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I don't know about you, but when I get a purse I keep it for years. I keep them until they are literally falling apart at the seams because I HATE shopping for a new one-- you want something fun and different looking, but at the same time you've gotten so used to the purse that you used to have that you want something that has the exact same number of pockets/zippers/general layout.

Sewing to the rescue! I finally got off my butt (thanks Bags Contest!) and sewed myself a bag that is an amalgamation of all my favorite aspects from previous purses. Now I've got a pattern that I can make over and over but with a few simple fabric or hardware changes, can have a new different purse with the same layout whenever I need to! The pattern I'm sharing with you will make a three compartment shoulder bag: an inner zippered pocket for your wallet, phone, and other things you want to keep securely inside, and two outer open pockets which are good to quick throw stuff in-- sunglasses, keys, and is wide enough to fit a folded piece of printer paper. Some cute hardware ups the look to make it more professional, and fabric choice can really change the look!

....of course, I also enjoy the inside of my purse to not be a hodge-podge mess, so I've also included FOUR more bags that can pair with this one: a kisslock frame pouch, a waterproof zipper bag, a tea wallet, and a small slip pouch.

I would very much love to see your creations made with this tutorial.... and I would VERY MUCH LOVE if you vote for this in the Bags Contest!

Step 1: Materials

For the main purse, you will need:

  • 1/4 yard of outer fabric
  • 1/2 yard of lining fabric
  • (optional 1 FQ of contrast fabric for lining)
  • 1/4 yard of leather, fake leather, or heavyweight fabric
  • 1/4 yard Pellon 71F interfacing
  • 1 yard lightweight fleece or interfacing-- I like Pellon Craft Fuse 808
  • 4 grommets and an installation kit
  • 2 o-rings
  • 14 inch or longer coil separating or purse zipper
  • (optional 4 purse feet)
  • (optional 9 inch polyester zipper for inside lining)

A 1/4" seam allowance is used everywhere unless stated otherwise.

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