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Disco Purse | Sewing

The other night I went to see a band and was faced with a dilemma. How do I carry my phone, money and keys?? I didn’t have a coat because it was too warm. I didn’t want to shove them into my pant pockets, creating unsightly bulges. And I didn’t want to stand there holding them tightly by my sides. I ended up grabbing a bulky purse and looking like “Mom’s Night Out.” And I’m a mom, and proud of it, but I didn’t want to be clutching a cumbersome bag, just like I don’t want to wear “mom” jeans. So, I had to rush to the sewing machine and prepare for next time by making myself a small disco purse, just large enough for those essentials – phone, money, and keys (not necessarily in that order).

By: Jodi

Looking around for material, I found this old pair of my husband’s pants that had been relegated to the sewing pile, and decided that a little tweed purse with a pocket would be just the thing for a night out. I grabbed the rest of my gear and went to work…

done, holding

Time Required: 1 – 3 hours, depending how fancy you want to get.

Materials and Tools:

– sewing machine (or just thread and needle if you’re extremely ambitious).

– thread

– material (as I mentioned above, just an old pair of pants, for me)

– pins

– zipper

– sewing scissors

– seam ripper (if making from an article of clothing)


1. If you’re using a pair of pants, like me, rip out the back seam and side seam, and then cut out your material (leaving the top, with belt loops, etc. intact). Make sure that, when you fold it, it can hold your phone with a couple of inches to spare.

pants better pocket cut outfolded inside-out, pocket side

2. Pin zipper so that the front of it is against the outside of your material. Sew onto material. Fold material so that it comes to the other side of the zipper, pinning it the same way, to the outside of that piece of material. Sew this other side of the zipper so that the zipper is installed along the top of the purse (above the belt loops).

zipper sewn, one side, CU

3. Cut a strip of material (about 3 inches wide) from the pants, long enough that, when you loop it around, your hand can easily slip through the hole + a couple of inches. Double the material sideways, pin it, and sew along the long side and one end. Take a chopstick (or pencil, or something long and thin), push in the sewn end, shoving it all the way through to turn the strip right-side-out (so the sewn seam is now on the inside).

4. I forgot this step, so had to rip the seams out after I had sewn around the entire purse. It was a pain. DON’T FORGET THIS STEP. Put both ends of your sewn strip (the purse handle) beside the zipper pull and pin in place.

5. UNZIP your zipper and pin the rest of the top and down the sides of your bag. Sew. Make sure you’ve unzipped your zipper first, or you’ll have a VERY difficult time turning your purse right side out. I rounded the bottom edges a bit, just using chalk to guide me.

almost done, zipper showing

6. I thought my zipper stuck up a bit and was too prominent, so I folded the zipper inwards a bit and hand-sewed some embroidery thread at either end.

done, with keys and wallet

7. Time to rock and or roll.

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