Wednesday, 2 July 2014

A or rather E coin purse - A er E Tutorial

I got an order for a patchwork ball for a little baby boy, but my customer asked if I could make his big sister a purse just for her, her name was Evelyn or perhaps just the first letter of her name.

So here is my tutorial on how I made E her purse, it measures finished size at 5" x 6.25" roughly.  You can apply this tutorial to any purse without going for the alphabet letter, just make two scrappy panels instead.

The front 
The back 
Materials required

  • alphabet letter template for paper piecing
  • scraps of colourful cottons for outer panels
  • 100% cotton for lining 
  • cotton wadding
  • zipper
  • thread
  • sewing machine 
To make the front panel with the letter E, I used the letter E from the Quilterscache.  For instructions on how to paper piece check out Ellison Lane's video tutorial here.  PLEASE DO NOT BE DETERRED BY PAPER PIECING IT IS VERY VERY STRAIGHT FORWARD. 

Once I had my letter paper pieced I attached random scraps of colourful pinks to make a panel about 7" wide by 6". Apologies for approximate sizes, I only decided afterwards to make a tutorial.  The scrappier the better.

front panel
Now for the back panel.  Sew together loads of scraps to make a panel about 7" x 6".  Again scrappy as can be.

Take your cotton batting and place it behind each panel, you can quilt the fabric to the batting, decide on whatever design you want, straight lines, stippling, anything you desire.  

I did some straight line quilting on mine with amethyst Egyptian cotton but unpicked it as it clashed too much with the scraps, it would have been fine I think if I had used the white cotton, so instead I went for the stippling effect using my free motion foot. (Any questions feel free to email me or leave a comment).  

I repeated the above steps (without making the same mistake of straight lines) for the front panel. 

At this stage you should have two panels, both quilted to the cotton batting.  Trim them down to 6.5" x 6" or to a size that you are happy with.  There is no wrong or right way with this, you make it to suit your taste. 

ZIPPERS - do not fear the zip!

I swear by Ayumi's way of putting in a zip, I like it, it's explained very well.  You can pop over to Ayumi's blog for the tute, but I have photographed the steps myself below for ease of reference.

I cut two pieces of cotton for the lining 6.5 x 6.  Same size as outer panels.

I took my zipper which measured about 8" but that doesn't matter because you can trim the end off at a later point.  

Place your zipper along the top of your piece of lining fabric, ensure that your zipper pull is 1" in from the edge of the lining fabric so that you don't sew over it.  Then I pin the zipper to the fabric and using my zipper foot sew nice and slowly along the zipper, no rushing, steady does it.

When you reach the half way point of your zipper, stop, and unzip the zipper see photo below. 

Now continue sewing until you reach the end of your fabric piece.

Take your other piece of lining fabric and repeat the process only this time your zipper is going to remain open, look at my picture above to see how the fabric is attached to the zipper, you are placing your lining fabric right side facing down on to the right side of the zipper.  See again pic above.  Sew.

Repeat the exact same steps for attaching the outer panels, just keep your lining pieces smooth and out of your way.  

When you have gotten through this stage you are nearly done, your work should look like this, one panel on the left with lining underneath then the zipper and the other panel and lining on the right hand side.

Progress so far.
At this point you are going sew your coin purse.  


Put the two outer panels right sides facing to one side of the halfway open zip and the lining pieces right sides together to the other side of the HALFWAY OPEN ZIP. 

I usually trim the batting along the zipper to cut down on bulkiness, see pic below. 

Batting trimmed along the zip
Pin everything.  IS YOUR ZIP HALWAY OPEN?

Using your 1/4" foot sew the whole lot together remember to leave a good 4" opening at the bottom of your lining panel, this is where you will turn your purse right side out.  Take it nice and easy over the zipper, I usually sew over the zipper section a couple of times to make sure it's really secure in place

Trim off the end of the protruding zip.

Opening in lining for turning purse
Now you can turn your purse right side out and sew closed the opening, I usually run my machine along the bottom of the lining.  Iron the lining.

Push your lining into the purse cavity, iron your purse, not the zip, stay away from the zip. 

Sit back and admire your work!  Well done!

Any questions please don't hesitate to contact me.


  1. Absolutely gorgeous little pouch, I am sure Evelyn will love it. x

  2. Like it a lot. Never used zipper...don't know why I'm kind off scared ti use them! Must try a project like this.

  3. Miss E is for Evelyn will love this.

  4. Zips have always frightened me half to death but your tutorial is very easy to understand. I must have a go!


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