Purse Organizer

I’m not a big purse girl – I’m still stuck in the days of diaper bags (although I love my Vera Bradley diaper bag!).  But my mom is the queen of accessorizing, and has a purse to match every outfit!  Unfortunately, moving all her things around every time she switches purses can be quite a chore.  So for her birthday next month, she has asked for a purse organizer to help keep her things in place and make them easy to swap between bags.  My mom found a tutorial (not sure where), but I had some difficulty following it, so I’m hoping that the one below is a little easier!

Supplies:

  • 1/2 yard of exterior fabric
  • 1/2 yard of interior fabric
  • 1 yard light or medium weight interfacing (depending on how stiff you want it to be; I used medium)
  • Magnetic snaps
  • Swivel clasp
  • Coordinating thread

Cut the fabric as follows (attach interfacing to the wrong side of the fabric where directed):

  • Exterior fabric:
    • 2 11″x13.5″ pieces, interfaced
    • 2 11″x7.5″ pieces, interfaced
    • 1 4″x4″ piece
  • Interior fabric:
    • 2 11″x13.5″ pieces
    • 2 11″x7.5″ pieces, interfaced
IMG_3238

That’s some eccentric fabric, isn’t it??

Fold and press the two 11″x13.5″ outer pieces in half, interfaced sides together, along the 11″ side (so the pieces are now 11″x6.75″).  Stitch a scant 1/4″ along the fold to hold it in place.  Then lay each folded pieces on top of one of the 11″x7.5″ interior pieces, lined up to match at the bottom, and stitch a scant 1/4″ around the sides and bottom (keep the seam allowance minimal so the seams don’t show later).

Outer Pieces

Left: Folded outer fabric. Right: Pocket and wall basted together.

On each piece, stitch a seam 1.25″ from the bottom edge.  Then you’ll add your separations for the pockets.  One one side, I added pockets 4″ in from each side (leaving a 3″ pocket in the center), and on the other I did the same, but added another seam in the middle so that there are pen pockets.  You can adjust the pockets as you wish to accommodate your things, like cell phone, notepad, etc.  Next, place the two pieces right sides together and stitch around the sides and bottom with a 1/4″ seam allowance.  Cut a 1.25″ square from the two bottom corners, open up the corners and stitch 1/4″ seam allowance to make a boxed corner.  Set aside.

Outer Construction

Left: Pockets made. Center: Cut the 1.25″ corners out. Right: How to make the boxed corner.

Next, repeat the same process for the remaining pieces, but flipping interior for exterior fabrics: start by pressing the two 11″x13.5″ interior pieces in half and stitch in place, and baste onto the 11″x7.5″ exterior pieces with a scant 1/4″.  Stitch across the pieces 1.25″ from the bottom, and add your pocket seams (this time, I just split each side in half at 5.5″).  Here is where there is a difference: it’s time to add the magnetic closure to the purse organizer.  The magnetic closures come with 4 pieces: the two parts you see when you’re done (male and female magnets), and 2 backing pieces.  Use a backing piece to mark the center and slots in the same location on both sides of the interior of the purse organizer (don’t worry, your marks will be hidden).  Then fold the pieces at the marks and cut a small slit at each of the side slots.  Each of the two magnetic pieces has two arms that you can slip through the slots you just cut.  Then slip the backing piece on the back side, sandwiching the interior fabric between the magnet and backing, and bend the arms outward.  Voila!  You’ve added a magnetic closure to your purse organizer (this was my first time using this “hardware,” but it’s so easy, I’ll definitely be using it again!).

Interior

Left: Interior pockets. Second: Marking using the backing piece. Third: Cutting the slits. Right: Add the backing and fold the arms back.

Next, you’ll add a clip to hold your keys.  Press the 4″x4″ piece of exterior fabric in half, then open up and press the two sides into that crease (like we did with the lips pouch strap).  Fold the strip in half and put the swivel clip at the fold; stitch swivel clip in place, then baste the whole thing onto the top of one of the interior pieces with a scant 1/4″ seam allowance.  Now, just like with the exterior, place pieces right sides together and sew 1/4″ around the sides and bottom – but leave an opening 3-4″ long in the bottom.  Cut 1.25″ squares from each of the bottom corners, open, and stitch 1/4″ seam allowances to make box corners.

IMG_3251

Magnetic closure and key clip complete

Turn the interior piece right side out and insert into the exterior piece (which is still wrong side out).  Stitch 1/4″ all the way around the top, then turn right side out through the opening you left in the interior.

Assembly

Left: Sewing the interior and exterior together. Right: Turn right side out, and stitch opening shut.

Stitch the opening closed, keeping the raw edges in.  Push the interior into the exterior, and stitch around the top of the purse organizer to keep it in place.  You can choose to stitch the key hook onto the inside or outside, or exclude it from the top seam so you can choose which side to use it on based on your mood.

Finished Organizer

Isn’t that nifty? I chose to let the key clip go inside or outside.

This is actually one of the easier projects I’ve done on this blog, and super functional.  It’s all straight lines, nothing too tricky, and very useful!  If you are a purse woman, like my mom, I hope you give it a try!

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