How to Make a Watermelon Purse
Summer is upon us and I wanted to make a fun fruit inspired handbag. I decided to create this watermelon purse pattern that anyone with basic sewing skills can make. This pattern is a fun pattern to make and is perfect for the season. It is super simple and will encourage you to develop your applique skills. The applique is very basic so it won’t be difficult for beginners. The zipper is an easy sew as well. This is a great beginners bag making project so I encourage everyone to give this project a try.
I used all remnants for this project that I purchased at JOANN Fabric & Craft Stores over the years. Because remnants are always at least half price this was a very inexpensive project to make. I used four different fabrics for this purse to give it that watermelon look. The mail fabric is a green print. Of course the main melon part is red and the seeds are black. I used a red and white polka dot for the lining. I interfaced this bag with a high loft fusible fleece. In addition to the fabrics there are two d-rings and 2 swivel clips. That is all there is to this bag so lets get started.
What you will Need: How to Make a Watermelon Purse
- Pattern you can get by clicking on this link
- 1/2 yd main outer fabric – Green print
- 1/2 yd High Loft fusible fleece like Pellon TP970F
- 1/4 yd red fabric for the melon
- Scraps of black for the seeds – you could use felt for these is you like
- 1/2 yd lining fabric
- 10″ zipper
- 1 package of medium white rick rack
- Scraps of Pellon Wonder Under
- 2 1″ d-rings
- 2 1″ swivel clips
Step 1: Cut your Fabrics
Using the pattern cut two outer pieces, two lining pieces and two fleece pieces on the fold. Cut two smaller red pieces also on the fold and as many seeds as you want. I used 18 seeds, 9 per side. From the outer fabric cut two tab pieces that measure 4″ x 2″ and one piece that measures 4″ x 42″ for the strap. Finally, cut two zipper tabs that measure 1 1/2″ x 1 3/4″.
Step 2: Fuse the fleece
Following the manufacturers instructions, fuse the fleece to the wrong side of the main outer green fabric.
Step 3: Stitch the Red Fabric and the seeds
Place the red fabric 1/2″ down from the top and centered on both main pieces. I used a temporary fabric adhesive to keep the red fabric in place but you could just pin it. Stitch all the way around the red fabric using a 1/8″ seam allowance. Add the seeds. To do this you should use a fusible web like wonder under to hold the seeds in place. This is the easiest method to be honest. To do this:
Fuse one side of the wonder under to the wrong side of the applique fabric. In this case the black. If you have never worked with wonder under you will find that it is a fusible mesh that has a paper backing and glue side. Place the glue side on the wrong side of the fabric and press with a hot iron until the fabric and glue have fused together, just a few seconds. Place your seed pattern onto the seed fabric and trace around the seeds pattern or create your own. Remove the paper backing from the seeds. Place the seeds glue side down on the red fabric and press with a hot iron. The seeds will be fused to the red colored fabric. Stitch around the seeds using either zigzag stitch or straight stitch. This will further attach the applique to the mat and give it that applique look..
Step 4: Add the Rick Rack
Stitch the rick rack along the raw edge of the red fabric. I used baby rick rack because that is all I could get in white at the moment but medium rick rack would be a better choice, Keep in mind that there is a sweet spot on the rick rack where you can stitch right down the middle. Take it slow and easy and just stitch right down the center for a nice finish.
Step 5: Sew the darts
Stitch the darts at the corners of the curves. If you are unfamiliar with stitching darts it is a simple process. Place the legs of the dart right sides together and sew from the outside to the point using a 1/4″ seam allowance. When you reach the point sew off the edge. Leave the thread tails long. Cut them off and tie them in a not for a nice finish. You will sew darts in both the outer and lining bags. Sew both the outer and lining darts now.
Step 6: Add the zipper tabs
I like to use zipper tabs so that my zipper lays flat and doesn’t curl at the end. To do this cut two pieces of green fabric that measure 1 1/2″ x 1 3/4″. Place the tab right sides down on the end of the zipper. Stitch the tab to the zipper using a 1/4″ seam allowance. Repeat for the other end of the zipper. Flip the tab so that it is right sides out and topstitch. Trim the sides so that the tab is even with the sides of the zipper. I placed my zipper tabs so that the zipper was even with the rest of the melon part of the bag and the tabs were even with the green. The zipper measured 8 1/4″ from zipper tab to zipper tab.
Step 7: Create the D-ring tabs and the strap
Take the D-ring tab and fold the edges into the center and press. Fold in half again and press again to enclose the raw edges. Topstitch on both sides of the tab. Wrap the tab around the d-ring. Create the strap in the same way. Add the swivel clips at the end of the strap ends. Fold the ends under and stitch securing the swivel clips.
Step 8: add the d-rings to the watermelon purse
Measure down 1/2″ from the top and place the d-ring and tab matching the raw edges and so that the d-ring is facing toward the purse and pin. Zig Zag stitch the tab in place on both sides of the bag.
Step 9: Install the zipper to the watermelon purse
Place one side of the lining right sides up on your work surface. Lay the zipper right sides up on the lining. Place one side of the outer bag wrong sides down on the zipper to make a zipper sandwich. Stitch the zipper through all layers. Turn the piece right sides out and press. Top stitch along the zipper. Repeat for the other side of the zipper using the other outer and lining pieces.
Step 10: Stitch the watermelon purse
Open the zipper. Fold the bag so that the lining pieces are right sides together and the outer pieces are right sides together with the zipper in the center. Sew all the way around the bag using a 1/4″ seam allowance leaving an opening in the lining for turning. Turn the bag right sides out and press. Stitch the opening in the lining closed using ladder stitch. If you are unfamiliar with ladder stitch check out this video. Add the strap and you have finished your watermelon purse.
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