/ / Handy Purse Organizer {free sewing pattern}

Handy Purse Organizer {free sewing pattern}

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This is a great little organizer. It’s perfect for holding all those little things in your purse that get jumbled together.

And when you’re ready to switch bags – you can simply take the organizer out (with all the things inside) and move them all to the new bag, easy peasy!

Update: This blog post has been converted to an optional PDF that’s optimized for printing. Find it here. The blog post below is totally free to read, print, and sew! Just hit CTRL +P on your computer to print. The Optimized for Printing PDF download for $2 is totally optional.


I am completely convinced that the DIY version is much better than what you would get ordering something online.


For one thing, you can use whatever fabric you want. 🙂 

There are 13 pockets – 6 mesh, 6 fabric, and one interior zipper pocket. As you can see in the photo above, this organizer is sturdy enough to stand on its own, but it will also lay flat or fit in a slim purse or laptop bag.

{Download the free Handy Purse Organizer PDF Pattern templates here}

The free PDF pattern download includes the pattern templates only.


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You will need:

  • about 1 yard of fabric total (I used a bunch of different prints).

  • 1/4 yard mesh fabric

  • 1/2 yard ultra firm stabilizer (Peltex), sew in or fusilble

  • 1 zipper, 8” or longer

  • Wondertape (for sewing the zipper, optional but handy)

  • 3 yards of double fold bias tape (I made my own from 2” wide bias cut strips see below)

Cutting:

Download the PDF pattern templates (see link above), and cut the following out of fabric:

  • 4 on the fold from the Organizer Side pattern piece (2 exterior and 2 lining)

  • 3 on the fold from the Fabric Pocket pattern piece

  • 3 strips 1 1/2” x 12” for binding the mesh pockets

  • 2 strips 4” x 25 1/2” (1 exterior and 1 lining)

  • 1 rectangle 12 1/2” x 10” for the zipper pocket

From mesh fabric, cut:

  • 3 from the Mesh Pocket pattern piece

From ultra firm stabilizer, cut:

  • 2 on the fold from the Organizer Side pattern piece


Preparation:

If you are making your own bias binding, cut strips 2” wide. Sew the strips together to make 3 yards and press (that little tool on the left is my Clover 1” bias tape maker).



Fold and press the 1 1/2” x 12” binding strips for the mesh pockets in the same way.



Make the 4-pocket sides:

1. Fold each fabric pocket piece in half, wrong sides together and topstitch 1/4” from the folded edge. Set aside.


2. Wrap a binding strip around the top of each mesh pocket piece and stitch the binding in place about 1/8” from the fold. Set aside.


3. Layer a mesh pocket on top of a fabric pocket. Place both pockets on top of an exterior side piece. Then place all three on top of one of the stabilizer pieces. All of the bottom edges should be aligned.

4. Pin the layers in place and baste all the way around 1/4” from the edge.



5. Turn the piece over, and place a lining side piece, a fabric pocket, and a mesh pocket on the back of the stabilizer piece you just sewed. Pin and baste all around the edges.

6. From the exterior side, sew a dividing line starting at the top of the fabric pocket and going down to the bottom of the pockets.

7. Repeat steps 3-4 above with the remaining stabilizer, exterior side, fabric pocket, and mesh pocket pieces.  Sew the dividing line down the middle of the pockets. Set this half-finished side piece aside while you make the zipper pocket.



Make the Interior Zipper Pocket:

1. On the wrong side of the 12 1/2” x 10” rectangle, draw a long skinny box that is 1/2” tall, and 1” from the top and side edges. (I simply draw 2 horizontal lines 1” and 1 1/2” away from the top edge, and then connect them 1” away from the sides.

2. Pin the pocket rectangle to the remaining side lining piece, with the top edge of the rectangle 1/2” below the curved edge on the side lining piece, right sides together.

3. Use my Welt Zipper Pocket tutorial to finish the pocket. Don’t worry, it’s easy!

4. Pin the interior side with the finished zipper pocket to the back of the stabilizer piece from step 7 above. Baste all around it, 1/4” from the edges.



Bind the ‘Smiles’:

1. Cut 2 pieces of bias binding, each 6” long.

2. Wrap a piece of binding around the curved edge at the top of each side. Pin in place. Stitch about 1/8” from the fold. Check to make sure the binding is stitched down on both sides.

Note: this is a 1-step method for applying binding. For the rest of the tutorial I will show a 2-step method that takes longer, but doesn’t take the chance of not sewing both sides like the 1-step method.


Prepare and Attach the Boxing Strip:

1. Pin the two boxing strips wrong sides together and baste all the way around 1/4” from the edge.


2. Mark the boxing strip on both long sides 7 1/2” from either end.


3. Make a bunch of clips on either side of the marks about 1/4” apart and 1/4” deep. Clip to the basting stitches, don’t stress if you clip through them. Repeat around each mark. These clips will help the strip fit around the corners.


4. The marks on the pattern pieces show the middle of each corner. Transfer these marks to the side pieces.



5. Place the boxing strip against one of the side pieces, with the lining sides together. Match the short ends with the top of the side piece and the markings at the corners with the markings on the boxing strip.

It will be a tight fit because the strip matches the side at the stitching line, not along the cut edge. The clips in the boxing strip should spread wide and help you ease around the corners.

Pin all around the U-shaped edge using lots of pins. You can trim the side piece a little bit if you need to.


6. Baste the boxing strip to the side piece 1/4” from the edge.


7. Place the sewn side (with the boxing strip) on top of the remaining side, linings together, and pin the remaining long edge of the boxing strip to the other side piece, the same way as the first side.

 


8. Baste the pieces together, just like step 6 above, keeping the first side out of the way.


Sewing the Binding:

We’ll bind these edges with a 2-step method.

1. Open one edge of the bias trim binding, and align the raw edge against the edge of the boxing strip at the top.


2. Sew the binding to the boxing strip with a 1/4” seam allowance, right over all your basting stitches. Sew all the way around the U-shaped edge. Then cut off the extra binding.


2. Wrap the binding around to the front of the organizer and sew it in place close to the fold.


3. Flip the organizer over and apply binding to the other side following steps 1-2 above again.


4. Apply the binding to the top edge from the inside first. Fold back the short edge by 1/2” before you start sewing to make it turned under in the next step.



5. Sew the binding to the inside top edge with a 1/4” seam allowance as before. When you get to one of the bound ‘smiles,’ backstitch and cut the threads.

6. Lay the binding piece across the top of the ‘smile’ without stretching. Then backstitch and continue sewing at the other side of the ‘smile.’


7. Sew binding all the way around the inside of the organizer and overlap the beginning by about 1 inch. Trim away the extra binding.


8. Wrap the binding around to the outside of the organizer and stitch in place close to the fold. When you sew across the handles, you will simply be sewing the binding together. Sew all the way around the top and you are done!

Enjoy easily moving your organized items from one purse to another!

Hint: it fits perfectly in the Patchwork Charm Tote sewn from my class Colorful Patchwork Bags and Baskets.

xoxo,


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Disclosure: some of my posts contain affiliate links. If you purchase something through one of those links I may receive a small commission, so thank you for supporting SewCanShe when you shop! All of the opinions are my own and I only suggest products that I actually use. 🙂

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43 Comments

  1. Thanks for doing this! I can’t wait to make one, or 2, or 3….

  2. Awesome! I love this project and will have to make at least one. Thanks for creating this tutorial!

  3. Teresa T. says:

    Oh my goodness! I cannot wait to try this pattern! I purchased your patchwork class and now I (hope) I can make an organizer to go in it for a gift. Thank you soooo much for sharing your talent with all of us, Caroline!! Have a great day! 🙂

  4. This is great! I might be missing something, but when I click on your links for the pattern all that comes up is the description you give at the beginning of the post which lists the supplies needed but does not contain any pattern pieces.

    1. I can’t tell why it is not working for you. Make sure you have a pdf reader on your device or computer. Good luck!

  5. Crystal Harrison says:

    So AWESOME!!! Thank you!

  6. Great tutorial! I definitely will be making these.

  7. Vijaya Rodrigo says:

    Thank you so much for this free purse organiser PDF….I’ve been waiting for this ever since you announced the unturorial. I follow your blog and also get your updates by email. Thank you also for your daily free tutorials. I live in India and cannot afford to buy PDFs of various stuff especially bags. I love to sew bags.

  8. Lovely. Thank you so much.

  9. I just made mine…thanks so much! I didn’t add a zipper-not because I am afraid but because I didn’t need one. I have enough zippers to open my purse so for this insert a zipper would have bothered me. Would love to upload a pix of mine but can’t seem to figure it out.lol I gave credit to you on my facebook page so hopefully more people can find you. Keep on stitching!

  10. Fantastic! I tried making a purse about a year ago and it was a disaster (because of all the pockets etc.) Now I can make a simple purse and use this! THANK YOU!!!

  11. Thank you for this wonderful tutorial! I am thrilled with how my organizer turned out and I learned a few new skills along the way!

  12. just today i realized my nice quilted bag had no inside pkts. how nice to find this pattern. thanks!

  13. Thanks for a simple, easy to interpret pattern and tutorial. The zipper part was a little daunting but in the end it was really easy to do. I am very happy with the final results of my purse organiser!!

  14. Hello! I can’t download the pdf pattern, the link seams to be broken

  15. Donna Hardey says:

    The pdf pattern is not opening. There is a problem with it. Can you fix it for us? Thanks.

  16. Maravilhoso! Muito bem explicado,obrigada!!

  17. this looks so cute but too big for my purses…any suggestions or any patterns for a smaller one? I love the idea…the other ones I have made are not as cute as yours…pls let me know…thanks sew much

    1. Hi MerryG, I am not able to re-design this to make it smaller at the current time. Maybe in the future! – Caroline

      1. Ann Rhuland says:

        Caroline Your pattern is easily adapted for a smaller WIDTH. You just remove and inch or more from the middle of each pattern piece. The organizer sews up the same. The 25-1/2" boxing strip does not have to be reduced if you find it too difficult to figure out what length it needs to be just mark centers on both the strip and the 2 exterior sides and work from the center trim off the excess at both sides at the top. I made one for a purse with a 10" bottom, it turned out great.

  18. Is the pocket supposed to be bigger than the sides? I’m in the process of seeing them on. Do I baste them to fit?

  19. I live 60 miles from town & have a "bee in my bonnet" to make this today, but I don’t have any ultra firm stabilizer (Peltex). Would Pellon 809 Decor Bond work or felt?
    Thank you so much!

  20. Debbie Gaines says:

    Are the bias tapes two different widths for the pockets & bag? One says 1-1/2" and one says cut at 2". Please help
    Thanks

  21. I made a modified version of this. For fabric, I used a double-sided reversible table runner that was already lined and kinda stiff material that didn’t need any stiffening layers. With that I only needed to cut 1 of each piece and had a contrasting fabric on the opposites side..just needed to flip it over. I also added 1" to the depth of the bag, which was an easy adjustment. The finished product is very cute and good for a tall tote bag. For most of my handbags, which are medium sized, I need a shorter version. I may make another one adjusting 2" off of the bottom and go with a squared bottom edge that can bind like a quilt corner. Some of the edges can be de-bulked a bit, so it isn’t so tough on the machine. Great pattern that is super easy for a quilter or slightly difficult for a beginner.

  22. Merci beaucoup ! Thank’s a lot !

  23. mary burton says:

    Thank you for sharing your purse organizer pattern. I bought one of these a few years back off Amazon and within a very short time it literally fell apart. So, I’m looking forward to making a couple of these….one for me and one for my little sister. And, your picture tutorials are very helpful. I am a visual learner so your written and pictorial instructions are very helpful.

  24. Thanks a lot for your sharing. I’ve made one last week-end and I love it!

  25. Honestly, I think this looks good enough to be a purse on its own!

  26. This is a wonderful pattern; very clear instructions. Thank you. I may be making two for my daughters.

  27. c’est super sympa et tellement pratique
    bravo et 1000 merci

  28. Just made one – so fun! I opted to not do the zipper pouch. Your pattern was easy to follow, and I love the end result – thank you!

  29. Sheryl Miller says:

    I have made this and it is great. Instructions were clear and her many photos help reinforce the instructions. I use it in my carry on bag when travelling. Very handy to keep things organized.
    Thanks.

  30. Thank you very much!! I just finished sewing.

  31. heya!
    i’m in the last throes of this (just have to do the lining) and i LOVE this pattern so much
    i’m a beginner and once i got the terms translated (english isn’t my first language) it was very understandable and easy to follow 🙂
    i learned a lot through this (my first big project) and i love the results

    thank you for posting this

  32. I made this and I love it! Thank you so much. Now I have a bunch of purses with fun fabrics and I can easily switch between them depending on my mood.

  33. I made this but before I even made it I was wondering, what is the purpose of the mesh pockets on the outside? I mean once it is in my purse I can’t see into those pockets except from the top anyway.
    It is really cute and the instructions are great.

    1. Lesley Brough says:

      How about vouchers or receipts, anything you need to keep flat.

  34. Thank you for the great tutorial and pattern!

  35. Thank you for the great tutorial, easy to follow and great results.
    Just finished my purse organiser and it looks very professional, can’t wait to show it off.

  36. What are the finished measurements of this insert? I would love to see if it would fit in my purse before seeing it. Thank you.

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