Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Make a super quick Snap Purse

I've been wanting to make one of these snap purses ever since I first saw them in a quilting shop whilst on holiday in the US about 15 months ago.  I could see it was simple, so there was no way I was buying the pattern.  Surely I could figure it out?  Finally - I've got around to it!

To be quite honest, I'd forgotten all about this little make until I came across a few versions on Pinterest.  I've found a couple of different tutorials, but I thought they were both fussier than they need be.  An idea formed in my head that I was certain would be easier and faster to make.

Sew....... this evening I've had a go using the method I thought may work - and luckily it has.  It's super quick to sew up, and if I hadn't bothered with the embroidery would have been a matter of minutes to complete.  (I thought I'd do a little purse to keep in the car to contain change for parking..... was going to be quick back-stitch, but after I'd written on the lettering - I realised I'd used a Sharpie rather than my air-erase marker, therefore a bit of stem-stitch was required to hide the permanent pen lines).

I'm thinking these could be used for a variety of useful purposes, the only requisite being that the top opening must remain reasonably small.  So.... coin purse, spectacle case, phone case, mp3 case, tea-bag holder, lipstick purse.............. oh, you get the idea!

Unlike the snazzy hinged snap purses, you do need to slide a finger into the middle to encourage it to open, but it works perfectly and provides a good closure (and the considerable cost saving is surely worth that extra bit of finger action).   No doubt coins would find their way out if it were tipped upside down in a bag, but mine is going to be sitting in the centre pocket of the car so I needn't worry about that.  Spectacles and the like would present no problem.

Do have a go at making one yourself, it's dead simple.  I'm not even bothering to draw out instructions for this, as anyone with an ounce of sewing skill will be able to run one up in no time.  Here's what I did.......

Finished Purse size - 3 inches square (excluding opening)

(All seams are quarter inch)

Outer - Cut two pieces fabric 3-1/2 inches wide by 3-3/4 high.  If you want to add decoration or embroidery to the front piece, do this before sewing together (right sides facing) around three sides. Snip bottom corners carefully across the diagonal.  Turn right side out.

Inner - Cut two pieces 3-1/2 inches wide by 5-1/4 inches high.

Lining - Using quilt batting, thin fleece or felt - cut two pieces 3-1/2 inches wide by 4-1/2 high.

Sandwich the inner and lining together ..... (lining, inners with right sides facing, lining) - with the lining and inner matched up at the bottom and the extra bit of the inner as the top.  As before, sew around the three sides, and trim corners - but don't turn out.

Next, pop the inner into the outer, ensuring the bottoms are snuggled up nicely together.  Then fold the inner fabric over the lining so that it matches up with the top of the outer purse.  Finger press.

Now grab your metal tape measure and attack it!*  The sort of tape measure you're after is the rectractable type used by workmen.... or me - I seem to amass them.  Have a hunt around - I bet you'll find one somewhere that's seen better days.  If not, I suggest purloining one of the hubby's and denying all knowledge when he can't find it.  You will need two pieces, each approx 2-3/4 inches.  The tape will break easily to size if you bend it.  You need to remove the sharp edges, or it will cut through your fabric.  I used my kitchen scissors to cut a gentle curve.  Do be wary of the pieces that you cut off - they are like glass shards!  Then wind a bit of plastic tape around each piece to further protect your fabric (wish I knew what the correct term for this tape is - mind's a blank - but it's the black or coloured stuff you always find lying around in the garage, or the junk drawer in the kitchen). 

We're nearly done! 

Finally, carefully turn over the top again.  Then pop a piece of tape into the front and back of the purse making sure that the numbered part of the tape is on the outside (the slight curve of the tape needs to be curving away from you).  The tape should lie comfortably close to each side seam - you may need to take a little more off to fit - I had to take a smidgen off) Then simply slip stitch around the top and you're finished.  Of course you could stitch carefully (not like what I do) and have a beautifully neat hidden seam, or choose to contrast and use your stitching as a feature. (sounds better when I call it that, rather than being a lazy-arse no patience seamstress).

*When snapping your tape, take care to bend the end of what's left of the tape - otherwise it will disappear inside the case and be lost forever.  You never know, you might want to make more of these - and one tape will provide enough for quite a few!

 Now I've made this one, I think I'm going to make a case for my new reading glasses next, and another to carry my emergency supply of Peppermint tea-bags.  (I've got to use the tape up now I've attacked it..................... before it's missed!).
I hope I've given you the general idea of what to do, and the base from which to expand your own ideas. 
 Have fun!


  1. Great idea. I wonder if my hubby would miss one of his measuring tapes. Hum!

  2. I used duct tape when I made mine.

  3. what about using that rigid plastic stuff which is used package up boxes with - can't think what it's called just now but hopefully you will know what I'm talking about. You can also use it instead of bias bars......


Oh - go on! It's so lovely to receive messages, and I really do appreciate it.

I always do my best to reply to messages - both here on the blog and personally (as long as I can see an email address)