How do I make a ragbag purse?
By Vicki from Gastonia, NC
How much fabric does it take to make a rag bag purse?
Toni from Piper City, IL
I make these and sell on eBay and at craft fairs. It just depends on what size or style you make as to the amount yardage you'll need. I have found that if you're making one that is 14 inches tall and 12 inches wide with the traditional 5 inch squares with the x stitch pattern in each center using at least 6 to 8 squares on each side with a solid inside base out of fabric and your handle from fabric it takes 1 and 1/4 yard of fabric. If your making your inside lining from a coordinating fabric then you would get half of one print and half of another from that amount given. You'll need some type of filling for the inside squares. You can use poly fill quilt batting or I use polyester.
The fabric lady at our Walmart who is very crafty, suggested I buy a polyester blanket, because it's the same as the type you buy on the bolt from the fabric department, but cheaper. I make a lot of rag items so it lasts longer for me. I buy a full size blanket for $5.00 and it lasts forever. The satin edge binding on the blanket serves perfectly for my purse handles. I just cover it with my fabric. The polyester blanket used as filling is also thicker than poly fill quilt batting and will let your rag purse stand firmer and not be so floppy after washings. Any fabrics you have left from your making of your rag tote or purse you can use to make matching a sunglass case holder, pocket size Kleenex case, or even small coin purse. Use Velcro to close it.
Good luck with yours. They are addictive once you start. Try adding lace dollies or buttons in the center of the squares as decoration. You can add an extra rag pocket to the outside for carrying your cell phone in, too. (07/05/2008)
If you decide to purchase a full sized blanket for filler and you have removed the satin edging tapes; create long pieces of braiding to use either as handles or sew as a decoration for the top of the bags (or as a simple design on the front of the finished bag). I've created many geometric designs and simply 'tacked' them to the individual squares or as an over all pattern on the front/back or both sides of the bags.
I usually find that I have to cut each binding along it's 'fold' line; ironing them flat; then folding each edge over so they meet in the middle; iron this piece flat so that it resembles seam binding before braiding them.