Foot of the Month: Faux Suede Shoulder Bag

Dressing up for seasonal festivities? Set aside an afternoon to make a special faux suede handbag to pair with your holiday attire. We feature the Non-Stick roller foot as the Foot of the Month using it to glide over the suede when stitching from the right side. Leave your everyday handbag at home, this faux suede shoulder bag is sized just right for carrying essentials.
Note: Finished size of shoulder bag is approximately 8-inches wide X 7-inches long.

Materials and Supplies:

Note: Hoop size required for this project will vary according to the design you select.
  • SA190 Brother Non-Stick roller foot
  • Use SA5810
    Brother medium weight tear-away stabilizer for hooping with a basting stitch, or use adhesive backed stabilizer such as SA5815
    medium weight adhesive tear away or SA5906
    light weight adhesive backed water soluble stabilizer.
  • Embroidery supplies including an embroidery needle and threads for machine embroidery.
  • Basic sewing notions including thread to match fabric, a press cloth for pressing right side, and a Microtex size 12 needle for constructing purse.
  • Paper or pattern tracing cloth for creating purse pattern.
  • Curved fashion ruler or small plate for rounding corners on flap pattern.
  • Soft, flexible fusible interfacing for backing suede purse pieces. (Weft insertion style works well).
  • 1/3 yard of 60-inch wide medium weight faux suede fabric for purse.
  • 1/4 yard of 44/45-inch wide lining fabric for purse.

Embroidery design for front flap on shoulder bag.

Additional fabric information: When using 60-inch wide fabric, you can cut all pieces parallel to the cross grain of the fabric. Use a with nap layout for suede. Place pieces a small distance from selvedge edges to avoid including in the seam allowance. To determine yardage of a different width of fabric, simply make pattern pieces first and then take them with you when shopping for fabric. For best results, purchase lining fabric to match color of purse fabric.
Disclaimer: Featured purse fabric is Cuddle® Suede, a product of Shannon Fabrics. Brother International Corporation makes no representations or warranties regarding this product.
Flower Spray3 Item Number eu012_20
3.13” Wide X 5.81” High [caption id="attachment_18115" align="aligncenter" width="651"] Figure #1[/caption]

Instructions for Purse Pattern, Cutting, and Embroidery

  1. Begin by creating a pattern for the purse as follows:
  • Draw a rectangle measuring 9-inches wide X 8-inches long. Round off lower corners using a curved ruler or a small plate. Label as Purse Flap, Pattern A. See Figure #2a.
[caption id="attachment_18116" align="aligncenter" width="604"] Figure #2a[/caption]
  • Draw a rectangle measuring 9-inches wide X 15-inches long. Label as Main Body of Purse, Pattern B. See Figure #2b.
[caption id="attachment_18117" align="aligncenter" width="457"] Figure #2b[/caption]
  • Purse strap requires two strips measuring 2 ½-inches wide X 35-inches long. You can make a pattern for this or simply cut these strips using measurements.
Note: Red arrows on pattern indicate top edge. Use a with nap layout for faux suede and mark each piece before removing pattern. Use a ½-inch seam allowance to sew all seams.
  1. Cut pieces from lining fabric using pattern A and pattern B. Taking care to use a with nap layout, cut and prepare purse pieces from faux suede as follows:
  • One oversized piece measuring 10-inches wide X 9-inches long for embroidered front flap. Fuse interfacing to wrong side.
  • Using pattern B, cut one piece measuring 9-inches wide X 15-inches long for main body of purse. Fuse interfacing to wrong side.
  • Cut two strips measuring 2 ½-inches wide X 35-inches long for purse strap.
  1. Embroider oversized flap piece as desired, centering piece on stabilizer and embroidering a single or combination design measuring no larger than 8-inches wide X 7-inches long. In this example fabric is secured to two layers of medium weight tear-away with a basting stitch built into Embroidery Edit mode on the machine. Substitute adhesive backed stabilizer if desired and secure fabric piece to adhesive. A 9 ½” X 9 ½” hoop allows for two combined designs. See design layout in Figure #3a and completed design in Figure #3b.
Note: You can measure and mark the position of two individual designs when using a 5-inch X 7-inch hoop.
[caption id="attachment_18118" align="aligncenter" width="639"] Figure #3a[/caption] [caption id="attachment_18107" align="aligncenter" width="800"] Figure #3b[/caption]
  1. When finished with embroidery remove stabilizer, and press piece from wrong side. Center flap pattern A on top and cut flap.

Instructions for Constructing Purse

  1. Set machine for sewing and attach non-stick roller foot.
  2. To sew straps without having to press under seam allowance, begin by basting along each long raw edge, stitching slightly more than a ½-inch from the edge. See Figure #4a.
[caption id="attachment_18108" align="aligncenter" width="800"] Figure #4a[/caption]
Tip: Use the super long basting stitch if it’s available on your machine. See Figure #4b.
[caption id="attachment_18119" align="aligncenter" width="650"] Figure #4b[/caption] Next, fold raw edge under with basting exposed, and topstitch 3/8-inch from each folded edge. Remove basting stitches. Do this for each strap. Finish by layering straps together with raw edges facing and then top stitch close to each folded edge, securing the two straps together. See Figure #5. [caption id="attachment_18109" align="aligncenter" width="800"] Figure #5[/caption]
  1. Position straps on flap. See Figure #6.
[caption id="attachment_18110" align="aligncenter" width="800"] Figure #6[/caption] Turn and press under ½-inch along bottom edge of purse piece. Sew flap to top edge of purse piece, beginning and ending seam ½-inch from each end, leaving this area of seam allowance free to allow for sewing purse flap to lining flap. Press seam toward flap. Fold purse piece right sides together, with folded edge meeting flap seam. Sew side seams from bottom to folded edge, stopping at the flap seam.
Note: See enhanced photo below: Yellow arrows show stopping point for stitching.
  1. Prepare and sew lining in same manner that you did for the purse in step 4. Next, pin purse flap and lining flap right sides together. See Figure #7.
[caption id="attachment_18111" align="aligncenter" width="800"] Figure #7[/caption] Sew flap seam, trim seam to ¼-inch along curved edge, and turn flap right side out. Press flap from lining side. Next, turn purse piece right side out and slip lining inside purse. Pin folded top edges together. See Figure #8. [caption id="attachment_18112" align="aligncenter" width="800"] Figure #8[/caption] Topstitch or hand sew opening closed to complete the purse. Give it a light press using a press cloth and you are finished. Enjoy!

Options and Ideas:

  • Make this purse from a wide variety of other medium weight fabrics such as denim or cotton for a more casual look.
  • Substitute decorative stitches or trim for the embroidery on the flap.
  • Add snaps to flap and body of purse for a secure closure.
  • Increase width of pattern pieces to 11-inches and eliminate straps for a clutch style purse.
  • Create a purse using a commercial pattern and incorporate some of the tips and ideas included in these instructions.