How to make a satchel purse

Written by mercedes valladares
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How to make a satchel purse
Make different versions of the satchel purse to fit your needs. (Creatas/Creatas/Getty Images)

Handbag designers creating purse patterns that cross over one shoulder and sit on the hip generally refer to satchel purses. Design enthusiasts can make a variety of satchel versions with fabrics such as cottons or knits and select a printed pattern for the lining. Most satchels include a snap metal frame closure. However, alternative designs substitute this feature with magnetic snaps. Make the strap adjustable for comfort and ease as another design feature. Take time to make the desired satchel purse shape pattern prior to cutting project materials.

Skill level:
Easy

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Things you need

  • Flexible tape measure
  • Notepad
  • Pattern paper
  • Ruler
  • Drafting pencils
  • Clear graph ruler
  • Snap metal frame
  • Scissors
  • Heavy grosgrain taping
  • Straight pins
  • Fabric scissors
  • Sewing machine
  • Edge stitch foot attachment
  • Tailor's chalk
  • Heavy-duty needle
  • Adjustable buckle

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Instructions

    Satchel Purse Pattern

  1. 1

    Measure the width and length of the satchel bag with flexible tape measure. Most satchel bags have stitched corners creating an upside down triangle for the side panel. According to PurseandBag, "The satchel purse closes at the top and usually has a metal frame at the top opening that snaps shut...the side seams form a triangular shape." The stitched corners create a bottom panel for the satchel without making a separate bottom panel insert.

  2. 2

    Measure the width and length of the shoulder strap. Jot down all dimensions in your notepad.

  3. 3

    Draw the satchel pattern on pattern paper using the dimensions from Step 1 with a ruler and drafting pencils. For example, if you are making a 12-inch-wide-by-9-inch-long satchel, the pattern resembles a rectangle shape.

  4. 4

    Add a ½-inch seam allowance all around the pattern for stitching. If you are making a separate lining, use the same dimensions from Step 3, however add ¼-inch seam allowance all around. The lining is always slightly smaller than the outer shell.

  5. 5

    Place a clear graph ruler at the lower left hand corner of the pattern. Draw a horizontal and vertical line measuring 1 inch from the corner. The lower left hand corner pattern appears like an indented half square. Repeat this step on the lower right hand corner.

  6. 6

    Add an extra 2 inches across the top of the bag pattern. This pattern adjustment creates the tunnel insert for the snap metal frame. Cut out the pattern with scissors.

  7. 7

    Draw the satchel purse strap using the dimensions from Step 2. Most likely the pattern resembles an elongated rectangle shape. As another alternative, use heavy grosgrain taping as the strap and skip this step.

  1. 1

    Pin the pattern on the selected fabric with straight pins and cut out with fabric scissors. Place the right sides of the purse facing each other and re-pin. Repeat this step if you are making a separate lining.

  2. 2

    Machine stitch the sides and bottom seams. Do not stitch the half square corners.

  3. 3

    Open the left corner half square slightly. Two protruding points form as the corner opens. Pin the two corners together. The upside down triangle side panel appears.

  4. 4

    Stitch the corner. Repeat Steps 4 and 5 in this section with right corner half square. When the two corners are stitched, the bottom panel automatically appears. Stitch the lining separately following the same process.

  5. 5

    Position the metal frame around the open top end. Fold the added fabric over approximately 1 inch and pin creating a tunnel. If you have the stitching lining, turn it inside out with the wrong side facing in. Place the outer shell inside of the lining prior to positioning the frame and folding over the tunnel.

  6. 6

    Change the sewing machine straight stitch foot to an edge stitch foot. This attachment has a wide and narrow foot, guiding you as you stitch in close proximity to edges and avoiding the needle from hitting bulky trims. Stitch the tunnel in place slowly as you remove the pins.

  7. 7

    Turn the satchel purse inside out with the right sides facing out. Mark the placement for the heavy grosgrain-taping strap with tailor's chalk on each side of the satchel. It is important to position both strap ends on each side evenly to avoid a lopsided purse. If you are using extra heavy straps such as heavy weight canvas, change the sewing machine needle to a heavy-duty needle to avoid needle breaks or skipped stitches. You can also slide an adjustable buckle onto the strap to change the length.

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