Crossbody Purse Sewing Pattern – Free!

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crossbody purse sewing pattern

Sew your own crossbody purse using my free sewing pattern! This easy bag pattern uses cotton fabric and flexible foam stabilizer for a beautiful cross body bag with a contrasting wide strap. It includes an exterior pocket on both sides of the bag, interior card pockets, and an extra slip pocket on the inside too.

If you like this free bag pattern don’t miss:

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. Did you know you can get ALL the Optimized for Printing PDF files organized in a library for you to access anytime you want? Check it out.

DIY Quilted Purse Pattern Features

You are going to love all the features on this medium sized quilted bag!

The exterior pockets on both sides of the handbag are quilted. I used rulers and tailor’s chalk to mark the geometric pattern on each pocket piece before quilting it on my domestic sewing machine using free motion quilting and a quilting ruler. You could use a walking foot for the straight line quilting instead, or quilt the pockets with a different quilting design that you love.

If you want to mark and sew the same geometric quilting design that I did, I’ll show you how!

Inside, you’ll find 8 card slots perfect for holding your credit cards, drivers license or ID, and other important cards. There’s a slip pocket behind the card pockets that can hold your phone or other essentials that you want to keep separate.

The 2” wide adjustable strap is also quilted with easy straight lines that I sewed using my walking foot. Fusible fleece interfacing makes gives the strap just the right amount of body.

This long adjustable strap is perfect for a tall person or if you’d like the option to carry it both ways – over your shoulder like a purse or cross body style.

I also made a shorter strap that is not adjustable. It requires less fabric and hardware, but I would not recommend it for a tall person. The shorter strap is only about 38” long and would work great on other small purses like this.

I chose a cotton fabric with a subdued print for my bag exterior (Speckled from Ruby Star Society – mine is the color Berry) and then used bold coordinating fabrics for my strap, lining, and interior pockets (most were fabrics by Anna Maria Horner).

Make this Pattern Easier with Video Tutorials!

This medium sized purse is essentially a larger version of my Designer Zipper Pouch that has added pockets and a strap.

If you haven’t tried making one yet, I highly recommend signing up for my free Designer Zipper Pouch Video Course and watching the videos. You’ll learn how to make the quilted pieces, sew the zipper, shape the corners, and bind the raw edges – all with video tutorials!

Easy Crossbody Purse Pattern

You will need:

  • 1 yard of cotton fabric for the exterior
  • 1 yard total of cotton fabric for the lining and pockets (I used two different 1/2 yard pieces from my fabric stash)
  • 1/2 yard cotton fabric for the strap
  • 1/2 yard of flexible foam stabilizer that is 60” wide (such as ByAnnie Soft and Stable)*
  • 1 handbag zipper, 12” or longer (I used Zipper by the Yard)
  • 1/2 yard of fusible fleece interfacing for the strap (20” wide)
  • Optional – 1 yard of medium weight fusible interfacing for the interior pocket and card slots (such as SF101 – also 20” wide)

*I like sew-in foam stabilizer because basting fabric to it is fast and easy with great results. If you prefer the fusible variety, that works too!

Bag Hardware:

You will also need:

  • a heavy duty sewing machine needle (100/16 or 110/18 suggested)
  • a fabric marking pen or tailors chalk
  • a walking foot (or dual feed foot) for your sewing machine – optional but highly recommended
  • an acrylic ruler, rotary cutter and cutting mat, scissors, pins, wonderclips and coordinating thread
  • a sewing stiletto

Cutting

All dimensions are height x width. Extra fabric may be needed for directional fabrics.

From your cotton fabric for the purse or bag exterior, cut:

  • 2 rectangles 9 1/2” x 15”
  • 2 rectangles 9” x 16”
  • 2 strips 2” x 15” (exterior pocket binding)
  • 1 strip 2 1/4” x 11 1/2” (interior bottom binding)
  • 2 strips 2 1/4” x 8” (interior side binding)
  • 2 strips 2 1/4” x 5” (bottom corner binding)
  • 2 strips 2 1/4” x 3” (top corner binding)
  • 2 strips 2” x 4” (d-ring tabs)

From your fabric(s) for the pockets and lining, cut:

  • 2 rectangles 9 1/2” x 15” (interior lining)
  • 2 rectangles 9” x 16” (lining of exterior pockets)
  • 1 rectangle 8” x 33” (card pockets)
  • 2 rectangles 17” x 4” (card pocket side pieces)

From your strap fabric, cut:

  • 2 strips 5” x 42” (or the width of the fabric)

Note: You could make a shorter, non-adjustable strap with just one strip of fabric, 5” x 42”.

From the flexible foam stabilizer, cut:

  • 2 rectangles 9 1/2” x 15” (bag sides)
  • 2 rectangles 9” x 16” (exterior pockets)

Optional – from the medium weight fusible interfacing, cut:

  • 1 rectangle 8” x 33” (card pockets)
  • 2 rectangles 17” x 4” (card pocket side pieces)

Instructions for cutting the fusible fleece for the strap will be provided below.

Making the Purse Sides and Exterior Pockets

See more about how to baste fabric to flexible foam stabilizer.

1. Smooth a 9 1/2” x 15” piece of purse exterior fabric over the flexible foam stabilizer piece that is the same size. The wrong side of the cotton fabric should be against the stabilizer. Baste around the edges with a 1/8” seam allowance.

Smooth the 9 1/2” x 15” lining fabric piece against the other side of the stabilizer (with the wrong side of the fabric against the stabilizer) and baste around the edges in the same way.

Repeat to baste the remaining 9 1/2” x 15” pieces of exterior fabric, foam stabilizer, and lining fabric together in the same way to make one more side piece.

2. Smooth a 9” x 16” piece of purse exterior fabric over the flexible foam stabilizer piece that is the same size. The wrong side of the cotton fabric should be against the stabilizer. Baste around the edges with a 1/8” seam allowance.

Smooth the 9” x 16” exterior pocket lining fabric piece against the other side of the stabilizer (with the wrong side of the fabric against the stabilizer) and baste around the edges in the same way.

Repeat to baste the remaining 9” x 16” pieces of exterior fabric, foam stabilizer, and lining fabric together in the same way to make one more exterior pocket piece.

Quilting the Exterior Pocket Pieces

Quilt both exterior pocket pieces any way that you like (or not at all). These instructions show how I marked quilted the geometric design on my bag.

1. Place one of the 9” x 16” pocket pieces on your work area with the right side up. Use the fabric marking pen or tailor’s chalk to draw 3 vertical lines, each 4” apart. Then make 6 small marks to divide each line into 3 equal segments, the markings should be 3” apart vertically. Divide the sides of the piece vertically into 3 sections also, so you have 10 small marks in total.

Use your ruler and fabric marking pen to continue making the following marks on your pocket piece:

Draw two diagonal lines from the top edge of the piece to the bottom corners as seen above.

Draw four more diagonal lines connecting some of the marks and edges of the piece. Note that there are not drawn lines through all of the marks.

You have now divided the piece into triangles.

Divide each triangle into 2 or 3 sections by drawing parallel lines that are 1 1/2” apart. In the image above, the parallel lines are drawn in yellow for clarity. Refer to this image to finish marking each pocket piece.

My actual lines were all marked with the same color of tailor’s chalk. They were visible enough for me to see while quilting.

Tip: before starting to quilt, sandwich together some pieces of scrap fabric and foam stabilizer. Test your tension and stitch length and practice quilting until you are ready to quilt the pocket pieces.

2. Quilt along all of the lines that you drew on each pocket piece.

I used free motion quilting with a quilting ruler. You could produce the same effect by straight line quilting with a walking foot.

Either way, you will need to travel along the sides of the piece and over previously quilted lines in order to quilt all of the lines in the geometric design.

See me demonstrate ruler quilting on a quilt.

3. Mark and quilt both side pocket pieces in the same way.

I did not quilt my purse side pieces (the other two pieces of fabric and foam stabilizer that are basted together) because they will be mostly hidden by the side pockets. But you can quilt them if you wish.

4. Trim and square up each side pocket piece to make it 8” tall and 15” wide. You will need to trim away some of your quilted lines.

5. Baste around the sides of both pieces again, 1/8” from the edge, to seal the edges and prevent your quilting from coming out.

Bind the Exterior Pocket Pieces

1. Fold the 2” x 15” binding strips in half lengthwise, wrong sides together, and press.

2. Lay a side pocket piece on your workspace with the lining side up. Place a binding strip on top with the raw edges lined up with the top edge of the pocket. Use wonderclips to hold the layers in place.

Attach the binding to the top edge with a 1/4” seam allowance.

3. Flip the binding over to the front side of the pocket. Topstitch it down close to the folded edge.

Repeat to bind the top edge of the remaining side pocket piece.

Sew the Exterior Pockets to the Purse Side Pieces

1. Place an exterior pocket piece on top of a purse side piece with both pieces exterior side up (right side up). Line up the sides and bottom edges. Secure with pins or wonderclips.

2. Baste around the side and bottom edges, 1/8” from the edge.

3. Sew along the topstitching on the pocket binding from the side edged to the first vertical line of quilting in order to partially close the top of the pocket and prevent it from gaping open.

Sew on both sides of the pocket, right on top of the binding topstitching as indicated in the photos above.

Repeat to sew the other pocket piece to the purse side piece and partially close the top of the pocket.

Accordion Fold and Sew the Interior Card Pockets

Tips:

  • If desired, fuse the medium weight interfacing pieces to the 3 interior pocket pieces now. If you are worried about your sewing machine sewing through many layers by the end of this crossbody purse sewing pattern, skip the medium weight fusible interfacing.
  • You can also choose to skip the interior pockets completely if you are short on time or would prefer a simpler design.

1. Lay the 8” x 33” pocket piece on your workspace, right side up.

Starting at the left end, draw vertical lines on the pocket piece as indicated on the image above. These lines will help you accordion fold the piece to make the card pockets.

Notes:

  • The lines are drawn vertically now, but will be horizontal when you turn the piece after folding and pressing.
  • The final section on the far right side can vary in width depending on how wide the lines that your marking tool makes. It should be from 5 1/2” – 6 1/2” wide. Don’t worry about that now. After you accordion fold the card pockets, you can adjust them as needed or trim away any extra fabric at the bottom.

2. Accordion fold the card pockets as follows:

First fold the 8” square at the far left to the back side and press the fold.

Turn the pocket piece over so that it is right side up again.

Fold the top layer of fabric over at the first line (3” from the left side) and press. Then fold it back on the next line (2” away) and press.

This will make the first set of card pockets. The top edge of this pocket should be about 1” away from the folded edge on the left.

Fold the top layer of fabric over again at the next line (2 1/2”’ away) and press. Then fold it back on the next line (2” away) and press.

This will make the second set of card pockets. The top edge of the second set of pockets should be about 1/2” away from the folded edge of the first set of pockets.

Continue folding the card pockets accordion style until you have 4 pocket slots. The 8” edges of the fabric on the right side should line up. If they do not, trim away the extra fabric on the top or the bottom so that they are the same.

3. Baste along the side edges of the pocket slots, 1/8” from the edge.

4. Lay the interior pocket piece on your workspace right side up. Draw a vertical line down the center through all of the pocket slots.

Using a medium stitch length, sew along the drawn line from the bottom edge up to the top of the first pocket. Backstitch neatly at the top.

This will divide each pocket slot into 2 sections.

Finish Sewing the Card Pocket Piece

1. Lay one of the16 1/2” x 4” card pocket side pieces on your workspace vertically, right side up.

Place the card pockets on top, right side up, with the right edges of both pieces lined up (first image above).

Fold the long rectangle down over the card pockets and secure the raw edges at the side together with pins or wonderclips (second image above).

2. Sew the side edge with a 1/4” seam allowance.

3. Turn the folded piece right side out and press the top folded edge and the seams flat. Trim the bottom edges to match, if needed.

4. Repeat to sew the remaining 16 1/2” x 4” rectangle to the other side of the card pockets in the same way. Press. Trim the bottom edges to match, if needed.

5. Lay one of the purse side pieces on your workspace lining side up.

Place the card pockets/interior slip pocket on top, right side up.

Line up the side and bottom edges and secure with pins or wonderclips.

6. Baste around the side and bottom edges of the pocket to secure all the layers together 1/8” from the edge.

7. On the front side of each piece, draw a horizontal line 2” up from the bottom edge.

Topstitch across this line, sewing on the right side of each piece. This will prevent items from falling too low in the pockets.

Sew the Zipper to the Purse Sides

This purse pattern uses a 12” long YKK size 4.5 handbag zipper. Feel free to use a longer zipper and cut it to 12”, because you will need to cut the ends off anyway. I used a 12” long piece of Zipper by the Yard from By Annie. Zipper By the Yard is a YKK size 4.5 zipper that is 4 yards long and comes with 16 pulls so you can cut just the right amount each time.

1. Cut the ends off your zipper so it is exactly 12” long (put the zipper pull back on if you accidently cut it off). Sew across the ends of the zipper to prevent the pull from coming off while you are working.

Apply Fray Check to the ends of the zipper if desired.

2. Lay one of your side pieces on your workspace, right side up.

Place the zipper on the top edge, right side down.

Center the zipper along the top edge of the bag side piece, lining up the edges. Secure with pins or wonderclips.

3. Sew the zipper to the side piece with a 1/4” seam allowance. Use a zipper foot on your sewing machine if needed. I was able to achieve a 1/4” seam allowance by moving my needle over to the left.

4. Trim away the 1/8” from the seam allowance behind the zipper. Do not cut the zipper tape.

Tips: Since you previously basted the layers of fabric and stabilizer together 1/8” from the edge, you can trim along this line for your guide. I love to use double curved scissors for this step.

Finger-press the zipper tape over the trimmed seam allowance.

5. Topstitch on the front of the bag, 1/8” away from the zipper. Check underneath frequently to make sure you are catching the zipper tape on the other side. This will hide your trimmed seam for a neat finish!

6. Lay the remaining purse side piece on your workspace right side up.

Place the side piece with the zipper already sewn to it on top, right side down. Line up the free edge of the zipper with the top edge of the side piece underneath.

Center the free edge of the zipper on the remaining side piece and pin or clip in place.

Sew the zipper to the side piece with a 1/4” seam allowance. Trim the seam allowance as before and finger press the zipper tape down over the seam.

7. Topstitch on the other side of the bag, 1/8” away from the zipper, just like before.

Measure and Trim the Bag to Give it the Right Shape

1. Lay the bag flat on your workspace right side up with the zipper in the middle. It is more accurate to trim each side separately.

Measure a 1 3/4” square at a lower corner. Use scissors to cut the square away.

Cut away a 1 3/4” square at both lower corners.

2. At a top corner of the bag, next to the zipper, make a mark that is 1” away from the corner.

Then draw a diagonal line from the mark that you drew down to the lower corner of the bag (near the horizontal stitching) as shown in the image above.

Use scissors to trim along the diagonal line.

Repeat to mark and cut along a diagonal line on the opposite side of the purse.

Turn the purse around and repeat steps 1-2 to cut out 1 3/4” squares at the corners of the other side, and mark and cut diagonal lines at the side edges.

3. Baste along the side edges 1/8” from the edge to secure all of the layers and prevent them from coming apart.

Sew and Bind the Purse Seams

The rest of this project requires a new, sharp, heavy duty needle. I recommend using size 100/16 or 110/18.

1. Fold the purse in half along the zipper so that the exterior sides are together.

Use pins or wonderclips to secure the 2 side seams and the bottom seam.

2. Sew each of these 3 seams separately using a 1/4” seam allowance.

Do not sew along the 1 3/4” cut out corners.

3. Fold all of the remaining 2 1/4” wide binding strips in half lengthwise, wrong sides together, and press.

Place the 11 1/2” long strip along the bottom edge of the purse with the raw edges lined up. Sew with a 1/4” seam allowance.

4. Fold the binding over to the other side of the bag and stitch it down close to the fold.

My sewing stiletto is invaluable for sewing binding!

5. Sew the 8” strips of binding to the side edges in the same way.

Note that the cut out corners are still unsewn.

Box the Bottom Corners and Bind Them

1. Flatten one of the bottom corners of the purse, nesting the bottom seam and the side seam together. Secure with pins or clips

Please watch Lesson 3 in my free Designer Zipper Bags Video Course if you have never sewn boxed corners in a bag or purse before.

2. Sew with a 1/4” seam allowance.

Repeat to box and sew the other bottom corner.

Tip: Do you remember on my Sewing Machine Cover Pattern when I had you pound the seams with a hammer? Do that now with those bound seams on your purse bottom corners. It will help you bind the seams without breaking your needle. 🙂

3. Bind the corner seam with one of the 5” long binding strips:

Center the binding over the corner seam and sew it with a 1/4” seam allowance.

This time, when you wrap the binding around to the other side, fold and tuck the ends of the binding under to hide them.

Then sew the binding down close to the fold.

Repeat to sew and bind both bottom corners.

Make the D-ring Tabs

1. Fold each of the 2” x 4” d-ring tab pieces in half with the 2” edges together (wrong sides together) and press. Open and fold the raw edges to the center, press.

Fold in half again and press to make two 1” x 2” tab pieces

2. Topstitch along the long edges, close to the edge of each piece. Then sew 2 more lines of stitching, if desired, so the tab pieces will look similar to the strap.

Tip: Since I was already using a heavy duty needle, my small tab pieces were likely to get stuck in the my sewing machine’s needleplate. To prevent this I sewed on a ‘leader’ first. A leader is a folded piece of scrap fabric that you can sew on first before sewing on a small piece to prevent it from getting stuck. Cut the leader off after removing the piece from your sewing machine.

3. Fold each tab through the opening on a d-ring.

Sew the ends of each tab together close to the ends with the d-ring inside.

Finish the Top Corners of the Purse

1. Box one of the top corners of the purse by flattening the top against one of the side seams.

2. Measure across the corner and draw a line where the flattened corner is 1 1/4” across.

Use heavy duty scissors to cut across the line.

Continue to hold the corner of the bag flat with one hand.

3. Stick your other hand through the zipper opening in order to slip the raw ends of one of the d-ring tabs out through the 1 1/4” opening.

Secure with clips.

4. Sew across the opening with a 1/4” seam allowance.

Repeat steps 1-4 to trim the other top corner, insert the remaining d-ring tab, and sew the corner closed.

The side with the open zipper tapes is a little bit trickier because you have to hold and clip the zipper tapes together after cutting. I suggest sewing the corner with the closed zipper first.

5. Center one of the last 3” binding strips over a corner seam on top of the zipper. Sew with a 1/4” seam allowance.

Wrap the binding around to the other side, fold and tuck the ends of the binding under to hide them. Then sew the binding down close to the fold.

Repeat to bind the other top corner.

Your purse is done – now you just need to sew the strap!

Sew the 2” Wide Adjustable Purse Strap

1. Join the two 5” x 42” long strips of fabric together at an angle. This will make your strap strong and prevent a lump halfway down it.

Trim the seam to 1/2” and press it open.

2. Cut strips of fusible fleece interfacing that are 4” wide. Fuse the strips to the wrong side of the strap along the center, leaving 1/2” of fabric all the way around.

Since my interfacing was 20” wide, I needed to cut four 4” wide strips of fusible fleece. I trimmed a little bit away from my last strip of interfacing in order to leave 1/2” of fabric free at the end.

3. Fold and press the long edges over toward the fusible fleece on the wrong side of the strap.

4. Fold the strip in half lengthwise, enclosing the fusible fleece and raw edges. Place clips or pins all along the strip to hold it together.

I highly recommend using your walking foot when sewing the strap. It will prevent twisting and puckering!

5. Topstitch along both long edges, 1/8” away from the edge.

Create a quilted effect by sewing down the center of the strap. Then sew down the middle of the two sections to make 5 lines of stitching in all.

6. With the top of the strap facing up, push one end of the strap through the triglide slide (over and under the middle post) and then through the opening on a swivel snap clasp.

Read more about how to make an adjustable strap!

Turn the strap on its side and pull some of the strap out of the triglide slide so you can easily push the end through again.

Push the same end of the strap through the triglide slide again in the same direction as before.

Pull about 3” of strap through.

Fold the 3” end of the strap back onto itself, tucking the raw edges under by 1/2”. Secure with clips.

Move the loop of strap out of the way so you can sew the folded edge to itself, hiding the raw edges. I sewed a rectangle that was about 1/2” x 2” to make the end super secure and so that the raw edges would not show.

The adjustable end of the strap is done.

7. Push the other end of the strap through a swivel snap clip by about 2”. Fold the strap over, hiding the raw ends as before.

Sew in a rectangle again to make the clasp secure and hide the raw ends.

Attach the strap to the d-rings and fall in love with your gorgeous new purse!

I love to see the purses and bags you make with my free tutorials! Please post a photo to instagram and tag me @sewcanshe so I can take a look!

You might also like this collection of tote bag patterns you can sew in a day!

xoxo,

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8 Comments

  1. Hi. I love the fabric you used for the interior and exterior. Can I ask where you got it? Thank you!

  2. It’s called ‘Speckled’ from Ruby Star Society. There is a link in the post above to see it or buy it. The link is just above the subtitle ‘Make this Pattern Easier with Video Tutorials.’

    1. Sorry didn’t see that. Thank you so much.

  3. brendalynne1 says:

    still not seeing the usual option for downloading and printing the tutorial. Have I gone completely senior ???

    1. The blog post above 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.

  4. This looks so easy, since you take us through every single step! ( no actual pattern to print ) and specify the dimensions for every piece. Gotta try this one..thank you for the free pattern and tutorial.

  5. Joyce Trager says:

    Can this be sewn with faux leather instead of cotton fabric?

  6. I’m sorry if I’m just missing it, but what are the final dimensions of this bag? It’s beautiful!

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