Thursday, August 28, 2014

How to Make a Coin Purse:
A Tutorial

In my last post (has it been almost a month?!), I showed a couple coin purses I had found in my studio--remnants of my original penny candy plans. I mentioned offering a free tutorial for making the purses, and here it is! Please be advised that this is the first tutorial I've blogged, so by trying it out, you are essentially being a test pilot. Please let me know if you have any questions, or find any steps that don't work or seem confusing. Thanks for trying it out!

Finished purse. I used my Fremont (Night) pattern printed on Kona Cotton for the exterior, and my Three Coins pattern printed on Kona Cotton for the interior. Both are from my new Olympic Manor collection, available in my Spoonflower shop.

Coin Purse Tutorial
Finished Size (as shown with 6” x 3” frame; not including frame clasp): Approximately 6" wide x 6.5" tall x 2" deep (15cm wide x 16.5cm tall x 5cm deep)

Time to Complete: 45-60 minutes, plus 8 hours drying time for glue


  • (1) fat quarter cotton fabric for exterior
  • (1) fat quarter cotton fabric for lining
  • 1/4 yard fusible interfacing
  • 1/4 yard fusible fleece
  • Coin purse frame (frame shown is 6” wide x 3” tall, not including clasp)
  • Printer paper and/or tracing paper, for printing and copying/modifying the pattern
  • Pencil or fabric marking pen
  • Coordinating cotton thread
  • Straight pins for temporary securing
  • Heavy duty glue (I use E-6000)

    Make Your Pattern

    1. Download and print the pattern. Lay your purse frame on top of the pattern, centering it horizontally at the top seam allowance. Using a pencil, trace around the outside of your purse frame. If you are using a 6” x 3” purse frame like the one shown, download and print the pattern, and skip to Step 2.

    Center your frame horizontally on the pattern, while aligning it with the top seam allowance.

    Trace around the outer edge.

    2. IF YOU ARE USING A FRAME THAT IS A DIFFERENT SIZE: Using tracing paper, trace the downloaded pattern and repeat Step 1, making adjustments to the width and height according to the size of your frame. The bottom curves and darts can stay the same; simply adjust them up or down to fit into the correct proportions. (The frame in the "alternate" pictures below is 4" x 2".)

    If you have a frame that is larger or smaller than 6” x 3", align your frame in the upper left corner and trace around the outside of the frame. The frame pictured above is 4" x 2".

    Begin tracing the original pattern on the left side, extending the left edge down as far as you think you might want the final purse to extend (remember to consider a 1/4” seam allowance).

    Move your tracing paper down so the left edge is aligned with the left edge of the original pattern, but so your new traced drawing aligns with the bottom left curve of the original. Trace the curve and dart.

    Move your tracing paper up to the top right corner of the original pattern and trace so the top edge aligns 1/4” above the outline of your frame. Trace over the right corner so it wraps around your frame outline the same way it does on the left side.

    Move your tracing down to the bottom right corner of the original pattern and trace the bottom right corner and dart. You now have a new complete pattern for your own frame.

    3. Place the top right corner of your purse frame onto the top right outside corner of your pattern turning the frame counterclockwise slightly so that the right side of the frame aligns with the right side of the pattern. Make a mark on your pattern 1/4" from the bottom of the hinge. Repeat on the left side.

    After aligning your frame in the corner, make a mark 1/4” below where the bottom of the hinge, on both sides of the pattern.

    4. Cut out the pattern.

    Prepare Fabric

    5. Cut fabric pieces:

    • (2) pieces for exterior
    • (2) pieces for interior lining
    • (2) pieces fusible interfacing
    • (2) pieces fusible fleece

    6. Trace darts and hinge marks onto the NON-FUSIBLE sides of interfacing and fleece.

    7. Match the WRONG side of one piece of exterior fabric with FUSIBLE side of one piece of interfacing. Following the interfacing manufacturer’s instructions, press to fuse. Repeat with remaining piece of exterior fabric and remaining piece of interfacing.

    8. Match the WRONG side of one piece of the interior lining with the FUSIBLE side of one piece of the fusible fleece. Following the fleece manufacturer's instructions, press to fuse. Repeat with remaining piece of lining and remaining piece of fleece.

    9. With exterior pieces WRONG (interfacing) side up, pinch dart lines to match them up. Pin if necessary. Beginning at the widest part, sew along the dart line, backstitching on both ends. Repeat with the other dart, and then with the darts on all remaining pieces.

    After pinching the darts to match them up, sew along the dart line.

    10. Clip the excess fabric from inside the darts, leaving 1/8" of fabric.

    Sew the Exterior

    11. With RIGHT sides touching, match the exterior pieces together so hinge marks meet. Pin if necessary. Also try to make sure darts align for neatly-finished corners.

    Match exterior pieces with RIGHT sides together.

    12. Starting from the hinge mark on one side, sew around the bottom edge, stopping at the hinge mark on the other side. Clip any excess fabric, especially at the corners.

    Begin sewing around the bottom edge of the exterior pieces using the outer hinge mark. Sew all around the bottom until you reach the hinge mark on the other side.

    13. Turn the exterior bag RIGHT SIDE OUT.

    Sew the Interior Lining

    14. With RIGHT sides together, match the lining pieces together so hinge marks meet. Pin if necessary. Sew lining pieces as done in Step 11 above, but leave a 3" (7.5 cm) opening at the bottom.

    15. With RIGHT SIDES OUT, place purse exterior INSIDE the lining. The RIGHT sides of the exterior and lining should now be touching each other. Push the exterior in far enough, pressing especially at the bottom corners, so the flap tops match up as much as possible. Pin each flap together to hold in place.

    Sew the Flaps

    16. Along one side of one flap, begin sewing where the stitching started on the lining. Sew all around the top of the flap, stopping where stitching starts on the other side. Repeat with other flap.

    Finish Sewing the Purse

    17. Pull the exterior out through the 3" opening at the bottom of the lining. Push all corners out from the inside as much as possible. Turn under a 1/4" seam on both sides of the opening and press.

    18. Slip-stitch the hole in the lining to finish, and push the lining into the purse.

    19. Press the whole purse, particularly the top flap edges. This will make it easier to push the flaps into the frame.


    20. Apply glue to the inside to the insides of the frame.

    21. Starting from the hinges, insert one flap of the purse into one side of the frame and slide it up into the corners. Use a tool like a nail file to help poke the flap into the frame, and to scrape any excess glue that might seep out from inside the frame. I find it easier to push the corners in first, then the middle, and then the areas near the hinges. Push the fabric into the frame on the exterior and the interior.

    22. Wait 8 hours for the glue to completely dry and set. To tidy up, you should be able to rub off any excess glue from the frame. Then enjoy your new coin purse!

    NOTE: You may use the downloaded pattern in the above instructions to make and sell your own coin purses (a credit would be appreciated!). However, the downloaded pattern and the instructions are copyright © 2014 penny candy / Amy Peppler Adams. They MAY NOT be reproduced in any form, print or electronic, without my permission.

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