Simple drawstring purses are wonderful accessories for yard sale shopping, weekend festivals and travelling on the go. Cinching the top closed and slinging it over your arm make it a very convenient bag to carry. A flat bottom in your purse allows you to set it upright on a table or counter and easily see it's contents. Making a simple drawstring purse with a round bottom is simple to achieve, even for a sewing beginner, and it takes less than an hour to complete.
Draw an 8-inch circle on lightweight cardboard using a compass. Cut out the circle. This is the pattern for the drawstring purse bottom. Place the pattern on heavyweight fabric and trace around the pattern, using a marking pen. Cut out the fabric bottom.
Cut a rectangle from the heavyweight fabric, 12-inches wide by 28-inches long. This is the side of the drawstring purse.
Pin one long edge of the purse side to the circle, with the right sides together. Begin pinning a 1/2-inch from the end of the long edge, to later accommodate a side seam. After pinning around the entire circle, there will be excess on the end of the purse side. Do not cut the excess at this time.
Sew around the pinned circle, using a 1/2-inch seam allowance. Move the unpinned 1/2-inch end, from the beginning of the seam, out of the way and sew the pinned edge until the stitches meet.
Trim the excess at the end of the rectangle a 1/2-inch longer than the stitching. Place the short ends of the rectangle together and pin. Sew the pinned edge using a 1/2-inch seam allowance to create the side seam of the purse.
Trim the seam around the circle bottom and the side seam to a 1/4-inch. Iron the side seam open. This purse is not lined, so preventing fraying is essential. Apply a liquid seam sealant to the raw edges of the seams.
Turn the top edge of the bag, a 1/2-inch to the wrong side and iron. Turn the folded edge to the wrong side, 1 1/8-inches and iron. Pin the fold. This is the casing. Sew the casing, 1-inch from the top edge. Sew around the casing again, as close to the top edge as possible. Turn the purse right side out.
Insert the tip of a seam ripper into the purse side seam, on the outside of the purse, between the casing stitch lines. Open the side seam in the casing.
Cut a 36-inch length of 1/4-inch wide cord. Insert a large safety pin into one end of the cord. Insert the safety pin through the opening in the seam. Guide the cord around the casing and bring the end back out the opening. Tie the cord ends together using an overhand knot. Pull the cord to close the bag and use the cord as your purse handle.
Things you need
- Lightweight cardboard
- 1/3-yard heavyweight fabric
- Marking pen
- Measuring tape
- Straight pins
- Sewing machine
- Liquid seam sealant
- Seam ripper
- 1/4-inch wide cord, 1-yard
- Large safety pin