"All art is quite useless" - Oscar Wilde

April 04, 2011

Book purse

As some of you may know, I make my income supporting my studies by making purses out of books.
Well, as I don't want to adorn myself with borrowed plumes, I have to admit that this beautiful accesoire is very common in the United States.
If you want to sew such a purse too, just look behind the curtain.

I think it's pretty easy to sew such a purse.
At first, you look for a very beautiful old book and some fabric (about 40 x 110 cm) thats fits to the cover of the book. Cut out the pages with a safety knife and keep it for further information ;-) Also you need about 1,50 of cord and other things you see in the picture:

Now we need a pattern. Use baking paper. I normally take the normal size of the book when its opened, add 1 cm seam allowance and then we put wings in the middle of the book, wide as the spine of the book an the sides have to be as long as the half of the long side of the book minus the half of the spine. Then draw a line at each side with around 65 degrees, you may need a set square to be exact. Also add a litte seam allowance here around the wings.

Then cut out the pattern, put it on the doubled fabric an eventually use "flieseline" on top to make it a bit stiffer.

Cut out the pattern with the fabric and don't forget to have four squares to attach the handles.

Iron the fabric with the Flieseline, sew the sides of the squares together and turn it around to the right side, also iron it.
Now we need the glue. Put a small amount of glue in the corners of the book and blur it with a Q-tip, put the strips on and give some glue onto them, to attach the cord on them as handles, close the strips an glue them on the book. (pew, that was hard to describe)
Then make it fix with clamps.

Now we sew the inlay. Put the fabric together so that the wrong sides look at each other and sew around the borders, leave a little hole.

Now make a little crop with a scissor in every corner which goes inside, that there are no wrinkles later on.

Now we turn the inlay to the right side by pulling one wing through the hole on the other side and also the rest. Now we iron again to have the inlay flat.

Attach the wings on the sides by sewing with a criss-cross-stitch and you get an inlay that looks like a hat XD.

It's nearly done. Just glue the inlay into the book.

Also fix with clamps and let it dry.

To close the purse, you can use satin bands and make a ribbon, or buttons on the one side and an elastic on the other. I normally make a "tongue" where i put a magnet inside and another magnet on the front of the book inside.

There are a lot of variations to make it pretty.

Thats the result:

More on my homepage.


Glittermuffin said...

Gosh, so pretty *___* I made one as well but never use it as it doesn't even hold my purse. Boohoo ;_;

decembersong said...

Thank you so much for this detailed instruction! I absolutely adore your book purses :'D I wish we had that great and cheap books in out antique stores : /
But pleeeeease add some pictures of he process since the whole thing is rather hard to imagine if you never made such a thing : )

Qantaqa said...

Yay welcome to the team! :D

The book purses rock as hell. *_*

BlueLilium said...

Improved version ^^

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