Well, I’ve been wanting to have a go at making a clasp purse for a while now, so was delighted when I discovered two clasps at the bottom of a basket that I’d totally forgotten about! I thought it would be sensible to start with the smaller of the two first and see how I got on.
First of all I chose fabric for the outside and the lining of my purse, and I also needed interfacing too as the cotton was quite thin.
To make the pattern, I drew around the top of the clasp and then sketched out the shape for the rest of the purse. I did this on a bit of greaseproof paper so I was able to fold it in half to make sure that both sides of the purse pattern were symmetrical.
Once I was happy with the shape, and I’d marked on where the hinges were, I added a seam allowance of 1cm all the way around.
Now I was ready to cut out 2 pieces of outer fabric, two of the lining and 2 of the interfacing.
The interfacing I had was fusible, so I ironed one piece onto the wrong side of the two floral outer fabric pieces. I then placed these two outer pieces (now complete with interfacing attached) right sides together, and placed the clasp in position so that I could use a couple of pins to mark whereabouts the hinges came. I did the same thing with the two lining pieces as well.
I was now ready to sew the bottom half of the purse between the pins on both the outer and the lining pieces, then trim off the excess fabric.
The next step was to turn the lining inside out and insert it inside the purse so that the right side of the lining was facing the right side of the purse. Then I pinned both layers of fabric in place before sewing them together (making sure to leave a small gap to allow me to turn the whole purse inside out!)
Then I carefully hand sewed the gap (where the pins are in the final photo above).
Now that the purse itself was complete, it was time to attach the clasp!
I folded the purse in half to allow me to find the centre top, then counted the holes in the clasp to find the centre hole, and married up the two so the clasp would be symmetrical.
Attaching the clasp was definitely the trickiest part, and it took me a few goes to get the hang of it. Basically you’re working a back stitch through the holes whilst trying to make sure that your stitches don’t show on the inside of the purse (the idea being that they should be hidden under the back of the clasp but this is easier said than done!)
I’m definitely not 100% happy with the final result, but it’s functional for now and I’m going to have another go at the stitching when I have a bit more time. I’ve really enjoyed having a go though and am looking forward to making the large purse next. I think I’ll experiment with the shape of the next purse too!