I want to start off by saying, I love this purse design by La Maison Reid! I did a Burlap Purse last week with her tutorial, and I just love the design! I loved it so much, I had to make another one. I've never seen anything so beautiful made out of burlap, it's such a UNIQUE design! And I just love the changes I've made to her design to make it more personalized to my own needs and tastes.
There were a few things I didn't like about the first purse I made. While I love the burlap, the lighter color just wasn't my taste. I love the chocolate brown! A problem a realized after just a little while of use was that the burlap seems to shed a little (khaki burlap + black shirt), so I made some modifications to the strap. For this bag, I tried to make it a little bigger than the last one (I loooooove my big purses) so it can double as a diaper bag in a few months. I also added pockets on the inside. Since I made so many changes, I decided to do a step by step picture tutorial!
Start by cutting out the body of your purse and sewing the seams. In the pictures you can't really tell, but I have the fabric folded in half (the way in comes on the bolt). I didn't measure mine, so I really have no idea what size it is. But who needs measurements? Eyeball it. Leave 1/2-1 inch seam allowance.
I did a straight stitch and then a zig zag stitch on all my seams, since burlap unravels so easily. I wanted to make sure this purse was durable!
Add your pleats. I only did 4 on this one, because I found that 6 made it a little too narrow at the top opening. After I pinned my pleats, I did a quick stitch to secure them.
Cut 2 strips of burlap for the top part of your purse. They need to be about an inch wider on both sides for the seams, this one your definitely don't want to make too small! Sew a seam along the top, and sew the two pieces together wrong side out. It should look something like this.
Pull the top part down (still inside out) over the top part of the purse. The top stitch should be at the bottom, like this. Pull it all the way down so the bottom part (the non-stitched side) is even with the top of the bag. Sew the two pieces together and then pull the top part up. It should look like this when you're done.
If you're adding pockets, do that now. I cut out my pockets, did a seam along the top, folded under the edges, and pinned them down (make sure to only pin and sew through ONE side of the fabric!) Position the pockets where you want them, and sew them down. Set the lining aside for now, it will be added last.
If you like the original design from La Maison Reid, then skip the next couple steps and go straight to the strap.
For the ruffles, cut 3 narrow strips that are 3-4 inches longer than the bag is wide. The longer the strips are, the more ruffly they'll be. The strips should be wide enough that they overlap when layed lengthwise on the purse. Sew a seam along 3 sides of each one of the ruffles. On the third side, sew a loose stitch (do NOT back stitch for the loose stitch!). Your strips will look like this. (Click to enlarge)
Pull the string of the loose stitch while pulling the burlap in the opposite direction. Do this until the ruffle is as wide as the bag.
This next part is kind of tricky. You can hand stitch the ruffles on, if you find it to be easier, but I tried that last time, and it was time consuming. It was difficult to get the purse far enough onto the sewing machine to sew the bottom ruffle, but the other 2 weren't quite as bad. For some reason I started having all sorts of problems with my machine at this point, and the ruffles didn't turn out quite as well as they did last time. You can see they look a little crooked in this pictures, but once the purse is done, it's not so bad! Ignore the tan colored thread, I didn't have brown on hand. Woops!
Now on to the strap! I chose to do a layer of burlap and a layer of fabric. This makes the strap a little softer on the shoulder, and it doesn't shed as badly. Cut the strap as long and as wide as you want it. Lay the 2 pieces wrong side together, and sew the edges together. I didn't bother to do a zig zag for this since I'm doing a top stitch when I'm done.
Turn the strap right side out. Sew a top stitch.
Before you sew in your lining, add your straps. This will give it a cleaner look if the lining is the last thing sewed in. Make sure you stitch the handle on really well. My purse holds a LOT of stuff, and I need it to hold up.
Sew your lining in. Fold the fabric under, and sew it right along the edge. How great does that look?
Glue a piece of fabric on the back, and then hot glue that onto the bag.
Now it's all done, admire your work!