IMG_2124This purse was crocheted a few years ago. It’s time to finally get it lined! This tutorial will offer a very SIMPLE method of creating the lining to fit in a purse. In the photo above, the purse is sitting on a piece of lavender lining fabric which I used for this project.

IMG_2125IMG_2127The first thing you’ll want to do is take measurements of your purse (See above photos). The measurements should be generous. You’ll find that my purse is a rather odd shape…not perfectly square or rectangular!  But, that’s not a problem.

IMG_2128So, the lining needed for this purse measures a rough 12″ wide by 7″ high (height is measured from bottom seam of purse up to the zipper).  The lining should be cut ‘generously’ …. hence, I cut out (2) pieces that were 14″ by 10″. This generous measurement allows for seam allowances as well as the “width” needed for the purse. Since this purse does not have side pieces, I will create “box seams” at the bottom corners of the lining which will allow room for width in the lining. We’ll get to the box seams later…

IMG_2131The picture above shows the purse sitting on the 2 layers of 14″ x 10″ lining. (Note: I intentionally cut the lining fabric so the selvage will be at the top of the purse. This is not required, but it will help stabilize that area as I finish that seam, which you’ll see later in this tutorial.

I also cut out (2) pieces of 8″ x 5″ lining for a pocket.  IMG_2129The two pocket linings were placed right sides together and sewn with a 1/4″ seam allowance all the way around leaving an opening on one side for turning. (Note:  I used black thread so you could see the stitching in these pictures. However, I would recommend you use a thread color that blends well with your fabric.)

IMG_2130After stitching the pocket linings together, I trimmed off the corners. With less fabric in the corners, they will turn easier and create crisper corners (not so rounded!).

IMG_2132Then turn the pocket right side out and press.

IMG_2133Pin the pocket to one of the lining pieces. (Be sure to position the pocket higher on the lining fabric to allow for the bottom seam allowance and the box seam you will create later. I placed my pocket about 1 – 3/4″ down from the top of the lining.)  You will sew down one side of the pocket, across the bottom and up the other side of the pocket. The next picture shows how this is sewn, as well as how to secure each top edge of the pocket for durability. A small portion of the bottom of the pocket is still an open seam (where you turned the pocket right side out), but when you sew across the bottom of the pocket you are securing that opening as well as attaching it to the lining fabric all in one step.

IMG_2134

As you put things in the purse pocket, the pocket’s seams will take a lot of abuse, so it is best to make them very secure by sewing triangles at the top of each side of the pocket. (See photo above, and close up below… )

IMG_2135The photo above shows a close-up of the “triangle” sewn at the top edge of each pocket piece. Note:  I used black thread so you could easily see how to create the triangle. However, by matching the thread color to the pocket piece, it will be less visible. Note the back-stitching at the beginning and end of the triangle… this helps secure the stitching.  This picture also shows that I didn’t turn my top corner as neatly as I should have! 🙂

IMG_2138The photo above shows that the long side (top) of the purse lining has been turned under 1/4″ and pressed to the under side. This will give the top edge of the lining a nice finished edge which will be hand-stitched to the inside of the purse (along the zipper edge…which you will see later.) Your purse may not have a zipper closure. That is fine… you will neatly hand-stitch the top edge of the lining to the top edge of your purse….we’ll cover this later on…

IMG_2139Sew along this top edge of the lining. You can use a straight stitch or a decorative stitch, as I have used… (see photo below)…

IMG_2140IMG_2143In the photo above, I sewed a seam down the pocket to create 2 pockets!  This will hold my phone in one side and business cards in the other side. At this point I stitched from the top of the pocket down to the bottom, back-stitching at the bottom and creating a triangle at the top. (See photo above) It is more difficult to see this seam since I did change my thread color to match the lining fabric!! Doesn’t it look much nicer than the black?

Press after sewing every seam. This is important as you sew.

IMG_2146The photo above shows the two lining pieces sewn together…After you’ve pressed and finished the top edge of each lining piece with either a straight stitch or decorative stitch, then pin the two pieces ‘right sides together’ and sew the “unfinished” sides of the lining together. ONLY sew the unfinished sides and the bottom; do NOT sew the top of the lining closed!  That must remain open! 🙂

To make my unfinished, or raw edges look nice, I used an overcast stitch to sew the two lining pieces together. The overcast stitch “finished’ the raw edges AND sewed the seam allowances together at the same time. Note the photo (above) shows the overcast/sewn edges on the sides and bottom of the lining. The top of the lining has a decorative sewn finish.

IMG_2154 Next I created a box seam at the bottom corners of the purse lining. This will help create “width” without having to add extra fabric pieces to each side of the lining.

To make the box seam, spread out the purse lining with wrong side of lining facing out, matching the side seam and the bottom seam in the middle (as shown above). Place a pin across this area to hold it while you move to the sewing machine. (This step will be done on both sides of the purse lining to create box seams on the bottom.)

IMG_2157At the machine, sew across the bottom corner of the lining using a straight stitch. After you stitch across, you will see a triangle shape on the wrong side of the lining… see photo below…

IMG_2158Now, let’s see what it looks like after stitching box seams at both lower corners… (below)

IMG_2159See how the bottom of the purse lining will now sit nicely in the bottom of the purse?  The box seams create this magic!

IMG_2160Now, with the WRONG side of the lining facing out, insert the lining into the purse.  After you’ve placed the lining inside the purse, you should only see finished seams and a nice little pocket when you peak down into the lining.  If you see the wrong side of the seam allowance looking at you and your pocket is missing, then you need to turn your lining inside out and place it back inside the purse! 🙂

IMG_2161Once the lining is placed correctly inside the purse, then pin it to the top edge. The photo above shows that I’ve pinned the top of my lining to the zipper. (I had already hand-stitched a zipper into my purse for its closure.)

IMG_2149Add pins to the outside as needed to secure the lining in place before you begin to hand-stitch the lining to the purse.

IMG_2163Again, I used “black” thread so you could see what I was doing in the photo, but my stitches look rather sloppy!  Please be sure to make tiny, neat stitches as you ‘catch’ the lining to the purse (or the zipper in this case)! “Catch” stitches simply catch the top fabric and secure it to the bottom, with most of the thread hidden away behind the top layer of fabric.

If you do not have a zipper closure, you will simply “catch” stitch the lining to the “top inside” of the purse to secure the lining in place.

IMG_2164 The black thread does disappear on the right side of the zipper (above); hence, the outside looks very neat since the stitching is invisible.

IMG_2175The photo above shows the completed purse with lining. I love it!  It was fast and fun!

Use fun or fancy fabrics to insert lining in all those purses you have crocheted or knitted. Hope you enjoyed the tutorial! Let me know if you have any questions.

Lori Dickman