Accessories. I love them. I make them, I sell them, I wear them in all their shapes, colors and sizes. I have been on a major hair accessory kick, but secretly I’ve been in love with purses – especially unique purses. Last year I started making Continuous Zipper purses for myself and all my family,and now? Seatbelt purses! And today I’m going to share with you HOW to make one.
6 Yards Seatbelt, 2″ wide (or more yardage for a larger purse)
4″ grosgrain ribbon matching color
Heavy duty, or upholstery thread
Heavy duty sewing machine needle (I used a leather one, it worked great)
1/4 yard fabric for lining
2″ thick foam
Matches, to burn and seal the cut edges of the seatbelt
To start with I cut the foam to the size we need it to be. Since this purse is going 2″x10″x7″ I cut the 2″ foam 10 inches wide!
Now cut 3 (or more for a taller purse) strips wide enough to go around your foam with an extra 1/2 inch overlap. If your seatbelt is 2 inches wide it will be 24 1/2” (the width of 12 straps). If your seatbelts (like mine) are a bit LESS than 2” make sure you take that into account. My strips ended up needing to be 23 1/2”each. This is important so make SURE you measure the width of your straps. Finally cut one more piece an extra 1/2” longer for the top.
Sew each of the 4 pieces you’ve just cut into circles with the 1/2” overlapping.
Now slide the three smaller circles onto your foam.
We’re going to start weaving the rest of the purse now. Starting with the sides. It is VERY important that the bottom of the side weaving go OVER the bottom strap circle. I used pins to hold the ends in place and keep the straps tight.
Now you can attach your carrying strap however you’d like, I decided not to use extra hardware but to sew it directly to the sides. To hide the seam lines and sewing lines I decide to tuck them into the second strap down. I slid off the middle circle and marked where I wanted to sew the straps on.
I sewed them on and then slid the middle circle back on!
Now start weaving the sides, pinning at the top of each side (I leave about 1/2” excess at each end). I started on the outside working my way in. Make sure you cover the seams of your circles with your weaving
If you measure your circles right it will be a nice snug fit. When your done weaving you’ll want to unpin and tighten each of the straps. And make sure all the horizontal loops are pressed firmly down.
Make sure it’s all smoothed and then pin all the vertical straps to the top horizontal circle strap.
Once you have them all pinned you can slide the foam out of the purse and it should stand on it’s own!
Cut the lining to fit the inside of your purse. With right sides together sew the seams. Then fold the corners, sew, cut and open the lining, fit it into the purse!
Now we’re going to put the body of the purse aside and work on the top part of the bag. Starting with the zipper!
Remember the larger circle from earlier? This is going to be our top edge, to cover the seam we’re going to cover it with the grosgrain ribbon sewing it into place.
Now using a zipper foot add your zipper to one side of your circle.
Next comes the MOST difficult part. Seatbelts are thick and hard to fold, but that’s exactly what we’re going to do! Put the zipper side of the circle inside our bag, fold the circle over the outside and sew around the top of the bag! It would be nice to have an industrial sewing machine for this, but my sewing machine did almost the whole circle by itself. I did have to hand sew the thickest part, where the grosgrain ribbon was cover the overlap. It was too thick to fit under my sewing machine foot!!!
I’m Ashlee, from I’m Topsy Turvy and Topsy Turvy Cakes AND (because I’m totally insane) Topsy Turvy Shop!. I love to sew, crochet, knit, tile, paint, build things and I collect tools (power tools- LOVE THEM!). I love to craft, cook, bake and decorate cakes.