After I’m done with a sewing project, I inevitably have some scrap material left over. There are a lot of things you can do with that scrap fabric, but one of my favorites is to make a cute little purse. It’s fast and easy, and how many people can say they have an accessory that perfectly matches their outfit?

For this tutorial, you’ll need 2 pieces of scrap fabric: the first piece will become the outside of your purse and the second piece is for your lining. You’ll also need a 6-inch zipper and a 60-inch cord or strap.

Cut your fabric into a rectangle that’s 20 inches long by 7 inches tall, then cut the same size rectangle from your lining fabric. Pin your lining to your outer fabric and sew around the perimeter using a ⅝” seam. Then finish all 4 edges with a zigzag stitch to keep it from raveling. 

I was lucky that my scrap fabric here is a brocade with a cool fringe effect on the selvage. I decided to keep that fringe as the bottom edge of my purse and it ended up being my favorite part of the bag! Always stay open to what your materials can bring to the table; you might end up using something in a way you never expected.

The next step is to turn under the top edge of your purse one inch and sitch it in place. Then fold your purse in half lengthwise and stitch along the bottom and side.

If you’re using selvage on the outside of your purse like me, you can sew the bottom stitch on the outside (linings together) instead of the inside (right sides together).

Next, add the strap. Simply sew the ends of the cord to your purse. I find that if I’ve bought a cord that wants to ravel, it helps to wrap a piece of tape around each end before sewing it down.

All that’s left is to sew the zipper! Pin your zipper and stitch along both edges of the purse to sew the zipper in place.

The zipper should be a little smaller than the opening of the bag. Once your zipper is securely stitched in place, you can sew the bag to itself on the left and right end (the inch on either side of the opening where the zipper doesn’t reach).

And that’s it! You now have a cute purse to match your latest homemade garment and all you had to buy was a cord and a zipper.