DIY Thief-Deterring Coin Purse

Last weekend, my parents left their car door unlocked.  This was clearly taken as an invitation for some random robbers to enter the vehicle and confiscate my mom's car purse (with a bit of cash, for when you just need a Diet Coke)  and their minor league baseball tickets.  Totally unreasonable.

As a result of this unfortunate event, I made my mom a new car purse.  And, as the title of the post alludes, it's thief-deterring.

I feel like that's appropriately specific.

I feel like that's appropriately specific.

To make this purse, I used two pieces of 100% cotton fabric, a 7" jeans zipper, white and teal thread, and white embroidery floss.

I started by drawing the words on the blue fabric in pencil, and then tracing them with a basic embroidery stitch.  


Once I had the words embroidered, I cut out a circle to applique to the front of the purse.  The diameter of the blue circle is 5", with a finished purse diameter of around 6".

I took this opportunity to cut the rest of my fabric.  Since this is a swanky lined purse, I have the two chevron pieces for the outside, and the two blue pieces for the inside.  All four circles have a diameter of 6.5".

To attach the appliqued block to the front piece of the purse, I first pinned them together, and then used white thread and did a fancy star stitch (on my Janome, it's a stitch number 23), keeping the edge of the presser foot lined up with the edge of the blue fabric around the circle.

Star stitch

I also traced the very edge with the teal/blue thread for additional security, and to minimize fraying.

The next step is to attach the zipper.  Full disclosure: I don't know the proper way to do this, and I did not use a zipper foot (though I think that I have one).  So this is my figure it out as you go along (and try to remember the way that a girlfriend showed me to do it ages ago) process.

Start with the zipper most of the way open, and take your front inside piece and your front outside piece.  Lay the front outside piece face down on the face up front inside piece (fabric sandwich bread).  With the zipper facing inward, pin the zipper to the edge of the two pieces in the middle of your fabric sandwich.


Sew the zipper in place, approximately 1/4" from the edge of the fabric.  Sew the first 4" or so, and then stop, so that you can move the position of the zipper pull (close the pull, so that you don't need to sew over it).  Finish sewing that side of the zipper.  Repeat on the opposite side.

And if you're like me, this will require removing the zipper, because you put it in upside down.  Not helpful.

And if you're like me, this will require removing the zipper, because you put it in upside down.  Not helpful.

The zipper is really the most challenging part.  But, once that's done, all you have to do is face the two outside pieces together, pin all four pieces together, and sew along the edge. Super easier.


Once you've sewn around the edge, trim the edge to approximately 1/4 inch, and flip your purse right-side out.  Yay for a new purse!


On another note, dear readers, consider this official notice that I am committing to being totally finished with the stairs by the end of this weekend.  I am committing to this not so much because they're almost done (I don't think that we're quite to that point yet), but because my travel schedule is about to get hectic, and I NEED this crossed off my list.  So, expect updates.  And some awesome reveal pictures, coming soon!

DIY Fabric Flower Wedding Bouquet Tutorial: Part II

...Or, alternatively, how I made all my wedding bouquets for less than $60 (though, clearly, I did not pay myself for my time - that becomes a less economical proposition).  This tutorial builds a lovely wedding bouquet (shown below) with the fabric flowers constructed in this post.  I opted for fabric flowers for a lot of reasons (cost, keepsake value, lack of seersucker in nature, etc.), and I'm pretty thrilled with how all my bouquets turned out.


Tutorial: DIY Fabric Flower Wedding Bouquet

Start by gathering your materials.  You need: 

  • Floral Wire (like this, from Hobby Lobby, and frequently 50% off)
  • Whatever fabric you want to cover the floral wire (in this case, seersucker)
  • A bouquet collar (like this - it will be covered, so I opted for the cheapest possible)
  • A glue gun/glue sticks
  • Fabric Flowers (~18 for a bridesmaid bouquet; I used 38 or so in my bridal bouquet)

Step one is to attach the stems to the flowers.  This can be done by tightly wrapping the wire around the "tail" of each flower.  Most of mine are wrapped three-ish times - just be careful not to stab yourself with the end of the wire!


Once you've attached wire to all of your flowers, it's time to do a rough assembly of the bouquet.  Start with a few flowers that will be in the center of the bouquet, and build outward.  As you do, hold the stems all together ~4" from the base of the flowers.  This means that some of the wires will need to be bent, so that they can all stay together and form a dome shape.  The pictures below show approximately what I did for my "toss" bouquet - seven flowers, no collar, with the wires trimmed to a shorter length.


Keep building outward for a bridesmaid bouquet.  As I said, most of my bridesmaid bouquets used 18 flowers. 


And keep building out for the bridal bouquet.  Just worry about getting flowers in roughly the right place.  Once the collar is on and the stems and gathered better, you have a better opportunity to be fussy with how close the flowers are to each other and whatnot.

The shape isn't exactly what I want it to be yet, but the flowers are pretty evenly distributed.

The shape isn't exactly what I want it to be yet, but the flowers are pretty evenly distributed.

Once you're happy with the general size and flower distribution, insert the stems into a bouquet collar, and move the collar to the place that you had been holding the stems (approximately 4" down from the middle flowers).  


Use another piece of floral wire to secure the stems under the collar.


Now is your opportunity to shape the bouquet - wires should still slide relatively easily through the collar/securing wire, so you should be able to shape the dome, adjust how close the flowers are to one another, etc.

After you've done that, it's time to cover the collar, which happens in three steps.  As a pre-step, if they're not already, trim or fold your floral wire stems to be all roughly the same length.  Once that's done, cut the following shapes out of your fabric:

  • A ~270 degree circle that is the same diameter as the cone-shaped plastic part of the floral collar (not the lacy or flat parts)
  • A 1.5" strip, ~24" long
  • A 4" strip, ~24" long

As you can see, seersucker, being a loosely woven fabric, frays like crazy.  My measurements take that into account, and leave a little room to trim once everything is together.  Start with the 1.5" strip.  Fold one end long-ways over the tips of the stems, and wrap the stems to the base of the collar.  I found that I didn't need to use glue until I got to the base. Glue the fabric to the plastic, and trim any excess.

Wrapped Stems

Next, take your mostly-circle, and wrap that around the cone, covering the end of the fabric you used over the stems.  Glue that in place.  Don't worry if this isn't too precise - it gets covered up too.

Cone Cover

Finally, take your 4" strip and glue it to the base of the cone.  You'll work your way around the circle and pleat as you go, which will cause the fabric to curve upward and provide a nice base for your flowers.  Trim any excess at the end (I also trimmed the outermost edges at the end, because of the fraying - this meant that the actual strip I used was only around 3.5").

Base Finished

And you're more or less done!  I took this opportunity to tie on a "something blue" charm, and I know that some people like bows/ribbons attached here too.

And, because I'm not a professional photographer (what? shocking, I know), here are a few pictures of the bouquets in action :)


And that's it for now!  I also made corsages with the flowers, which is considerably less time consuming (in that it requires far fewer flowers), so at some point I'll do a tutorial for that as well.   Hope this is helpful to all my fellow DIY brides out there!