where sisters, sibling rivalry, and creativity collide.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Wrist Clutch/Purse Organizer

I have this secret nagging fear that I will leave my wallet home someday, go to the store, open my purse and not be able to pay.  Oh, you do too?
Not only do I worry about not having it with me when I need it, I often end up having to carry my wallet and keys into the store without a purse at all - because I don't want to lug the big tote bag in.  I don't like just setting my keys and wallet in the shopping cart - for one thing, the keys always slip down through the gaps. What I really need is some sort of bag that would be small enough to fit in my purse or my tote bag - just big enough for my wallet, keys and cell phone - that could also be carried on its own.  When I saw this cute little bag on Happy Find, I knew I was onto something.

My first prototype.

There weren't any dimensions or instructions on the site that I originally saw these, so I made up my own.  The finished size of my bag is about 71/4" tall by 6" wide (you will need two pieces each of outer fabric and lining fabric - add 1/2 an inch to each side for seam allowance).  The pocket is about 3 1/2" tall by 6" wide (I cut a piece 7x6 1/2 and folded it in half so that I wouldn't need to hem the top). The strap is 12" long, the small loop is about 3 1/2" long.
I made a strap and loop out of a piece of fabric that was about 3 inches wide and 18 inches long.  I folded the fabric towards the middle, then ironed it well, then I repeated the process of folding and ironing (I wanted the strap to be sturdy.  Finally I top stitched then cut off about 12 inches for the strap and 3 1/2 inches for the loop. If you wanted to skip some of these steps, you could use some sort of pre-made strapping or even bias tape.
Because I was usually a lightweight cotton quilting type fabric, I decided to use a little iron-on interfacing. I cut the interfacing smaller than the fabric so that my seams wouldn't end up too bulky.
I didn't bother with a picture of the next step - which was to apply the pocket(s). I simply stitched around 3 sides, then up  from the bottom two or three time to make smaller pockets for pencils and paper. 

After applying any pockets, put the two outer pieces right sides together and stitch around the sides and bottom. I used my serger, but a regular machine is just fine.  Stitch across the corners. Trim corners. Turn right-side out.
Make the lining in much the same way.  I applied a small pocket on the inside before sewing around the edges of the lining. Do not turn the lining inside out. Add the strap and the loop by laying the raw edges on the top edges of the right side of the exterior (they will be pointing down), stitch in place. 
Iron down the top of the exterior about 1/2 an inch (towards the inside). Stitch across the loop and strap to help reinforce them (they should now be pointing up).
Iron down the top of the lining about 1/2 an inch (towards the outside)
Insert lining into bag (wrong sides together), then pin in place, lining up side seams. Sew around top.