2 fat quarters + 2 cute buttons = 2 super sweet purses. I know, my math skills ain't what they used to be. I love fat quarters. A lot. They go on sale and I get all hoardy, snatching them up only to feel like they're not big enough to make anything substantial. Well, here I am proving myself wrong. It happens a lot.
2 Fat Quarter fabrics, in contrasting patterns or colors
2 buttons, cuteness required
pins and a little patience
Unfold your fabrics. Wash them if you want. Iron nice and flat. (Psst--I've been known to sew with fabric without washing it first. I know, it's scandalous!) If it's musty stuff from the thrift store, be prepared to wash it. A lot. Stink likes to stick around. Fold it in half widthwise (should measure approx. 9 x 22") right sides together. My pictures show it right sides out. Oops. Sorry.
Cut a two inch strip off the top. These will be your two handles.
Cut the remaining piece in half, lengthwise, leaving you with two rectangular pieces (folded) measuring 7 X 11". Make sense?
Sew each rectangle along the bottom and side seam (right sides facing), leaving a small seam allowance (.25" or less). You should have two inside out pouches now. Turn one out and iron. See below.
Iron each handle. Fold a little of both the top and bottom edges towards the middle and iron all along the length. Fold in half with little ironed edges tucked in. Iron flat. See the picture..words just don't jive.
Stitch up the edge, making sure you're catching all the layers. Ta-da! Handles.
Repeat all the above steps with the other fat quarter. I know. *Sigh* --again? But you'll get two purses at the end. Eyes on the prize, kay?
Alright. You've got four purse pieces, four handles. Lock and load. This is the part where I reveal just how lazy I am.
All in one step we're going to sew the lining to the outside and sandwich the handles in there, too. Crazy. Fold down the top edges of linings about .75" and iron. One of each fabric pattern. These are the ones we left inside out. Fold inside the top edges of the bag outsides (the ones we turned out after sewing) the same amount and iron. Take one lining and, mitt-like, stuff it in the contrasting outside. Repeat for other. P
in along upper edges of both bags. This can be a bummer if both pieces aren't really close in size. In that case, adjust the side seam of the lining or outside, whichever one is too big. I've had to rip out a few top seams because there's a burble of a gap between the two layers. No biggie. Embrace the seam ripper. It's your friend.
Before you sew the top edge, insert handles between the layers on each side. I usually put them around 1.5" in from both side edges. Make sure they get inserted at least an inch. You don't want them popping out.
Take a deep breath and, starting at one side edge, sew all around, doubling back over the handles so they're nice and strong. Sometimes you might have a teensy gather at the end. You can usually coax that flat with the iron.
Iron it all again and attach buttons. Pat yourself on the back! You rocked those fat quarters! The best part? No scraps. For being so wordy, I hope my instructions are somewhat clear. If not..ah, well. I'll do better next time. Have a great weekend. See you at happy hour!