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Cinch Hand Bag with Embroidery.

For this roomy handbag, we used the design Baroque Applique Motif with Puffy Foam.
The finished size of the hand bag is about 14" high x 13" wide.

You will need
  • embroidery thread (either polyester or rayon),
  • Sulky Puffy Foam,
  • light-weight cut-away stabilizer and iron-on sewing interfacing,
  • about 1/2 yard of tan-colored suede fabric;
  • about 1/4 yard of brown light-to medium-weight faux leather fabric,
  • 1 fat quarter of brown suede fabric for applique;
  • about 1/2 yard of cotton fabric for the lining;
  • a piece of polyester craft felt;
  • matching sewing threads,
  • #14 sewing needle,
  • 7" diameter plate or saucer,
  • quilter's ruler and rotary cutter, or a graphic pencil and sharp scissors,
  • purse hardware of a matching color (we used bronze):
    • 2 swivel clasps,
    • 2 rings and
    • ten 1/2" grommets
    • tools to work with the hardware.
Cut the tan leatherette fabric into 2 fat quarters (18" x 22").

Stabilize both pieces with polyester craft felt.

Embroider the Baroque Applique Motif with Puffy Foam design on both pieces, using the brown applique fabric. You can read about how to embroider the design on the instructions page.

Trim the pieces to 15" wide and 13" high, so that the embroidery stays about 2" from the lower edge.

Out of brown leatherette fabric, cut
  • 1 square measuring 8" x 8" (for the bottom),
  • 2 strips measuring 5" x 15" (for the panels),
  • 1 strip measuring 3" x 26" (for the handle),
  • 2 strips 1" wide and 34"-36" long (for the ties).
Stabilize all the pieces with the light-weight iron-on sewing interfacing.

Out of the lining fabric, cut
  • 2 pieces measuring 13" x 15" (for the panels),
  • 1 squares measuring 8" x 8" (for the bottom) and
  • a strip measuring 7" x 12" (for the pocket).
Stabilize both 8" x 8" squares with iron-on sewing interfacing. Place the 7" plate in the center of each square and trace it with the graphic pencil. Cut it out, leaving a seam allowance of about 1/2".
Assembly of the Top:
Sew the 13" x 15" brown strips to the bottom of the tan pieces, seam allowance 1/2". Open the seam allowance and top-stitch 1/4" from the first stitch. Use matching sewing threads.

You will have 2 panels that look like this.

Position the panels face to face and stitch the sides, seam allowance 1/2". Stitch again about 1/16" from the first stitch.
You will get a tube:
Turn the tube wrong side out, take the bottom circle and pin it to the bottom part of the tube (the brown end). Please note that the bottom circle is smaller than the diameter of the tube, so while pinning you'll have to make some pleats in the tube. If you have trouble doing that free-hand, you can also baste the bottom edge of the tube and pull the thread to make the pleats.

After pinning, baste the parts together. Then stitch them together along the pencil line on the round piece, seam allowance 1/2".

Fold the upper edge of the bag about 2 1/2" to the wrong side and baste in place.
Turn the work the right side out.

Making the Lining
First we'll sew the pocket. For this, take the lining strip measuring 7" x 12", fold it widthwise, face inwards.

Stitch the sides. Turn the piece right side out. Fold the raw edges of the piece about 1/2" inside and press. Topstitch them closed.
Cinch Handbag Pocket
Place the finished pocket on one of the lining panels, about 4" from the top, pin in place, then topstitch 3 sides to form the pocket.
Position the lining panels face to face, pin the sides and stitch them together, seam allowance about 1/2". You'll get a tube.

Attach the circle bottom in the same way as described above.
Fold the upper edge of the lining 1/2" back on the wrong side and press.
Insert the lining into the bag. Adjust the upper edge of the lining, if needed - it should cover the raw edge of the bag about 1/2".

Slip-stitch the upper edge of the lining to the bag.
Topstitch the upper edge of the bag with seam allowance 1/4".
Fold the 3" x 26" brown strip twice, to get a 1" wide strap. With matching threads topstitch it several times.
Insert the ends of the strap into swivels rings, fold the ends about 2" to the wrong side and topstitch the ends to the strap.
Attach 10 grommets along the upper edge of the bag.
To make the ties, fold the long edges of the 1" x 36" strip 1/4" inside, then fold the strip in half, top-stitch several times. Insert the ties through the grommets.
Insert the rings through the grommets closest to the side seam. Attach the handle to the rings.
Your bag is ready. Enjoy!

Happy Stitching!
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