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Cato purse redux

Here is another version of the Cato purse, this time with some directions for how to put it together. I saw this charm square trick on Moda’s Bake Shop blog and wanted to try it. I used nine “Fresh Squeezed” charm squares and followed the Moda directions, seaming together three rows of three, then cutting the resulting square into four pieces and rearranging the pieces into a new square and seaming them together to get my exterior bag bottom. For the exterior of the bag top, I seamed nine more charm squares into a nine-patch, cut the square into four equal pieces and seamed the four cut pieces together side by side to make my exterior bag top. Directions for the bag are given below for using a fat quarter or cut yardage.


Materials:

Fabric for bag exterior -- one fat quarter OR 1/2 yard fabric or pieced goods
Fabric for bag lining -- one fat quarter OR 1/2 yard fabric
Thread to match fabric
3/4 yard matching or contrasting grosgrain ribbon trim
Optional: fabric-covered cardboard insert to fit bottom of bag.

Cut:
Bag bottom: 2 pieces fabric 13x13-inches (one exterior bag fabric, one lining fabric)
Bag top: 2 pieces fabric 6x26-inches (one exterior bag fabric, one lining fabric)
Or, if you are using a fat quarter or scraps, seam two 6x13-inch pieces to make one 6x26-inch piece.

Procedure (Use 1/4-inch seams throughout. RST = right sides of fabric together)

Prepare bag top (loop):

  1. RST, stitch 6x26-inch piece exterior bag fabric into a loop; turn and press.
  2. RST, stitch 6x26-inch piece lining fabric into a loop. Press seam.
  3. RST slip one loop inside the other. Stitch completely around the loop along one long edge of fabric. Turn and press. Baste raw edges together – to make the piece easier to handle.

Prepare bag bottom (envelope):

  1. Fold 13x13-inch piece exterior bag fabric in half, RST.
  2. Stitch both short sides of fabric together to form an envelope shape.
  3. With wrong sides out, fold a corner so that the bottom fold matches the side seam and forms a vee-shape of fabric. Stitch across the vee-shape about one-inch from the point of the vee.

    And repeat for other side of envelope. Turn bag, and press.
  4. Fold the top of the envelope 3/4-inch down to the inside of the envelope to form a hem around the top of the envelope and press in place.
  5. Fold 13x13-inch piece of lining fabric in half, RST.
  6. Stitch both short sides of lining together to form an envelope shape.
  7. With wrong sides out, fold a corner so that the bottom fold matches the side seam and forms a vee-shape of fabric. Stitch across the vee-shape about one-inch from the point of the vee. Repeat for other side of lining envelope. Do not turn.
  8. Fold the top of the lining envelope 3/4-inch down to the outside of the wrong-side-out envelope to form a hem around the top of the wrong-side-out envelope lining. Press in place.
  9. Slip the lining envelope into the exterior bag envelope.

    And pin in place about two inches from the tops of the bag and lining.

Join bag top and bag bottom:

  1. Starting at the side seams, match the positions of the seams of the top loop of fabric and the bottom envelope and slip the raw edges of the top loop between the lining and exterior fabric of the bottom envelope about 3/4-inch and pin in place.
  2. Continue pinning until the entire top loop is encased between the outer and lining fabrics of the bottom envelope. Adjust pins and fabric until the pieces fit without wrinkles. Hand baste to hold in place.
  3. Topstitch all around the fitted jointure. (If you are not using ribbon trim, you may use a decorative stitch and contrasting thread to join the top and bottom pieces.)
    4. Pin ribbon trip over the seam, forming a loop at one side seam to hold keys. Hand stitch in place along both edges of ribbon.

Make the handle:

  1. On one side of the top of your bag, centered between the two side seams, mark a 4-inch horizontal line 2-inches from the top of the bag. Using that line as your base, mark two half-inch sides and another horizontal line to make a narrow rectangle in the center of the top of your bag.
  2. Stitching through both the exterior and lining layer of one side of the top of the bag, satin stitch or decorative stitch around the outside of the rectangle. Using a sharp scissor or blade, cut between the stitching to create an opening that looks like a large buttonhole.
  3. Repeat for the other side of the top of the bag.

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