How to make a purse from a placemat

It has been a long time since I've updated this blog, but I'm back now and all is right with the world. I made it back from vacation alive and still married and now I am finally back in the swing of things.
So, a while ago a friend of mine who owns a gift shop asked me to turn a few placemats into purses whenever I got the chance. Now that I have finally got around to doing it I thought it would make a great quick project for anyone. This is a very sturdy bag and would be the perfect gift.

Here's what you will need:
1 quilted place mat
1 matching napkin or 20" square of coordinating fabric
Heavyweight fusible interfacing such as CraftFuse

First fuse the interfacing to the back of the napkin. From that napkin cut 2 - 3" strips of fabric and 1 - 6 x 12 rectangle.

Next, make a pocket. Fold the short sides of the rectangle right sides together and sew 1/4" seam all the way around leaving an opening for turning. Clip the corners and turn. Topstitch the opening closed. Center the pocket on one side of the placemat and topstitch in place.

Then, make the handles. Fold the strips in half lengthwise. Sew closed leaving an opening in the middle for turning. Clip the corners and turn using a knitting needle or something similar. Press handles to flatten everything out and then topstitch all the way around to close the opening and add stability.

Next, pin handles to each short end of the placemat making sure that they are centered and even with the opposite side. For me it was about 2 1/2" in from each side. Then sew a box stitch to attach handles to the bag.

After that, fold the placemat in half so that the right sides are together and the handles meet up. Sew sides together with a 1/4" seam.

Complete bag by boxing the corners. Sew about 1 1/2" inches in for the corners. Turn right side out and enjoy!!!


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