Introduction: Frilly Purse From Offcuts

This project is ideal to use up the remainder of fabric from a bigger sewing project.

In this Instructable, we make a purse from a dress, itself made of 2 tops and a skirt. We use the fabric scraps to try and match the design of the dress.

With smaller remnants, the pieces of fabric could be assembled together in a patchwork before being cut to shape.


- fabric offcuts + zipper

- sewing tools

- pen & paper

- eyelets

- interfacing

- scrap yarn

Step 1: Paper Template

Above is a rough sketch of the desired final item.

We start by cutting out the front and back panels out of paper to ensure we have enough material to work with.

The width of the panel matches the length of the spare zipper (30cm), and is about 15cm high (adjust to your preferred size) with curved bottom edges. There is a 1.5cm seam allowance all around.

Tip: to ensure a matching curve on each side, fold the paper template before cutting the corners.

Step 2: Interfacing and Assembly

Cut the front and back panels in the skirt fabric and add interfacing (not including seam allowance).

Cut a red band of 8cm (5cm + 2x 1.5cm seam allowance) wide and 60cm long (or as long as the panel edges + 10cm margin)

With the right sides together, pin the band to the back panel starting at 4cm from the top of the panel. Spend a bit of time to get the pleats right on the curved corners.

Sew in place and repeat the process for the front panel. Clip the curves as necessary, press the seams open and turn the bag right side out.

Step 3: Make the Top Flap

For the flap, make another paper template, measuring the size on the bag just assembled.

Cut it out of red fabric and hem all sides but the top.

Cut the remainder of the placket from the dress to length and pin to the centre of the flap. Sew the frill on the flap with a straight stitch.

Once done, pin the flap to the back side of the body, right sides together, and sew across.

Step 4: Add Eyelets and Lining

Next we add eyelets to the sides of the purse. Fold the remaining part of the red band on itself and into the bag. Pin in place. Punch the eyelet hole through both layers of fabric in. Add in the eyelet.

For the lining, we use the polka dot leftovers from the top of the dress.

With the flap open, and right sides together, pin the lining around the purse in the blue fabric, starting from the middle of the back. Do not pin the lining to the red band on the sides of the bag. Instead, fold the lining fabric on itself at those points.

Where the lining meets its starting point, cut the excess fabric and stitch together, pressing the seams open and pinning them to edge the bag.

Stitch around the bag (except red bands) with a 1.5cm seam allowance.

Step 5: Add Handle and Zipper

Cut the handle out of scrap yarn and tie through eyelets.

Pin the zipper in place and sew.

Step 6: Finishing Off

To finish off, hand stitch the bottom of the lining so the inside of the bag is completely sealed.

You now have a bag to match your outfit!

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