Drawstring Purses

Almost inevitably when I create a pioneer outfit I am left with a little fabric-too much to get rid of and yet not enough for another dress.   I do have a friend who takes all of my scraps but I was trying to be as thrifty as possible, so I decided to put these larger pieces to use.

It has become my practice to include a ‘freebie’ when someone orders a pioneer outfit.  This ‘freebie’ is usually a drawstring bag like the bags pioneer ladies carried.  Most of the time I create the bag out of the same fabric as the dress I am creating, but as I considered this, I realized that in colonial times the purse did not match the ladies’ dress. 

Applying this principle, I decided to use the extra fabric to make drawstring bags which will be used as ‘freebies’ when I receive an order.  The bags won’t exactly match the outfit but I think the ‘little’ ladies who receive them will love them just the same.

I was surprised at the number of bags I was able to create and at the variety of colors.

Here are the directions for making these drawstring purses.  These bags are made using 2 rectangular pieces of fabric that are roughly 10″ x 22″.   

On the wrong side of one of the pieces make a mark 1.5 inches from the edge and .5 inches below this mark make a second mark.  Repeat these markings on the opponsite corner. 

 See photo below. 

Fold this piece in half lengthwise with right sides together. 

Stitch together from top edge to 1.5 inch mark-leave the .5 inch area open and stitch below the .5 inch mark together. 

Repeat on opposite side.

Fold the other rectangle in half lengthwise with right sides together and stitch both sides all the way down. 

Turn the first  piece right side out and insert in the other bag with right sides together.  Stitch top edges together leaving an opening for turning. 

 Turn pulling right sides out and the piece with the .5 inch openings on the outside. 

Press the top edge and top stitch it closed.

To form casing start at side seam 1 inch from top edge and make a chalk mark all the way around bag.  Repeat about .5 inches below this stitching. 

The .5 inch openings in the center of these stitchings will be the casing for the ribbon handles. 

Cut 2 pieces of ribbon 36″ long.  These will be the handles of the purse.

Pin the 2 ribbons together and thread through the openings. 

Tie the ends together and heat seal to keep from raveling.

A quick, easy and fun project and it makes a gift the young girls just love!


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