Saturday, June 21, 2014

DIY Doily Purse

I bought a giant doily awhile ago to use in a T-Shirt refashion, but up until today it was still sitting in my closet in a bag.  So I decided to finally put it to use, in an entirely different project!


I'm thinking about going to an outdoor music festival this summer and thought this would fit in with the hippie vibe that usually happens at those sorts of events.

This is such a simple project, anyone can do it.  Here's what you need if you want to make your own:

-Giant doily
-lining fabric
-standard sewing kit (you can hand sew this if you don't have access to a machine)
-purse handles (if you can't find any, you can make learn how to make your own HERE)
-zipper foot (not shown)

Before we start I'll show you just how big my doily is.  In reality, it's not really a giant doily, it's more of a very small table cloth:

You can get any size you want and any shape.  In fact, I think a rectangular one would probably be much easier to work with but this is what I had on hand so I made it work~

1) Lay out your doily and then lay your lining fabric on top.  Cut your fabric to the same size (ish) of your doily.  If you have a frilly edge don't get too fussy.  This will all be turned over eventually so it doesn't need to be perfect.  Just be careful not to cut your doily underneath.

I used some left over tricot knit that I had but anything will do.  If it has just a bit of stretch though it will help if you're sewing the whole piece onto your handles using a machine.  If you're hand stitching I think cotton would work just as easily.

2) Pin the edges down.

3) Secure with a straight stitch close to the edge.

4) Fold your lined doily in half and mark with a pin 1.5" up from the bottom on both sides, each layer.

5) Guide the doily onto your first purse handle making sure not to go past your needle markings.  If you want to be able to open your purse when you're done, this is very important!

6) You need a bit of patience for this part but it's not hard.  Just adjust your fabric so that it folds over the purse handle opening.  It may gather a bit and you may have to use a lot of pins, but just keep at it.

Now is when you decide if your hand stitching this onto the handles or using your machine.  If you're using a machine be careful which way you put in your pins, and most importantly, make sure that your handle will fit under the sewing machine arm.  You can get away with a large handle on one side, but you'll get stuck if you're doing two.  Luckily mine fit!

Tip: This is much easier with a zipper foot and you can get nice and close to your handle.

7) Carefully and slowly stitch down your edge.  This won't make sense until your actually sewing, but don't worry too much about moving the handle through the machine, think more about moving the fabric.  The further you go, the  more you'll be able to gather onto the handle behind the needle.

Be patient.  I had a spectacular needle break (bits of needle went flying everywhere!), but that was only because I suddenly started rushing.  I slowed down and it all went very smoothly.

8) Repeat all of this on the other side and you're done!

See how nice the top opening is?  If you stitch right to the centre you'll have a heck of a time getting anything in there.

That's it!  The perfect bag to carry your lipstick, TP, flashlight, cash, and whatever else it is you take to an outdoor music festival~

Take a look at some of my other purse/bag projects:
1) Embroidered Bag  2) T-Shirt Bag  3) Asian Bag  4) Wool Tote  5) Summer Bag  7) Scarf Bag  8) Hathaway Purse

It's been pouring rain here for about 2 weeks straight and I'm about to lose it.  Leave a comment and send me some of your good weather if you have it~


Donna Wilkes said...

I am learning to knit, but draw the line at going back to a sewing machine even if this is an adorable purse. Yes, I had a similar one in 1969 so I think it is perfect for the concert. Remember to wear your worn-out elephant bells and bandana halter top.

Mitzi said...

I love your doily purse! I have a zillion vintage doilies around here, so I might give this project a try....

Unknown said...

Too neat! I have a pair of those handles that I have been trying to figure out what to do with :) Thanks for sharing!

Ana Love Craft said...

Super cute, lovely idea Tamara! Thanks for tutorial!
Hope you have a wonderful day!
Hugs from Portugal,
Ana Love Craft

Tiffany Joan said...

Love this. What a great idea. Thanks for sharing.

Seaweed and Raine said...

Pretty much as with everything you do - I love this. It has the perfect feel for summer. Pop a daisy in your hair and you're good to go! I have a question for you... How many of the bags that you have created, do you still use? Or do you gift them?

SewSweetVIntage said...

I <3 your doily purse!!! Pinned

Mik's Jewelry Shop said...

I love this, such a clever idea! Pinned for sure. Find me here at


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