Charming Handbag

one charm pack-Objects of Desire, by Sandy Gervais-or any charm pack with at least 32 squares
2/3 yard denim or chambray
two 18″ squares of quilt batting
1 1/2 yards (22″ wide) iron on interfacing, if desired. (i used a lightweight Pellon interfacing.)
magnetic snap closure (optional)
template plastic-4.5″ x 11″, with corners rounded

choose 16 charms for each side of the bag and layout in a pleasing arrangement

trim each charm square down to 4.5″ square

assemble squares into a 16 patch block using a 1/4″ seam allowance, pressing well.

layer each quilt block onto a piece of batting. it is optional to use a piece of fabric on the back of your quilt sandwich. for this bag i chose to quilt it without a backing, as it will be enclosed inside the purse. (i have constructed these bags with and without a backing and both ways work great.)
quilt as desired. i chose a simple stipple in cream thread.
repeat for other piece of patchwork.
trim off excess edges and square up each piece to 16.5″.

pin the front to the back, right sides together, and sew around 3 sides with a 1/4″ seam allowance.

the inside should look something like this.

next, we will box out the edges to give the bag some depth. to do this, open up the bag and pull the sides apart until the sides of the purse form a triangle. measure 2″ down from the point of the seam, mark a line.

pin and sew on the line.

trim off the triangles about 1/4″ from the marked line

repeat on the other side.

turn the bag right side out. it should look something like this. set aside for now.

cut 2 squares of chambray 16.5″ for the lining, and two rectangles that measure 4.5″ x 20″ for the handles. interface if desired.
at this point, add pockets (if desired) and magnetic snap (also optional) to the lining.
to construct the lining, sew the two squares of chambray together on 3 sides, leaving a 4-5″ gap in the center of the bottom of the bag to allow you to turn your bag later.
box out the corners as you did with the exterior of the bag, using the same process.
now, make your handles from the rectangles.
fold in half lengthwise and press.
open and press each side (again lengthwise) in toward the center fold line.
then fold in half and press again, which will encase the raw edges inside the handles. pin well.
top stitch on either side of the straps to complete your handles.

to position handle, measure in 4.5″ from each side and pin handle in place. make sure that the strap is not twisted.

tack the handles onto the main body of the bag. this step saves the need for excessive pinning later on.

place the outside of the bag (which is right side out) inside the lining (which is inside out) and line up the edges. make sure the handles are inside of the bag at this point.
pin well around the perimeter of the bag. sew together using a 1/4″ seam allowance.
turn the bag right side out (through the gap left open for turning) and finger press the seam around the top of the bag.
top stitch around the perimeter of the bag using a scant seam allowance. a walking foot is very helpful for this step.

insert the piece of template plastic through the gap that you left for turning and arrange it in the bottom of the bag. (it will be enclosed inside the purse between the lining and the outside of the bag.) this helps the bag retain it’s shape.
pin and stitch close the opening that you used for turning. readjust the position of the template plastic if necessary.
and you are done!

one cute handbag that measures 12″ wide, 14″ high and 4.5″ deep.
tutorial by amandajean of crazymomquilts

0 comments on “Charming Handbag

  1. Trisha says:

    So cute! Love this simple bag! Great way to show off some cute fabric.

  2. What a great project! Love it. ;o) ooxx`jodi

  3. Donna says:

    Cute, cute, Amanda Jean! Since I’ve discovered that making your own bags isn’t so difficult, I’ve cut back on my Vera Bradley spending. Gives me more money in the budget for fabric!

  4. madrekarin says:

    I just love a cute tote bag!

  5. pure cuteness aj!!!

  6. Kathy says:

    What a cute bag! My daughter’s friends will love these.

  7. Sherry says:

    Cute bag! Thanks for the easy to follow tutorial Amanda Jean.

  8. Rene says:

    I love this project! I am going to have to try it.

  9. Tina says:

    A great project for those cute charm packs!

  10. Super cute! I think I’m going to use a charm pack for a Bible Cove Tute this week – love all the variety 🙂

  11. V and Co. says:

    very cute amanda!

  12. What a great bag, and explained so well! Thanks!

  13. Love the bag, especially made out of “Objects”. It is the perfect fabric for a sassy bag!

  14. Chris says:

    LOVE IT!!! So adaptable and you make it look overly easy. I just might have to try my first bag now. Thanks!

  15. CJ says:

    This is really cute! Trying to decide which Charm Pack to use will be the toughest part 😀

  16. Chris says:

    SWWWWEEEEET!!! (As my son-in-law would say! 🙂 I made a table runner out of “Objects” and it was cute but this is almost even CUTER!! Pure CUTENESS!!!Gotta run and get another “Objects” charm pack! 🙂

  17. Amanda says:

    This is adorable! Thanks!

  18. jaybird says:

    I’ve had this charm pack sitting around waiting to be made into something… this idea is so simple but so perfect! my goal is to have it made by the weekend!

  19. Karen says:

    Love it! Very clear tutorial. Thank you!

  20. Aimee says:

    Cute! Thanks for the great idea!

  21. Terriaw says:

    What a great way to use charms! I love the size of this bag too. Thanks for sharing the idea!

  22. dotti white says:

    amandajean…I love this fun project! It is soooooo cute and looks fun to make! Thanks for being so creative!

  23. Marcia says:

    Great tutorial! What a perfect tote, for some reason I can never have too many of these. Thanks Amandajean.

  24. sewmarm says:

    Not only was the handbag charming, but the tutorial was, too!

  25. Elsa says:

    can hardly wait to get my local fabric shop, get some fabric and make this bag! love it!

  26. Sarah Beth says:

    This is so cute. I’ve had a charm pack of Wonderland waiting for the perfect project… and this is IT!

  27. Jackie says:

    What a great bag! Endless possibilities with it! My daughter is already planning on colors for hers!

  28. Anita says:

    I just finished my handbag using wonderland charm squares. Such a great idea, thank you!

  29. JG says:

    What a great handbag! Thank you for the instructions.

  30. Chris says:

    I finished mine and it was my very first bag ever! I didn’t use charm squares, just one solid piece of fabric to keep it even simpler. Check it out at My biggest mistake was not being accurate with my liner measurements in relation to finished bag front measurements. Too much liner bagging inside. Oh well, my bad. I LOVE the simple design and the easy instructions. Thanks for a winner!

  31. ~Kim~ says:

    I just completed this bag today, and I have to say, I LOVE IT!! I just used the instructions, and the pictures were great (since Im a visual learner).

    Thanks again for taking the time to work this pattern thru, and sharing it with us!


  32. Alicia says:

    I finished this as well today, I love it and so does everyone else who've seen my photos on facebook! Just like the person above who had too much liner fabric, so did I. But at least I know for next time.

  33. Hola amiga.
    Felicitaciones por el bolso y el tutorial, aún cuando está en Inglés lo entendí perfectamente.
    Un fuerte abrazo desde Venezuela.

  34. Connie says:

    I have to say, I have enjoyed making these cute tote bags. I even made smaller ones for my 2 young girls. Thanks for the easy pictured instructions. I'm hooked.