Some of my African fabric has a design of squares which makes it perfect for a simple African purse pattern. The squares are not necessary for the pattern, but they do help to make a pretty purse. Usually when I make a clutch bag I layer the fabric and then fold it in thirds so that the front of the pouch part consists of three layers. For this purse pattern, I have used a single layer of fabric for the front of the pouch and it makes for a very simple and quick project.
Cutting requirements for the African purse pattern
6.3/4″ by 12″ rectangle in top fabric, wadding and lining fabric
6.3/4″ by 5.1/2″ rectangle in contrasting fabric for front of pouch
2″ strip of binding fabric about 45″ long
1″ by 4″ strip of fabric for button loop
Making the African purse pattern
Lay the lining fabric with right side down. Add the wadding and then the top fabric with right side up – the same layering as for any quilt. Pin to secure the layers.
Make a loop for the button: fold the edges of the strip in to the middle and then fold in half so that all the raw edges are concealed. Sew along the strip to keep the folds in place.
Turn under a small double hem on one 6.3/4″ edge of the fabric for the front of the pouch. Sew in place. Place this rectangle on the lining fabric with right side up. Make sure that the hemmed edge is at the top. Place the button loop in the middle of the bottom edge, on top of all the layers. Pin.
Fold the binding strip in half along the length and press. Place this on the top of the African purse pattern fabrics with the fold towards the middle and all the raw edges in line – just like any binding for a quilt.
Sew the binding in place and then flip to the other side to slip stitch in place. I’ve chosen to have the hand sewing on the outside of the purse mainly because I wanted the purse lining to be on top when I was machine sewing the binding on – that way I felt that the button loop would be more secure, and also I could make sure that the loop stayed in place while I was sewing.
Fold the purse in half, pull the button loop out so that it is visible and sew a button in place to secure the flap. It really hasn’t taken me long to make this African purse pattern and I think it will make a great small gift for someone at Christmas. If you wanted to make the pouch more secure you could add a zip or a button to secure the front of the pouch to the lining, but I have made the most simple version here.
Here’s the video: