need to try to make one (or twenty) of them.

  71. I love your cell phone/id/purse thingy. I’d really like to make it, but I don’t have all the supplies to make it. I have to make a list and buy them. :)

  72. Alice S on April 27, 2009 at 6:40 am said:

    Oh, thank you for writing this tutorial. I’ve just found this blog and I’m catching up and bookmarking loads of projects. I’ve carried a keyring wallet since I was in college (11 years ago!) and have wanted to make my own. Now I can. Yea!

  73. Suzie on May 10, 2009 at 10:31 pm said:

    Thanks for sharing your tutorial. I was in the process of making my daughter a little bag for her newly acquired driver’s permit and wasn’t sure how to install the vinyl window. I’m going to try and use your pattern to make another for my oldest daughter. Thanks for your help!
    I also love your blog site!

  74. These are too cute!

  75. Jessica on June 20, 2009 at 1:25 pm said:

    Ah so cute! Thank you for posting this tutorial. I will try it since I use these everyday for my school ID and keys while at college.

    This past year I used http://www.verabradley.com/Site/Store/ProductDetail.aspx?dept=600&sku=246:1&. This one also from Vera Bradley is just like your creation, but retails for $32! http://www.verabradley.com/Site/Store/ProductDetail.aspx?colorid=18&sku=10489%3a18

  76. Brenda on June 22, 2009 at 7:22 pm said:

    I absolutely LOVE this little purse, especially since it has the pocket on the back for a cell phone. What more do you need to carry in the summertime??

    I will definitely be making one of these…probably more!

  77. abbysomething on June 22, 2009 at 10:27 pm said:

    Thanks for the inspiring tutorial. I just finished up my first one tonight. I’m new at sewing so I had a couple of goof-ups but it turned alright. The binding was the most difficult part. When I finished that battle and turned it the corners were really thick and lumpy. Maybe it will turn out better next time. Thanks again for posting the tute!

  78. very nice your idea! I add the link to your website in my italian blog!

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