Plastic canvas and yarns can be combined to make many items. Purses are an easy project for the beginning and experienced crafter.With one 7-hole per inch count plastic canvas sheet, a small clutch can be made, while with several, a book tote or craft bag can be created. With some variegated yarn or multiple colours from different skeins, the purse can be as individual as the crafter's taste and personality
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Plastic canvas comes in seven holes per inch and 10 holes per inch. The seven-hole variety is the most common. The 10 holes leaves the plastic canvas more flexible for smaller projects. To create unique and special purses, various types, shades and styles of yarn will be needed. Cutting the canvas requires scissors but may dull a useful pair. Usually a specific pair should be designated for plastic canvas projects like this. A supply of needles, usually size 10 to 13 blunt point needles are the best for this type of craft.
The basic idea for a purse in plastic canvas is a five-sided box. A handle is attached and stitched into the pattern. For a clutch, the pattern is as simple as two sides (15 holes by 30 holes) two sides (15 holes by 15 holes) and one bottom (15 by 30 holes). Then a cover and a flap (cover, 15 by 30, and flap 10 by 30) needs to be cut and stitched. Use the overcast stitch to connect the pieces and to cover open edges. For a clutch, no strap would be needed.
With two whole sheets of canvas, stitch one side each with the desired pattern. From a third piece of canvas, cut two strips from the narrow side each 10 holes wide (wider for a thicker book tote). Cut one strip the same width from another piece of canvas on the long side. For the handle, cut two to four strips five holes wide and the length of the long side of the canvas. Stitch the pieces together and overcast to join the main pieces. The handle needs room left to connect to the two narrow strips that form the sides of the bag. Then, overcast the pattern through the multiple pieces to make a handle of the desired length.
Patterns are available online for free at Free Patterns (see References). Several books are available online and in hobby and craft stores as well.
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