It’s February, which means we’re all about the hearts! Today I have a FREE heart zipper purse pattern for you! This darling heart-shaped bag is fully lined, great for scrap busting, and it also comes with three different strap options. You can make this purse as a shoulder purse, a waist pouch, or wristlet! The charming asymmetric bow on the straps adds a sweet little detail, and the purse is just the right size for holding treats or little Valentines. If you’ve never sewn a zipper before, don’t be intimidated! This tutorial is a perfect place to learn, and I promise sewing a zipper is easier than it sounds!
Let’s make a bag!
The entire heart zipper purse body, all versions, can be made with one fat quarter, or 1/4 yard, or scraps. The wristlet strap can be made from the same fat quarter or 1/4 yard as the purse body. For the other two options, however, you will need additional fabric. If you cut the straps along the width of the fabric, you can get the straps from 1/4 yard, but if you cut the straps along the grain, you’ll need 3/4 to 1 yard, depending on if you do shoulder or waist straps. The straps are only 2″ wide, but you’ll need that length. For this pattern, whether you cut the straps against the grain or with the grain doesn’t matter, but it might matter to you if your fabric is directional. Alternatively, you can use ribbon, bias tape, or other trim for your straps.
I made multiple purses using different types of interfacing. The different types will lead to different overall results, but for this it is really personal preference. Using no interfacing will give you a very lightweight bag with little structure, and it won’t hold its shape well when things are in it, so I do recommend using some type of interfacing. Lightweight interfacing gave it a little more shape but kept it light. Midweight interfacing added much more structure, and while it was a little stiffer to turn right side out in the end, it pressed well, and the purse holds its shape nicely with things in it. Finally, fusible fleece interfacing makes the purse thicker and puffier. Choose what will fit the style you are looking for.
Zipper: For each purse, you will need one 7″ zipper.
Printing and Cutting the Pattern Pieces
First, save the template image above. This is your pattern piece. Print two copies of the heart template at full scale on 8.5″x11″ paper. Cut both hearts out on the outer line. Leave one heart whole. Cut the second heart along the cut line, so that you have a Piece A and a Piece B.
Fabric Cutting Instructions
Heart Zipper Purse Body (All Options)-
- Back Main- Cut one complete heart
- Back Lining- Cut one complete heart
- Front Main- Cut one Piece A and one Piece B
- Front Lining- Cut one Piece A and one Piece B
- Interfacing- Cut one complete heart, one Piece A, and one Piece B
Cut one strap 32”x2”. Cut a second strap 22”x2”.
Waist Straps Option–
Cut one strap 27”x2”. Cut a second strap 17”x2”.
Cut one strap 12”x2”
Prepping the Fabric:
Iron the interfacing to the wrong side of the main pieces only.
Waist and Shoulder Straps– Fold right sides together lengthwise. Pin/clip the long raw edge, and one short raw edge. Sew.
Wristlet Strap– Fold right sides together lengthwise. Pin/clip the long raw edge. Sew.
All Straps– Trim seam allowance and any corners but be sure not to cut through your stitches. Turn right side out, and press. Top stitch if desired.
Lay Front Main Piece B right side up. Next, lay zipper right side down on it, lining up one long edge of the zipper tape with the top edge of Front Main Piece B. Lay Front Lining Piece B right side down on the zipper. The main and lining should be exactly lined up, so that the zipper is sandwiched between. Pin/Clip.
Tip– When pinning, start with one pin/clip at each end of the zipper to make sure your main and lining pieces match up exactly, then pin/clip the center.
Sew, using a zipper foot.
Turn right side out and press.
Tip– You can tack the zipper tape together on the end where the pull is with a few stitches. It can make it easier to keep it lined up during the next step.
Lay a ruler or other straight edge so that it is vertically flush against the side of Front Main Piece B. The ruler will be to the side of the fabric but on top of the zipper. Make a mark at the top of the unsewn zipper tape edge in line with the ruler. Your mark should be exactly in line above the side edge of Piece B. Repeat on other side. You will use this mark to match up your next pieces.
Lay Front Lining Piece A right side up, so that the straight edge is on top and the curves are on the bottom.
Lay your unsewn zipper tape edge right side up on top of Front Lining Piece A. Match the edges of Piece A with the marks you made on the zipper. Pin to hold in place if desired.
Lay Front Main Piece A right side down on top of the zipper. Again, you will line up the edge of the fabric with the marks on the zipper tape. Pin/Clip directly over the marks to make sure you have it lined up correctly. Then continue pinning the rest. (You may have to ease it to fit, since the zipper pull creates a little bulk that can make the fabric feel like you need to stretch it slightly to fit between your end pins.) The zipper will then be sandwiched between the main and lining Piece A fabrics.
Turn right side out and press. Top stitch both seams.
Attaching the Straps:
Shoulder Straps Option– Lay one strap right side down on purse front main, so the short raw edge of the strap is aligned with the center of one of the heart’s top curves. Pin/clip in place. Repeat with other strap on other curve of heart. Baste.
Waist Straps Option– Lay one strap right side down on purse front main, so the short raw edge is aligned with the side of the purse, on top of the zipper. The strap edge should be lined up with the fabric side edge, not the end of the zipper tape. The strap should be exactly centered over the zipper. Pin/clip in place. Repeat with other strap on other side of purse front main. Baste in place.
Wristlet Strap Option- Fold wristlet strap so that the two short raw edges overlap, wrong sides together. Lay on purse body main, so the raw edges of the strap are lined up to the top of the heart, just to the outside of center of one of the curves. It will be at a slight angle. Pin/clip in place. Baste.
Finishing the Purse:
Gather up your straps so they are all to the center of the purse body main. Pin in place if necessary. They need to be away from the edges of the purse, so they don’t get caught in your stitches in the next steps.
Lay your Back Lining Piece right side up. Then, place your completed Front Piece right side up on top of it. Opening the zipper about halfway can help keep the pull out of the way when you pin and sew. Place Back Main Piece right side down on top of that. Make sure all the edges are lined up. Pin/Clip. Leave a couple inch gap in one side, you’ll use this to turn the purse right side out (see line in picture).
Sew. Make sure to backstitch at the beginning and end of sewing. Sew CAREFULLY over the zipper. I like to use the handwheel here, to be sure I don’t hit the zipper teeth with the needle. At the top inward point and bottom outward point of the heart, stop, then drop your needle, lift your presser foot, and turn fabric, to get sharp corners.
Clip into the top inward V point, as close to the stitches as you can get, without clipping through them. Clip notches the rest of the way around the purse, trimming the extra zipper tape, and removing bulk at the bottom outward point. DO NOT trim the seam allowance in the gap you left for turning.
To turn the purse right side out, separate the Back Main Piece from the Front Main, Front Lining, and Back Lining, at the gap you left. When you are holding the purse to turn, you will be holding the Back Main in one hand, and the Front Main, Front Lining, and Back Lining in the other. Flip right side out through this opening.
Use a chopstick or turning tool to gently poke out all corners and curved edges. Press.
Fold seam allowance of gap to the inside. Press. Pin/Clip.
Top stitch around entire purse body. There are options for how to top stitch:
– You can stitch all the way around the purse going directly over your zipper when you get to it, as long as the metal stopper isn’t in the way, but if you choose to do this, use your handwheel to go VERY slow over the zipper to make sure your needle goes in between the teeth and not directly on them, or you can break your needle.
– You can stop and start your stitches on either side of the zipper tape. If you do this, make sure to backstitch each time you start and stop.
For the shoulder and waist strap options, tie the straps in a bow.