I started out making them out of fabric scraps - which works fine but you'd really need to line it and then you have to deal with two extra layers of fabric which reduces the overall size and changes how the zipper is put in.
What I ended up using is Marine Vinyl - yup, the stuff they use to make boat seats. Waterproof (of course!), sturdy as all, easy to sew, self lined, doesn't fray or stretch, colorfast - what more can you ask for?
Here's how it goes...
You need one 4" x 5" rectangle, two strips that are 2" x 5", two strips that are 3/4" x 4" and a zipper that should be at least 6" long - you'll be trimming it to fit later.
Put the zipper in first by taking one of the 2" x 5" strips, placing the edge of the fabric very close to the zipper teeth and sew a close (1/8") seam. Leave at least an inch of zipper hanging off both ends of the strip, you'll trim this later
Sew the second 2" x 5" strip to the zipper in the same manner. Now you have to create a zipper stop at each end. Do this by simply using a zigzag stitch at each end. Make sure to open the zipper before closing both ends - you want the zipper tab to be within the body of the zipper.
Once you've zigzagged over the ends of the
Now to make the keyring tab. Sandwich the two 3/4" x 4" strips wrong sides together and stitch all the way around as close as possible to the edges.
Now you're ready to assemble the purse. Slide the keyring onto the tab, fold the tab in half and place the ends centered over the zipper at the edge of the fabric. Stitch the tab in place. (Pretend like this photo is actually in focus!)
Now sandwich the bottom and top pieces right sides together. Remember to leave the zipper at least halfway open so you can turn the purse right side out after stitching, and make sure to keep the keyring out of the way as you stitch the two sections together. Use a 1/4" seam allowance. When you're finished, clip the corners, open the zipper as far as you can and turn the purse right side out.
A chopstick or knitting needle work well to push the corners out. And - you're done! How easy was that? These make great little stocking stuffers, hostess gifts, teacher appreciation and on and on! You could make these longer or place the zipper higher or going in the opposite direction. It's a really easy, very versatile item that has hundreds of uses and is easy to alter to suit your needs.
Try making a few - send me pictures of what you come up with! We'd love to share your ideas here on the blog!