Tuesday, July 21, 2009

How to Sew a Purse - Grids & Grommets by Indygo Junction

Your Fabric Place

I fell in love with this pattern when a friend was carrying the one she made. If I could have stolen it, I would have!

Since she would not give me hers, I made my own and am sharing what I learned with you!
Enter to Win a Grids & Grommets sewing pattern by Indygo Junction!
Contest details at the end of this page.

The first step to creating your own Grid & Grommets bag is deciding which size and style option suits you. I chose the large, strip bag version. Sewing is my art form. I Pick fabrics which reflect my mood & personal style. You can see from this picture which fabrics I decided on. All of these strips are from Amy Butler's Daisy Chain Collection.

The AccuQuilt Go fabric cutter made the task of cutting the 2 1/2 inch strips a quick process, but you could use your rotary cutter & mat method if you don't own a AccuQuilt Go. Either method, will produce a fun and practical use of scraps.

What I've learned about the Indygo Junction Grids and Grommets purse pattern:
Definition of Practice Run according to Glenna's sewing dictionary; 1: goof-up, 2: mistakes in sewing usually caused by not following directions of the Pattern Designer
The pattern does not call for interfacing in the top panel (where the grommets are attached). Trust me.......there is a reason for not adding interfacing to the top band. Only the main portion of the Grommet bag is interfaced with fusible fleece.

When I made my
practice run bag, I used the same fusible fleece to interface the top panel. All looked well until it was time to attach the grommets.
Because of the extra thickness, I could not sandwich the front and back of the curtain grommets into place. Learn from my mistake.....don't use fusible fleece in the top band.
Note added on Sept 9,2009: I now use a heavy stabilizer interfacing in the top band. I fuse it to the exterior band fabric. The heavy fusible interfacing has stability without the thickness of the fusible fleece. I have no problem attaching the grommets thru the interfaced top bands.

Once your bag is sewn and pressed well, baste the lining of the top band to the exterior top band. This simple step is important in assuring the lining hangs pretty inside your bag.

Yes, you could press and pin the lining in place, however basting is more secure. We want the lining fabric to stay in perfect position when we marking and cutting the holes for the grommets.
Remove the basting threads after your bag is finished.

The grommets are extremely easy to "install" through two layers of fabric (no tools required) Dritz includes a template which makes measuring and marking a breeze and is actually quite fun. Let's not forget the Wow factor something as GRAND as this creates! Thanks Indygo Junction for giving us this Wow factor pattern!!
Once you've traced the circle for the cut-out, machine stitch to reinforce. The Grommet will cover your reinforcing stitches. Stitching to reinforce is not mentioned on instructions.

I also ran a thin beading of Fray Check around my marking line to prevent fraying. Once my bead of Fray Check was dry, I cut out the hole. This bag is large enough to load down with books, toys, etc. Taking steps to reinforce the grommet holes is (in my opinion) a good idea. The large version of the Grids and Grommets bag is wonderful for multi tasking! . It is a purse which could multi task as a diaper, shopping, or even a book bag, yet it looks stylish for an everyday bag. The final photo shows the straps pulled through to allow extra length for wearing slung across your chest. Great option when we need two free hands and a secure purse!


  1. So sewing is my next teach my self how to do, idea. If you've read my profile you already know I am always teaching myself new things. My latest venture is crocheting and I have to say I'm getting pretty good at it. The other day I say another blog regarding makeing purses and it inspired me to want to learn more and now here I am on yours. I can't wait to get a sewing machine and hopefully watch some tutorials on how to sew. If you have any tips and tricks for a beginner, please any suggestions will help.

    Love the purse by the way, I so want to make this.

  2. Super cut I wish I had the skills to make something like that
    Stopping in from Sits
    can u help out w/ a post here Thanks

  3. I admire your skills! I recently tried to pull out my inner sewing diva. I know I have once because my mom and grandma both sew beautifully. I ended up cursing the bobbin and sewing wrong parts of the fabric together. I'm making an apron from a pattern my grandma. It borders on sexy domestic, so I love it. You've inspired me to tell the bobbin who's boss and give it another go!

  4. Love the purse!! Stopping by from SITS to say hello!! Happy Tuesday!!

  5. Love the purse.
    Great pics.

    Half way there....Enjoy your Wednesday !

  6. Super cute! I have to try this. I'm so tired of store bought bags that just don't do what I want them to do...OH Sewing Machine! I'm coming! Are you ready? Yes..I talk to my machine. :) Visit me on my blog!

  7. Love that bag!!! Thanks for stopping by my blog and the nice comments :)

  8. Darn. Wish I had paid attention during Home Ec! Great sewing skills you have.

    Thanks for stopping by.


  9. Very cute purse & thanks for the tutorial.

    Visiting from SITS just popping in to say hi

  10. Happy Sunday! Remember to renew your spirit today. Visiting from SITS. You were on roll call just above me.

  11. I love the fabric choice! Have a happy Monday~ I am slowly making my way through all of the comments that I so lovingly received last Thursday when I was featured on SITS. Thank you so very much for visiting me.

  12. WOW! This is terrific.

    I need to learn how to sew... I'm going to enter your giveaway 'cause maybe if I had the pattern I would be inspired to put my sewing machine to work! I can't even hem pants (how embarrassing!)

  13. I didn't really like this patter until I saw your bag, I LOVE IT! So cute!

  14. I need help!! I don't understand step 2 of the pattern. How am I supposed to sandwich the body of the bag and the fusible fleece? This doesn't make sense to me! Can you help, please?

  15. Penny,
    I agree they worded that step in a confusing way.
    I think they should have said to "layer the body of the bag and the fusible fleece.

  16. I fell in love with this bag, too and did the exact same thing you did - I put fleece under the top band. Now I don't feel so dumb!! But I ended up with a nice bag with conventional handles and started all over, this time following the directions!!

  17. Love this bag, and thanks for tutorial. Looking ar the finished bag, was condering what kept the top of blag from flopping over, I was thinking I could put the fusible in area where grommits will not be hindered. Thanks again.

    Helen from Denver


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