how to make a DIY purse from a rag rug…
If you’ve been here before, you may be aware that I don’t really know a needle from thread. But I DO know a fun DIY when I see it. And when I saw these rugs, I knew that we could make something summery and colorful and fun. We’re going to tackle another DIY purse today. A cute little clutch made from a very inexpensive (and easy to find) rag rug, also known as a chindi rug.
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But since this project calls for some real sewing know-how, I called in an expert. Jessica from Designer Sweet Spot came to my rescue. She not only wrote this tutorial for us (myself included), but she made a pattern for us, to boot.
Just because I used the word “pattern,” try not to freak out. The use of proper sewing terminology does NOT mean this is a project that you and I, and our fellow sewing novices can’t tackle.
But I felt like Jessica was a much better candidate to teach you the technique because she knows REAL sewing things…like “basting” and “gussets” and all-manner-of-sewing-lingo that they teach people at FIT, which is where she went to school. How cool is that?
Materials Needed for DIY Purse:
- rag rug (AKA chindi rug) we recommend one of two from Wal-Mart (smaller “Mainstays” brand or larger “Better Homes & Gardens” brand)
- 1 yard lining fabric (can be scrap fabric of light to medium weight…cotton, linen, acetate or other light to medium weight woven fabrics)
- 1 yard medium weight to heavy weight fusible interfacing (recommended for use with the lighter weight rugs to add stability)
- Heavy cotton thread suitable for machine quilting
- Heavy weight sewing machine needles suitable for denim or heavy weight fabrics, size 90/14, 100/16, or 110/18 or larger
- sew-on magnetic or standard snap (optional, and sized per personal preference)
How to create your DIY purse:
DESCRIPTION: This rag rug DIY purse tutorial will help us to create a clutch with an interior lining, optional contrasting pocket, fringe, and optional sew-on snap or magnetic closure. The clutch has horizontal fringe on front flap.
SEWING LEVEL: Beginner to intermediate.
PRINTING THE PATTERN: This pattern is FREE for our newsletter subscribers (and yes, my newsletter is ALSO FREE…I ❤️ free, don’t you?)
Subscribers have instant access to all the printables, patterns, lunchbox notes, and DIY guides we publish here on our blog. So, join us and GRAB THE PATTERN (as well as the FULL SUPPLY AND DIRECTIONS GUIDE for this project) click the image below:
** Make sure that your scaling is turned “off” in the printers dialog box. Set scale to 100%. Page scaling should be set to NONE. EACH PRINTER IS DIFFERENT, BE SURE TO CONFIRM. DO NOT SKIP THIS STEP. Select page orientation to “Auto/portrait Landscape”.
Print out the page that contains the calibration square, page 2. Measure the square ( 5 cm or 2”) to make sure your pattern piece was printed to the correct size. Tape pieces together in order as marked.**
Choosing a Chindi Rug/Rag Rug
This handbag pattern is designed for a light to medium weight cotton 2’ x 3’ Chindi rag rug. The shape of the bag may vary slightly depending on the type and weight of rug that you choose. For rugs that are less than 3/8” thick, the small or medium size bag pattern will work well.
For rugs that are ⅜” or ½” thick, it is best to choose the larger size bag due to the bulk of the material. It is important that you follow all the pre-cutting steps to keep your rug intact. The rugs are made from recycled fabrics that are woven together and secured with multiple threads. You must sew anchor stitches before cutting the rug to keep the entire rug from unraveling. *Be sure to follow the pre-cutting directions.
There are no grainline markings on this pattern. Some rugs are woven horizontally, some are woven vertically. You can choose to cut the rug either direction depending on the size and design of the handbag you choose to make.
Note: All seam allowances are ⅝” unless otherwise noted.
- Layout pattern and match the direction of the grain on the rug. Mark pattern with a fabric pencil or marker.
- Decide whether or not you will fringe the edge of the rug. Some rugs already have fringe, if yours does not, you can add it. Recommended length of fringe is maximum of 3”. Sew a horizontal zigzag line on the rug from edge to edge, ½” above the cutting line. This step is required to keep the rug from unraveling. DO NOT SKIP THIS STEP.
- Cut rug threads and unravel fabric to within ¼ of zig zag stitching. Trim fringe fabric edge to one length if needed. Fringe is not included in the size of the pattern. Be sure to place your pattern piece at the base of the fringe when cutting.
- Sew another zig zag stitch ½” from each side edge, along pattern cutting line before cutting. Stitch length of 2.5-3 length is recommended.
- Check edges of cutting line to be sure you are cutting on the outside edge of the zig zag stitching. Cut along marked edge of pattern.
- Secure any loose edges if needed with single needle stitch.
- Layout purse lining, including pocket and any gusset pieces, mark and cut.
- Layout interfacing, mark and cut.
Sewing Directions for your Rag Rug DIY Purse:
* All seam allowances are ⅝” unless otherwise stated. Press as needed. Clip seam allowances as necessary so they lay flat.
1.) To make a 3” fringe, mark top of flap placement from pattern on front of the rug/fabric with pins. Sew a zigzag stitch horizontally along marking, from edge to edge.
2.) Clip rug threads between vertical fabric pieces, stoping ¼” away from zigzag stitching, creating fringe.
Cut any extra loose threads close to fabric. Trim fringe edges as necessary to make them even.
3.) Fuse interfacing to back side of fabric/purse with a warm iron.
4.) With right sides together, stitch top of gusset pieces together. Turn wrong sides together, press top seam. Baste raw edges together.
5.) Sew top edge of lining pocket with a ¼” hem. Turn again and stitch over first line of stitching. Fold under seam allowance on sides of pocket. Press in place. Pin to lining matching top edges with marked circles on pattern. Stitch around pocket edges.
6.) Clean finish top and bottom edge of lining with a ⅝” hem.
7.) Pin gusset to right side of lining, matching top edge with marked fold notches on pattern, and matching circle marking at bottom of gusset. Baste in place. Stitch over basting. Trim fabric on lower edge of gusset to ¼”, clip as needed to smooth out fabric.
8.) Place lining and hand bag with right sides together, matching side seams and fold notches. Stitch side seams top to bottom, pivoting at circle at bottom of gusset. If your rug is very thick, you may have to break the stitching at the bottom of the gusset to pivot it.
9.) Turn right side out, lining up top and bottom edge of handbag with lining. Pin in place. Slip stitch lining in place.
10.) Add optional snap closure or decorative button to front of bag.
Congratulations! You have finished sewing your DIY purse! Send me a picture of your creation!
Digital pattern creation by www.designerssweetspot.com