Make An Organizer Purse From A Drying Mat
I wanted to make a placemat purse with my girls for Sew Saturday at Love My Little Cottage. I perused Pinterest, and found inspiration in the many pictures of placemat purses. However, when I went to Hobby Lobby to choose some placemats, I saw the cutest dish drying mats! They’re bigger than placemats, and have a cushy, quilted feel to them. They were perfect for our project.
- sewing machine and basic sewing supplies
- drying mat
- 1.5″ grosgrain ribbon
- glue gun and glue sticks
- felt flower
- piping cord to coordinate with the drying mat
- the stuff you want to carry in your organizer
Fold about 1/3 of the drying mat toward the center to make a pocket. Put your stuff in the pocket and see how it fits. Let the height of your items determine exactly where you will fold the drying mat. Decide how wide you want the sections in your pocket to be. Again, this will be based on the size of the items you want to carry in your purse. Pin the places where you want to sew seams for pocket sections.
I wanted a handled purse that I could use separately from the purse that holds my wallet, keys, and etc. I don’t have room for my journal, planner, Bible, gel pens, reading glasses, and current book in my day-to-day purse because I’m short and I don’t like carrying huge purses. Whenever I’m rushing off to softball or ballet (or piano), I throw a rubber band around my books, and hang a pen on the rubber band (see the materials picture). I can’t wait to stride into the next event with my new organizer purse.
Use a pencil to trace a line where you want to sew your pocket sections. My drying mat had lines on the inside, so I just followed them, and made a light pencil line where I wanted to sew.
Sew your pocket section lines using a straight stitch. I zig-zagged the ends of my drying mat, and sewed reverse and forward several times at the tops of the pocket seams to make sure they wouldn’t rip easily. You will want to do this for the pocket seams at the ends of your drying mat, and the center pockets.
Measure the end of your purse, and make a chalk mark in the center, about one inch from the edge. Hot glue your felt flower here, right beside the top flap. Don’t touch the hot glue with your fingers. Put the glue on the underside of the flower, then stick it in place.
Now it’s time to sew the piping cord into a loop for your felt flower. I folded my piping over, and pinned it in place. Then, I sewed the raw edges down. There are easier ways to make loops, but I already had the piping on hand.
Wrap your loop around the felt flower and pull it tight. Pin the ends of the loop on the inside of the top flap of your organizer. Gently remove the loop from your flower, then sew your loop down. I used a zig-zag stitch, then trimmed the excess piping, then zig-zagged the ends down again.
Measure and cut 2 pieces of grosgrain ribbon 15″ long for your handles. Fold the ends of the ribbon under and pin in place. I pinned the ribbon for the handle on my top flap first, then made sure the handle on the inside of the organizer lined up with it. Pin your ribbon, then hold your purse by the handles. Make sure they’re even, and the length is right before you sew. I used a zig-zag stitch and went over each ribbon end twice.
For security and aestetics, I placed a snap closure on each end of the top flap. I don’t really like sewing on snaps. I prefer velcro, but in this case snaps were the best choice.
Your Organizer Purse is done! I made mine with a camper theme, Stella made a watermelon one, and Gabby used a drying mat with a pretty butterfly pattern. I’m left-handed, so my organizer opens on the opposite side as the girls’. We didn’t notice it until afterwards, but it makes sense. If you decide to make one, please send us a picture.
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