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Project

Place-Mat Purse

Materials

  • Cloth place mat
  • Pins
  • Cording, cut to desired length for handle
  • Needle
  • Thread (color complementary to place mat)
  • Scissors
  • Zipper, Velcro, or snaps (optional)

Steps

  1. Step 1

    Fold a place mat in half widthwise, so that right sides are facing each other.

  2. Step 2

    Pin the ends of the cording to the inside edges near the top of bag. Sew cord to mat to secure in place.

  3. Step 3

    Pin the rest of the open sides together. Stitch together both sides, then remove pins.

  4. Step 4

    Create a gusset bottom by pulling the sides apart and sewing straight across to create a triangle shape.

  5. Step 5

    Flip bag right side out and push out the corners.

  6. Step 6

    The easiest closure option is to leave the top open, but you can also sew a zipper on, add Velcro, or attach snaps.

Source
The Martha Stewart Show, September 2008

Reviews (10)

  • 16 Oct, 2011

    To make the bottom like that is;
    press together the side and bottom together to make a triangle..then sew across the bottom of triangle about a 1in to 1 1/2in ..it will make it have a bottom that will sit flat..sorry i can't explain any better than that..Wish i could put pictures up..Going to make me a few as crossboddy bags..

  • 10 Sep, 2011

    Dear Martha

    A gusset is the addition of a piece of fabric which is oval, oblong, diamond, or a combination of oval, oblong with diamond and is completely enclosed within the seam of the garment:
    1. to a seam to create added fullness and ease in fit of a garment; Example: under arms, bustline, crotch or fanny line, etc
    2. to create a certain creative design in the garment’s overall design

    A gore is a piece of fabric which is oval, oblong, diamond, or a combination of oval, oblong with diamond in shape which is enclosed usually about half way of the shape to create additional fullness at the bottom of the garment with out fullness at the top. Often found in skirts for a slim fitting waist and a full flowing hem line; to the legs of pants for bell bottom look or to insert a ruffle or pleated panel to the design. Also found in the side front of maternity tops for the added front fullness.

    A Reverse gussett is the removal of fabric from a certain area of the designed item. Such as removal of excess fabric from the inside corners of a square bottom purse or handbag.

    I hope this helps.

    Leota Trapp Bennett
    B.S. Home Economic 1965

  • 26 Feb, 2011

    Wonderful first project. My 9-yr-old learned to sew three days ago, and has made 5 open-top bags. She is so proud of herself and the bags are adorable.

  • 3 Feb, 2011

    I haven't tried it but I would suggest putting the zipper in first before the sides are sewn and perhaps even before you add the cord handle. You open the zipper and apply the right side of the zipper to the wrong side of the placemat and sew.

  • 23 Jan, 2011

    I would like to know how you put a zipper in. Being that its one folded over piece, how would you work putting in a zipper when you don't have a clear access to the zipper from the inside without the bottom interferring?

  • 16 Mar, 2010

    Regarding to eveapples. question. I found a resource that would definitely help you with this project. I had the same concern, didn't quite know how to create the gusset bottom. Go to http://henriettashandbags.com/free_placemat_purse_pattern.html.
    Good luck!

  • 13 Mar, 2010

    I am all over this project! Cute and easy.

  • 10 Mar, 2010

    I would love a more detailed explanation for creating the gusset bottom. Is there a resource for that?

  • 10 Mar, 2010

    I would love a more detailed explanation for creating the gusset bottom. Is there a resource for that?

  • 18 Feb, 2010

    No instructions on putting in a zipper - too bad!