Monday, 10 September 2012

Pleated Coin Purse

I have always wondered how purse frames were attached and this project in the Zakka Style Sew Along was my opportunity to find out. In truth they have been a little intimidating ever since I bought a couple of sweet coin purses from the lovely Fiona of Fancy That! Fiona was even kind enough to send me a purse frame to make my own. Well that was at least 2 years ago and the frame is still unattached - but its days in the craft orphanage are numbered.

It turns out that the measurement for the purse frame in the book is incorrect (many ladies in the SAL were caught out for this project and had to adjust their purse body size). It stated to use a 2 and 3/4" width when in reality it was supposed to be 4". So Fiona's purse frame was too small to use. I picked up the only one I could find at Spotlight last Thursday and it just so happened to be 4" in diameter.

The template in the back of the book needed to be enlarged 200%.

2 outer fabric pieces - these are the large ones in the right. I fussy cut the verse on the Incy Wincy spider fabric so that it would be on the central pleat.
2 lining pieces - I used the matching cheater quilt print to match.
2 batting pieces - lots of small batting scraps needing a job.

Sewing the Pleat
The instructions were pretty simple to follow for the exterior pleat.


I basted my lining and batting together with a 1/8" seam but in reality you could just use fusible pellon or spray baste.

Again the instructions for sewing between the notches were very clear and easy to follow. Remember to leave that bottom hole in the lining piece for turning later.
Hand Sewing

From this point I finished the purse by hand. I sewed the holes in the lining shut and pressed.

Attaching the Purse Frame

I could have easily glued the frame into place as per the pattern however I think that the inclusion of the hand sewing adds a nice decorative touch. I used some embroidery floss my mum gave me.
ADDITIONAL NOTE - I used a heavy duty needle with a large enough eye to thread the floss. I buried the knot and began at one end and just followed the holes in the frame along and back through into the lining side. It was easier to manipulate the stitches into the purse body and even when the middle pleat was looking a bit askew I just kind of tugged the body into alignment.

There are a couple of purse tutorials on Sweet Bee Buzzings' blog that may help to read through. Bethany has written one for the sew-in frame and also one for the glue-in kind. And she has good taste in fabric for them both.
L- I just followed the holes in the frame. R -You can see the tiny stitches in the lining side of the purse.
I added the little spider afterwards just to brighten up the grey linen side...even though Incy Wincy looks miserable!

Now I feel confident to attempt more purses with metal frames.
We have a jar of foreign coins that I like to look through sometimes. It's amazing what can turn up in Australian circulation. Can you see that New Zealand shilling? It's from 1964!


  1. So cute! I like how you used the aqua thread with those fabrics!

  2. It wasn't difficult? I had picked up a purse frame and casually looked at the project. It didn't look so challenging and we had a crazy week so I sat down to begin on Sunday afternoon, just hours before the linky deadline. Then I realized my frame was the wrong size and it was too late to go buy another one and I'd have to figure out how to modify my fabric dimensions and I was frustrated, so I didn't even try. But that frame I have is mocking me - maybe I'll give it a go after all :)

    1. Robyn if you have a scanner/copier, then just enlarge the pattern by only 150% or so and see if that would fit your frame. I found a great tutorial link yesterday about frames. So follow the link to #sweetbeebuzzings about purse frames and the pouch. or

  3. Well done. Your purse turned out so lovely - the fabric is fab. The tutorial is excellent too.

  4. Such a cute purse, the fabric was a great choice =D

  5. That looks fabulous! So I'm curious as to how you attach the frame (is it metal?) as I cant see any stitches - you did a great job! I've been wanting to have a go at making one too!

    1. The Aqua is the stitching through the holes in the frame. Sorry yes I forgot to take and photo of this part of the process. I might add and extra close up of both the outer and lining. I did not need to use glue at all. I think it will hold together without it.

  6. Oh your purse looks so sweet! Love the little spider on the back - too cute.

  7. Fiona, thanks so much for this tutorial. I've always wondered how to attach those purse frames, too. I just assumed it was difficult, but you've shown me that I can manage it. I think I will give it a try.

    1. Yes and you will surprise yourself and remark "What was I afraid of?" Good for you.

  8. You did a great job. I'm not much of a purse user so haven't contemplated making one. It does look like it would make a nice present.

  9. "Sew" very well done Fiona. I too have always been a little shy of those frames. I may just give this a try. thank you

  10. You have done a great job of this! You have given me the inspiration to try one for myself!

  11. It seems your Zakka September is going well. Good one! I like that added spider.

  12. Someday, I'm going to try making one of these cool purses. Awesome. Thanks so much for all of your links to QED for September!


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