Summer Purse, Part 1

I had three craft goals I wanted to accomplish before our vacation next week. 1. Sew a skirt: check. 2. Learn to crochet granny squares: check. 3. Sew a summer purse.

For the purse I chose a basic pattern from The Bag Making Bible by Lisa Lam. I’ve used this book before to make zippered pouches, and I like that while there are 8 bag patterns, there are also a ton of techniques for adding the elements that will make bags useful to you.

So, while the bag I selected (The Reversible Bucket Bag from Chapter 2) didn’t have any interior pockets (because it was meant to be reversible), I chose to add some based on instructions from elsewhere in the book.

The easiest pocket to add was the Lined Slip Pocket. It’s simply two pieces of fabric sewn right sides together, turned right sides out, and stitched onto the lining fabric of the purse.

I created an extra long pocket and divided it into sections for a pen, a phone and keys. (The time to add pockets is before the purse is assembled, so the pieces in these photos are just my lining pieces.)

The super exciting pocket to make was the Flush Zip Pocket. It’s a pocket, just like you see in store-bought bags, that securely holds smaller items in a pocket behind the bag lining.

This particular pocket was one that I saw Lisa demonstrate while we were filming her Bag Closure Techniques video, and I have to admit that seeing someone make this pocket helped immensely. The instruction in the book is thorough, but for a visual learner like me, seeing it helped the written instruction to click.

The trickiest part of making this pocket was holding the zipper in place to be sewn. The instructions call for double-sided basting tape, which I didn’t have. Pins completely distorted the zipper. So I used plain old Scotch tape to hold the very edges of the zipper in place. I was prepared to muck up my needle by sewing through the tape, but the tape was far enough out that I didn’t even hit it.

Next up: Sewing it all together. More next week!

Leave a comment


  1. i’ve used her book to create a zip-pocket, too! it’s such a great resource. can’t wait to see your finished bag.

  2. Julie Wallace

     /  March 11, 2012

    I am really impressed Christine and a bit jealous!

    • Thanks, Julie! But what has you jealous? My mad sewing skillz? (Not likely.) The upcoming vacation? (Not with your new digs.) Or the fact that I actually have time to sew now? (Could be…)

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