March 24, 2015

Poppet Purses - A Free Tutorial by Mrs H

Anyone interested in a little purse tutorial?  Of course you are! Samantha shows us how to make some cute little purses that you can make in any size - and actually these would be a great kids sewing project too. I can see me doing a production line of this scrap buster soon. Let's get to it!  (PS.. Thank you Samantha!!)

Hi everyone,

I'm Samantha, aka Mrs H, from Sewing patterns by Mrs H. I also blog over at 'At home with Mrs H' where you can see a slice of our crazy family life!

I've got a great tutorial for you today to make these cute little poppet purses. They're really simple to make, and great for using up scraps! I've got one in the car with parking change, I've given them to all of my friends kids and they'll make ideal Easter gifts with a coin or two inside!

Material requirements
You will need two 4" x 11" fabric, one outer and one lining. You'll also need 4” x 11” of medium interfacing or similar stabiliser.

You will also need one snap; I use KAM snaps.

Cutting out
Poppet purse template: Cut 1 outer, 1 lining, and one medium interfacing

  • Seam allowance is 3/8” (1cm) unless otherwise stated.
  • Secure every row of stitching with a backstitch or two as you go.

1) Fuse interfacing to the wrong side of the purse outer.

2) Pin the purse outer and purse lining together, right sides facing. Mark a gap in the side around 2” (5cm) with pins.

I have marked mine with double pins at the start and end of the turning gap.

3) Stitch around the edge of the purse, starting and stopping where you've marked your turning gap.

Make sure to secure your stitching with a backstitch.

4) Clip your bottom two corners straight across without catching your stitching. Then snip an extra small part of the seam allowance away to form the pointed shape shown in the photo.

5)  Notch the curve using some small, sharp scissors. Make sure you don't snip through your stitching.

6) Turn your layers through the turning gap, so that they are right sides out.

Use a blunt chopstick to poke the corners out, and then run it around the inside of the curve, to smooth out the seam.

7) Press the purse, and then tuck the seam allowance of the turning gap under, and press into place.

8) Stitch the turning gap closed with as small and neat a stitch as possible. I like to use a ladder stitch.

You can skip this step, but it makes a nicely finished item to hand stitch the gap closed before moving on.

9) Fold the bottom edge up 5 ¾” (14.5cm) and press into place. This will now be known as the purse front.

10) Fold the curved flap down so that the purse is in thirds. Press into place. This will be called the flap.

11) Using a removable fabric marker, make a dot ½” (1.25cm) from the curve, and centred on the flap.

12) Use either an awl, or another sharp object to push a hole through the dot, just on the flap.

13) Poke your fabric marker through the hole on the flap, to make a dot on the purse front beneath. This should be 1” (2.5cm) from the bottom fold, and centred.

14) Unfold your purse to make sure you don't go through the layers underneath and then using your awl, or sharp object, make a hole in the purse front.

15) Insert a snap prong through the hole on the flap, and then add the male part. Fasten it using your pliers, or snap setter. The 'nice' side of your snap should be on your outer fabric side.

16) Insert a snap prong through the hole on the purse front, and then add the female part. The female part should be on your outer fabric side. Fasten it using your pliers or your snap setter.

The photo above may help. If in doubt, fold the purse up and this should help you work out which side of the snap goes where.

17) Fold your purse up and pin the sides.
Stitch along the sides, 1/8” (3mm) from the edge if you did not close your turning gap by hand, or ¼” (6mm) from the edge if you already stitched the gap closed.

If you are confident at sewing around curves, you may wish to top stitch around your flap at this time.

All that's left now is to find something to put in your purse and then snap it closed!

Thank you so much Janelle for letting me guest-post.

If you make anything from one of my patterns or tutorials, I'd love for you to link up to my Flickr Group. 
I'm especially excited about my newest pattern, The Saddlebag, which is available now for instant download on my Etsy store. I look forwards to seeing what you make!

Samantha is an independent pattern designer, living in Wales, UK, who writes bag sewing patterns and sells handbag supplies. You can find her over on her blog , facebook page, Pinterest boards , Instagram  and last but not least, her Etsystore.

February 14, 2015

The Retreat Bag - A FREE Sewing Tutorial

This cute boxy looking pouch is a gem! I am so pleased with how these turn out.  It's just perfect for any retreat, or gift, or swap bag, or make-up bag, or wet bag, or shaving bag, or pencil bag, or toy bag…. did I say sewing bag?

The Retreat Bag is a simple zippered pouch with a wide base and a wide structured opening. There is a casing in the top where you insert two wire frames (one on each side), which helps it stay open when open, and helps turn the corners down when closed. It has two optional slip pockets inside and a long zipper that helps it open wide.

by Ellen Wiedman
The key to having a nicely shaped Retreat Bag is interfacing, interfacing and interfacing. One layer of interfacing and then a layer of fusible Thermolam Plus fleece on the exterior, in addition to interfacing on the lining and you are all set. Even with the interfacing, it makes up really quickly. You could try it with other soft stabilizers as well, and if you chose to, you could even leave out the frames and let it stand up proud. (But I think the frames really make it!)

The girls at the 2015 NCW Retreat in NSW (yet to be blogged about) tried it out first and then helped me name it. Here are some of their photos!!

by Danielle from Paisley Avenue

By Andrea from Bubs by Andie

by Ellen Wiedman

by Jodie from Three Little Chickens

Simone added some of my cute metal zipper ends to her bag. I think they make an awesome addition!
You can find the Zipper Ends HERE.

by Simone Symonds

by Simone Symonds

by Nyssa Lesniak

by Melisa from Melisa Jane Handmade

by Melanie from Buntings & Things

by Kristina Hambly
By Cynthia Phillpotts

By Cynthia Phillpotts

by Gail Newman

In these two pictures below, Simone has used some oilcloth and left the pockets out to make a wet bag! Perfect for traveling.

by Simone Symonds

After I  instructed them on how to make it, and promising to write a tutorial for it, I came home to Canada refreshed and retreated (actually very jet lagged) and made a few minor changes. Changing the way the zipper is constructed and the wires are put in helps it keep it shape a bit better and fold down nicer at the top.

(Scroll down to the bottom of the page)

If you make this bag, please send me some photos of it in action, or post them in the Emmaline Flickr photo pool.  

If you haven't joined the Emmaline Facebook pages yet, please do so to stay up to date on the latest tutorials, patterns and bag hardware.
Here they are:

Emmaline business page and
Emmaline Sewing Patterns Group - fun Facebook group for chat, help and inspiration


January 22, 2015

Bag of the Month Club 2015 - PRIZES!!!

Hello 2015 Bag of the Month Club members.  The prizes have all been organized for this years contest and we are proud to announce that our amazing sponsors have been very generous and we are lucky to be able to provide 1st, 2nd, & 3rd place prizes for each of the 6 bag designs, as well as 6 randomly drawn prizes.

To Enter: 
If you are a club member, please link up your completed bag photos to the FLICKR GROUP by July 15th, 2015. You can enter as many bags as you like, but they must be bags from the Bag of the Month 2015 club offering only. Upload a couple of clear photos of your bag so we can see inside and out and feel free to link to your blog, website or shop listing.  

Judging will be done slightly different than last year. This year the designers will work together to pick several finalists for each bag design, and we will have public voting to choose the winners. More details will come closer to July. (If you are not a member, it's not too late to join, just CLICK HERE and you can read all about it.  The past month's patterns will be sent to you after payment.)

Our Sponsors:

The Prizes: 
(All $ Amounts are in the form of Gift Certificates.)

January Bag Pattern - by Samantha from Sewing Patterns by Mrs. H.
1st Prize: $25.00 from the Fat Quarter Shop & $25.00 from Emmaline Bags
2nd Prize: $20.00 from & $25.00 from the Fat Quarter Shop
3rd Prize: 3 PDF patterns of your choice by Samantha Hussey
February Bag Pattern - by Sara from Sew Sweetness
1st Prize: $25.00 from Hawthorne Threads & $25.00 Emmaline Bags
2nd Prize: $20.00 from & Sara Lawson's upcoming book "Windy City Bags"
3rd Prize: 3 PDF patterns of your choice by Sara Lawson

March Bag Pattern - by Anna from Noodlehead
1st Prize: $25.00 from the Fat Quarter Shop & $25.00 Emmaline Bags
2nd Prize: $20.00 from & Anna Graham's upcoming book "Handmade Style"
3rd Prize: 3 PDF patterns of your choice by Anna Graham

April Bag Pattern - by Janelle from Emmaline Bags
1st Prize: $25.00 from Hawthorne Threads & $25.00 Emmaline Bags
2nd Prize: $20.00 from & $25.00 from the Fat Quarter Shop
3rd Prize: 3 PDF patterns of your choice by Janelle MacKay

May Bag Pattern - by Betz White
1st Prize: $25.00 from the Fat Quarter Shop & $25.00 Emmaline Bags
2nd Prize: $20.00 from & Betz White's book "Present Perfect: 25 Gifts to Sew & Bestow"
3rd Prize: 3 PDF patterns of your choice by Betz White

June Bag Pattern - By Christine from Chris W. Designs
1st Prize: $25.00 Hawthorne Threads & $25.00 Emmaline Bags
2nd Prize: $20.00 from & $25.00 from Hawthorne Threads
3rd Prize: 3 PDF patterns of your choice by Christine Welsh

Randomly Drawn Prizes:
$50.00 Gift Certificate from the Online Fabric Store
$50.00 Gift Certificate from the Online Fabric Store

(1) Free “Weekend Duffle” class on, by Betz White 

(3) 3-in-1 Betsy Bag Patterns by Betsy LaHonta, provided by C&T Publishing

Thank you so much to the Fat Quarter Shop,, Hawthorne Threads, the Online Fabric Store, & C&T Publishing, PLUS - my fellow bag designers Sara Lawson, Samantha Hussey, Christine Welsh, Betz White and Anna Graham for your wonderful prize contributions!!  Let the bag making begin!

Thank you for reading!


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