You will need a large piece of paper (I used two pieces of A4 paper stuck together) and a ruler.
I have designed this tutorial so you can make any sized purse you like. All you need to do is choose the width, height and depth of the purse you like. For my purse, I chose a width of 23cm, a height of 17cm and a depth of 10cm – big enough to fit my keys, wallet, phone and sunglasses.

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Your completed pattern piece will look like this:
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I’ll walk you through the steps:
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1.    At the top of the paper mark out the width of the purse. Starting at the points you have marked, draw                     two vertical lines. These lines run down the page and will be the width of you completed purse.

2.    Next, divide the depth you have decided by 2. For me this was 5cm (half the depth of 10cm). Make two                 more vertical lines at this distance (for me, 5cm) from the outside of the lines you created in step 1.

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3.    Line up your ruler with the top edge of the paper on one of the inner lines. Angle the ruler so it crosses                 the outer line at the height you have chosen for your purse. Draw in this line and then repeat on the                         other side.

4.    Draw a line that joins the lower ends of the lines you have made in step 3.

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5.    Draw a line parallel to the line you have made in step 4. This line needs to be the width of the purse. The                 distance between the two lines should be half the depth of the purse.

6.     I have marked in the final shape of your purse pattern. You are not quite finished yet though – you need                to add some seam allowances.

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7.     Mark in the seam allowance you like to work with. For me this is 1cm. There is only one little bit to watch.             Have a look in the picture. On the points where you have made the two triangles make sure your seam                     allowance runs parallel to the lines you created in steps 1 and 2. Cut out your pattern piece and you are                 ready to start cutting and sewing the purse!

Making the Purse……

What you’ll need:

  • 2 pieces of fabric – an outer fabric and a lining
  • a zipper at least 10cm longer than the width of your finished purse
  • iron on interfacing (This is not essential but will give a nice structure to your purse. I used two home dec weight fabrics and got away without using it. I would have but didn’t have any on hand. If you are using quilting weight fabric you will get a much better finish if you use it.
  • the paper pattern you have just made.

The first steps to making this purse are exactly the same as a regular zippered purse. Have a look here at our zippered purse with pockets tutorial for more details and pictures. If you have not made a zippered purse before, I would suggest you read through the whole tutorial before you start. I am probably saying something really obvious but there are no pockets in the purse we are making today!!

Using your pattern piece cut 2 from your outer fabric, your lining fabric and your iron on interfacing.
Iron the interfacing to the wrong side of the lining fabric.

Grab your zipper. Lay out one outer fabric, right side up and put the zip facing down with the zipper pull to the left on top. Place the lining fabric right side down on top. The zipper will hang out on either side of your fabric. Line up the zipper edge with the raw edges of the outer and lining and pin liberally. Here is an image from our previous tutorial to help you along. (Obviously your fabric pieces with be funny shaped triangles, but I am sure you get the idea!)

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Sew these pieces together. Aim to sew as close as you can to the zipper feet – I use a seam allowance of 1cm.
Flip both these pieces of fabric back so you can see their right  sides and the zipper:
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Attach the other lining and outer piece to the other side in a similar way. Outer right side up, zipper right side down with the pull to the right, lining piece with pockets right side down.
Open up the zipper so the pull is about half way down the length of the zip.
Lay out your project so the linings are right sides together and the outers right sides together. You will have something that looks like this:
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Pin around the edges well. Try and push the teeth of the zipper so they face the lining. This seems to give the zipper a better look when you have finished the project.
It’s now time to sew the purse together. Using your chosen seam allowance follow the diagram below:
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You can see that you start and finish sewing at the base of the lining. Make sure you leave a gap to turn through the purse at the end. You sew up and over the zipper with one continuous line of sewing. If you go slowly  you won’t have to worry about breaking a needle. You will need to change directions slightly at the zipper – just before you reach the zipper pivot with the needle down to do this.

Now, let’s move on to creating the flat bottom. You will need to complete the next steps 4 times – twice for the lining and twice for the outer.
At one of the square cut corners, separate the layers of the bag. Match up the side seam and bottom seam. Pin them so they are flat and then stitch using your regular seam allowance.

Once you have done this for all four corners you are pretty much done! Using the hole you left in the base of the lining turn the purse through, so the right sides are now visible. Hand slip the hole in the lining and then tuck the lining into the purse outer.

You are done – your first square cornered, flat bottomed, zippered purse!! Make lots. Make them in different sizes now you know how!