Metal purse frames patterns are not so easy to come by because of the enormous number of sizes and shapes, but it is very easy to make your own just by following a few very important steps. Let me show you how.
I have been trying for quite some time to get a common metal frame so I can make a pattern that anyone can make. But no matter how much I search, there simply doesn't seem to be any store capable of carrying more than a few frames at a time and they're rarely a common size. (By that, I'm really referring to “offline” stores. If you go online, it's a different story. Please check out my comments below about Dan's Etsy store called 3DAN.)
I'm making a few purses for Mother's Day to say thank you to a few teachers since my son is graduating this year. Metal frame purses take very little time and they look great when worn as clutches or cross body bags. So I thought, that I can't be the only one frustrated by the lack of free patterns for these types of purses. So what if I just try to figure a way to make it easy for people to use the frame as a template to make their own purse pattern? Please read on..
Material for the pattern
- paper, preferably pattern making paper
- plastic ruler, I prefer to use a grading ruler
- flexible curve ruler (if you don't have one of these, you really should..)
- metal frame purse (see below)
Materials and tools for the purse:
- quilting fabric, vinyl, oil cloth, canvas or leather (see selection below for recommendations)
- batting, fusible fleece or iron/sewable interfacing
- fabric for lining, thin cotton, nylon or satin
- thread to match
- hand needle
- sewing machine needle
- leather needle (optional)
- walking foot (optional)
Where to get metal purse frames?
By far the best place we've ever found to get all kinds of supplies for metal purse frame pattern projects is a terrific shop on Etsy called 3DAN. Dan's shop is in Hong Kong so his prices are really good and he ships worldwide. You'll see nothing but 5-star reviews so I'm confident you'll have a good experience.
While the point of this tutorial is to teach you how to make your own metal frame purse pattern, if you want to have a look at the templates I made for 7″ X 2.5″ square frame and a rounded 5″ X 2.5″ you can download the FREE template from our sister site at Sewing4free.com.
Trace your metal frame
In this tutorial, I'm using both the 7″ X 2.5″ square frame and a rounded 5″ X 2.5″ frame. I switch back and forth between them but the process is exactly the same.
Trace a vertical line roughly the length you want the purse to be. I like things proportional so I have made mine the width of the frame plus two inches.
Trace a horizontal line a bit larger than the frame, at least 1 inch on either side and roughly the width of the purse.
Align the middle of the frame with the vertical line and ends of the frame with the horizontal line. Trace the top of the frame. (7″ X 2.5″frame shown)You will only draw half the frame since we will be tracing the other side of the pattern from this first side.
Draw a 1″ square next to the end of the frame.
Pivot the frame at the center raising the end of the frame to the top of the square. Here is where it changes a bit depending on what type of frame you are using. Below is the 7″ X 2.5″ frame.
We need to true up the pattern by redrawing the top of the frame.
If you have one, use your flexible curve ruler to measure the new frame outline and compare it to your frame. It should measure the same.
Adding seam allowance to the metal frame purse pattern
Erase all unnecessary lines. Extend the top of the square by adding 3/8″ seam allowance. Extend the seam allowance vertically down to the horizontal line and beyond to the bottom of the purse. Mark the stitching line and square the corners. You can always just sew across the corners. For an idea on how to box corners, we have three methods for you. Use whichever you find easiest.
Finish the pattern by folding the paper in half and tracing the other side of the pattern.Draw all necessary markings, grain line, cutting directions and the size of the frame the pattern belongs to. I have added the placement of pockets so I can carry a mobile phone and some cards.
Testing your metal frame purse pattern
Regardless of what frame you want to use, the best practice is to make a mock up of the purse using muslin or another inexpensive cloth so you can test not only the pattern but also the proportions of the purse.
Here is mine using a 5″ frame rounded or curved frame.
Making the purse
Trace the pattern on the fabric of your choosing. For the 7″ X 2.5″ shown below, I am using leather for outside, satin for the lining and sew-in interfacing. I will be adding the interfacing to the lining to give it a quilted look. Regardless of what you choose to do, you will need some kind of fleece or batting to keep the shape of the purse.
I traced diagonal lines 1″ apart and sewed it to the linking with a very small stitch. The design is aesthetic but holds the interfacing well.
How to make the inner pocket for a 7″ purse frame
My finished purse will measure 7″ in width, 6″ height and 3″ in breadth across the bottom. I have added D-rings to be able to wear as a cross body bag. This is optional and there are some frames that already come with this option.
Make a 15″ X 8 3/4″ (38 cm X 22 cm) rectangle of lining fabric and apply fusible interfacing on the wrong side according to the thickness of your fabric.
Fold the rectangle right sides together and sew the sides at 3/8″ (1 cm) leaving a gap of 2.5″ to turn the rectangle inside out.
Turn the rectangle inside out, iron and sew the gap by stitching all around the edge.Fold the rectangle so it measures a 4″ pocket. There will be enough room for a phone and a few cards.
Sew the pocket to the lining very close to the edge of the pocket.
Sewing the lining
Both lining and outer fabric are sewn the same way, the construction will differ a little though when you are using leather. I will illustrate as best as I can.
Right sides together, sew the bottom and the sides of the lining. If you are using fabric leave a gap of at least 2.5″ on one of the sides to turn the purse around.
Box the corner by joining the side and bottom seam together.
Sewing the outside layer
I am using leather here, but the following instructions are the same for fabric. If you are using leather, there will be no need for interfacing.
Place right sides together.
You will need to change to a Teflon foot and a leather needle if you are using leather.
As before, box the corners by joining the side and bottom seams. It will be difficult for some sewing machines to sew this amount of layers in leather, so you could consider the use of a walking foot. Or walk your machine manually one stitch at a time. I found this worked for me.
Joining the lining and the outside fabric
Since I am using leather for the outside and satin for the lining, I am going to use double sided tape to keep the two together. If you are using fabric, place right sides together and sew at the top at 3/8″. Leave a gap to turn your work.Turn the purse right side out using the gap you left open.You can see on the sides that there are no raw edges. This is only possible because you have sewn the top. I have added a small pocket in the lining, just because I like to have the option of caring some cards or a phone in the purse.
Sewing the square metal purse frame into the purse
Mark the middle of both the purse and the frame. Start by aligning the hinge to the side seam. Using a matching thread sew the frame to the purse. Lastly, sew the gap you left open to turn your work by hand.
On my leather purse though, I will not be sewing the purse inside out and turning it through a gap but rather sewing straight into the frame and adding 2 strips of leather and a couple of D-rings on the sides with a rivet to be able to use it as a cross body bag and hide the raw edge under the hinge.
I have made 3 purses and I love the look of them. They are big enough for a large mobile phone and a few cards –the perfect accessory for a party or night out in a restaurant.
If you rather just use an already made rounded frame coin purse check this tutorial with a free pattern.
Until next time! I am off to wrap these purses before my teenage daughter sees them.