How to Make Mini Skirt Purses Part 1

Mini Skirt Purses are a great refashion for both beginners and advanced seamstresses.  They are fun and easy and make great gifts.  In this tutorial, I’ll show you how I made a couple I gave as gifts.

Both skirts here are made of spandex denim and have an attached decoration. I made both of these purses simultaneously in one day, which means they are easy, quick, and simple. You may choose to decrease the lining details to save time, but the added storage is so convenient and very simple to do. I encourage you to give it a try! I have included hints, tips, and techniques throughout this tutorial to help you along. Please feel free to leave comments, questions, and your own helpful tips in the comments section. We love to hear from you!

*Note: Two lining materials are seen in the photographs. They were used in two different, yet identical purses. Follow the steps with the attached pictures and you will do fine.

Materials Needed: (for 1 purse) (Bold indicates my choices)
Thrifted or New Mini Skirt – denim, corduroy, or other stiff material, smaller sizes work best
– Lining material – cotton, silk handkerchiefs, other, 1 1/2 yards, depending on your interior pocket design
– Sewing Machine
– Iron
– Thread – your choice of color, white, less than 1 spool
– Scissors
– Pins
– Other miscellaneous sewing supplies
– Optional: Added decorative items

Here were my choices for skirts and lining materials:

I made sure to wash both the skirts and the lining material before working with it.

Okay, let’s get started! (Click on the photos for a larger view.)

1. Neaten the hems of the skirts and press the lining material- I trimmed the stray fringe on the skirt hems and pressed them flat as best as I could. If the hem of your skirt is finished, you may choose to either undo the hem or trim it off as we are going to finish the hem with a French Seam and added fabric will make it bulky.  Pressing the lining material now will save time later on.

2. Use skirt as a template to cut lining material – add 1/2 to 1 inch seam allowance, excess will be trimmed off.

3. Begin making interior pockets – I chose to add a plethora of pockets to these purses. One side has 2 large open pockets and the other has 3 closed pockets. Both are very simple to make. First, cut out a rectangle as long as your lining is wide at the bottom and twice as tall as you want your pockets to be plus 1 inch or so for the seam allowance. Then fold it in half from top to bottom, wrong sides together, and iron the fold.

4. Use your first pocket piece as a template for your second pocket piece. Cut it out and iron the fold.

5. Pin pockets to lining – Lay out 1 piece of your lining material, right side up. Lay one piece of your pocket material on top of it, lining up the bottom edges (the fold of the pocket fabric should be on top). Pin in place. Repeat for second lining and pocket material.

6. Mark seams with pins on 2 pocket side – On one set (lining and pocket), place a pin at the top and bottom of the center of the pocket piece through all layers of fabric. An easy way to measure is to fold it in half, or if you are a stickler for symmetry, measure with a measuring tape.

Ignore red and blue pins at the top of the picture.

7. Mark seams with pins on 3 pocket side – On the other set, place pins at the top and bottom of the pocket at the 1/3 and 2/3 measurements. Once again, an easy way to do this is to fold the set into thirds and pin. Or measure it with a measuring tape.

Ignore the center red pin on the bottom.

8. Cut out a piece of lining material for the flaps on the 3 pocket side of the lining – It is easier to decide this after you have pinned your pocket pieces onto your lining pieces. Measure your desired flap overlap. I chose about 2 inches. Multiply that number by 4. This is the height of your flap fabric piece. The length is as long as your pocket pieces.  Once cut, fold in half and iron the fold.

Here’s a preview of the flap piece.

So far, so good? You should have:
– a prepared skirt
– 2 lining pieces
– 2 pocket pieces
– 1 flap piece
Pocket pieces should be pinned to lining, and seam lines should be marked.

Let’s Continue!

9. Making the Flap – Lay out your flap piece and your 3 pocket lining piece. Fold down the top of your pocket piece and place the flap piece open/cut side down behind the pocket piece so that 1/2 of the piece is above the pocket piece. Pin the bottom corners. Tip: I transferred my top pins to the pocket piece prior to folding it down.

10. Sew the flap piece to the lining – Check to make sure you like the amount of overlay of the flap prior to stitching on the flap. I chose to use a zigzag stitch. Trim the excess fabric below the stitching.

11. Fold the flap over – Unfold the pocket piece and re-pin it. Fold the flap piece over and pin.

12. Stitch the pockets – On both pieces of lining, straight stitch at your pin marks to divide the pockets and secure the flaps on the 3 pocket side. Don’t worry about the outside edges. We will get those in a minute.

Flap Overlaps to Close Pockets – Secure Storage, Easy Access, and Simple Construction

13. Finish the lining – Lay the lining panels right sides together and zigzag around the two sides and the bottom of the lining. Trim the excess off the outside.

Now open the top of your lining and the inside should look something like this:

14. LAST STEP ON PAGE! Fold over the top of the lining to the outside.

Here’s what we have so far:

Here are my two purses in the making.

Please click here for Part 2.


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