How to Make a Purse From an Old Suit


Novelty purses made from unusual items are all the rage right now. Whether you are looking for something new or just interested in preserving memories and history, a purse made from an old wool suit jacket is clever and a real conversation starter. Wool is a versatile fabric that can be used in a number of projects, but can lose the integrity of what it used to be. This purse, made from an old suit jacket, will allow you to create something new as well as enjoy the memory of a loved one.

Things You'll Need

  • Man's wool suit jacket
  • Black cotton fabric
  • Shank button
  • Small piece of sturdy cardboard
  • Sewing machine
  • Matching thread
  • Hand sewing needle
  • Measuring tape
  • Scissors
  • Pins
  • Glue gun
  • Iron
  • Button the suit jacket and lay it front side up on a flat surface. Cut a 14" wide by 12" long purse front from the suit jacket front. Center the button front and angle slightly. Adjust the position so you are not cutting or sewing through button areas. Baste the edges to make the layers of the suit jacket into one piece.

  • Turn the jacket over and cut one 14" wide by 12" long purse back from the suit jacket back. Center the piece over the back seam of the suit jacket. Baste the edges to make the layers of the suit jacket into one piece.

  • Place the purse front and back pieces together with the right sides together and pin. Sew a 1/4" seam allowance on the two 12" sides and the 14" bottom.

  • Match the side seams with the bottom seam and sew a 4 1/2" wide boxed bottom.

  • Cut two 14" wide by 12" long pieces from the lining fabric. Cut two 6" wide by 5" long pieces for the inside purse pocket.

  • Place the two pocket pieces together with the right sides together. Sew around all four sides of the pocket leaving a two inch opening on the 6" bottom of the pocket for turning. Turn right side out and press.

  • Pin the pocket to one lining piece, two inches from one long edge and centered. Top stitch the pocket to the lining side leaving the top of the pocket open. The opening in the bottom of the pocket will close when top stitching.

  • Place the lining pieces together with the right sides together and pin. Sew a 1/4" seam allowance around the lining's two sides and the bottom. Leave a 4" opening on the bottom seam for turning the purse later.

  • Repeat step 4 on the lining.

  • Cut two 2 1/2" x 16" pieces of suit jacket for the handle. Cut solid pieces with no seams. Fold the pieces long wise and sew a 1/4" seam allowance on the long raw edge. Turn right side out and iron flat. Top stitch along each long side of the handles.

  • Cut one 1 1/2" x 4" piece of suit jacket for the button closure loop. Cut a solid piece with no seams. Fold the long edges of the piece to the center and iron. Fold the piece in half long wise, matching the folded edges. Top stitch the long open edge. Fold the button closure in half, matching the short ends, and baste the ends together.

  • Turn the purse right side out. Insert the purse into the lining.

  • Drop a handle between the purse and lining and pin the ends 4" in on each side. Repeat for the handle on the back.

  • Insert the button closure loop between the purse and the lining. Pin the basted ends to the center of the back piece.

  • Pin the purse and lining pieces together. Sew around the entire top edge of the purse.

  • Turn the purse right side out through the bottom opening in the lining. Sew the opening closed. Top stitch around the top edge of the purse.

  • Cut a 4 1/2" by 8 1/2" piece of cardboard. Cut a 10" by 12" piece of lining fabric. Wrap the cardboard with the lining like you are wrapping a package. Hot glue the edges to one side. Insert the covered cardboard into the bottom of the bag with the glued side down.

  • Sew a shank button onto the top, front and center of the purse. Close the purse by slipping the loop over the button.

Tips & Warnings

  • Try to keep the bulk of the cut suit pieces in the centers of each piece, so the seams and edges will be nice and crisp when sewn.
  • A heavy duty sewing machine needle is recommended

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