Reversible Purse – Free sewing pattern and tutorial

If you’re like me, you can’t have too many fat quarters.

These bad boys are literally what started my sewing addiction. I fell in love with the inexpensive and colourful pieces of fabric at a local fabric store and started buying and buying. The problem was I couldn’t sew at all. So, to justify me purchasing more fabric, I taught myself how to sew. Mostly small bags and purses at first, which were free sewing tutorials. Which led to another concern…

Can you have too many purses?!

No, no, you can’t.

So, if you have lots of fat quarters, you might as well make a purse. And if you’re going to make a purse, you might as well make it reversible. Who doesn’t love multi-functional accessories?

This purse is really two purses in one! It also takes minimal materials and minimal time. It’s a perfect time to get a little wild with colours and patterns.


**Craftsy has a wonderful deal on a cutting starter kit! Includes cutting mat, blades, rotary cutter, ruler and more. It’s way less than I paid for all of mine 🙂 Click here to check it out!**

Cutting Instructions:

Fat Quarter Cuts:

  1. Fold the Fat Quarter in half, so that folded piece measures 9″ x 22″
  2. Cut a tiny 1/8″ strip off the folded edge so you have 2 pieces of fabric – Treat these as 1 piece of fabric moving forward
  3. From one edge, cut a rectangle 9″ x 16″ and set aside. These are your PURSE TOPS
  4. Cut a square 6″ x 6″ and set aside. These are your POCKETS
  5. Scrap the remaining 3″ x 6″ piece of fabric – You won’t need it for this project
  6. Repeat for the second Fat Quarter

Half Yard Cuts:

  1. Fold in half so that the folded piece measures 18″ x 22″
  2. Cut a tiny 1/8″ strip off the folded edge so you have 2 pieces of fabric – Treat these as 1 piece of fabric
  3. From one edge measure and cut 2 side-by-side strips of 3″ x 18″ and set aside. These are your STRAPS
  4. From the top edge, measure and cut  2  side-by-side 9″ x 22″. These are your PURSE BOTTOMS
  5. On the bottoms of both of  9″ x 22″ pieces, cut 2″ x 2″ square from the 2 bottom corners. Scrap these squares

Sewing instructions Free sewing tutorial:

  • Follow the cutting instructions supplied
  • Set your stitch length to 1.8
  • Seam allowance is 5/8″
  • Back-stitch all beginning and ends of sewing.

Take your PURSE TOP and PURSE BOTTOM and place right sides together .matching along the long, uncut edge. This is the edge that you will sew along. With a hot iron, press your seams towards the bottom edge with the cut corners. Top stitch along the sewn and pressed edge on the bottom side. Repeat with your remaining 3 PURSE TOPS and PURSE BOTTOMS. These are now your PURSE BODY.

Purse top and bottom are sewn together


Pressed and topstitched

Now, it’s time to decide on your pocket placement. You have 4 cut pockets in total, 2 of each design. You can choose to use 1 pocket or all of them. They can be placed on either the matching side or the contrasting colours side. You can place them off-center, or directly in the middle.  Be creative here! For mine, I used 2 pockets total, placed on the matching sides and centered on the bags.

*Reminder, the bottom 2 inches of your bag will be the base of the bag. Don’t place your pocket here!*

Take a POCKET PIECE. On the top edge, fold it over 1/4″ and iron, and then fold over again 1/4″ and iron once more. Pin this edge down and top-stitch the fold in place.

Top edge folded twice and top-stitched

Next, fold and iron the sides and bottom edge in the same way. Pin the pocket to your PURSE BODY in the desired place, maintaining the folds on the edge and bottom of the pocket. Once you’re happy with the placement, sew your pocket down. Top-stitch as close to the edge of the pocket as you are comfortable with, along with the sides and bottom of the POCKETS. Repeat on your remaining desired POCKETS.

Side and bottom edges folded twice and ironed


Pocket top stitched to purse body

Pair up your matching PURSE BODIES. Place one pair right sides together matching the edges and the notches. Sew along the bottom edge and both side edges. Press all seams open. On the bottom of the PURSE BODY, where the 2″ square notch is, fold the notch so the side seam and bottom seam lay on top of each other. Sew along the aligned seam. Repeat for the second PURSE BODY.

Purse bodies sewn together along sides and bottom


Purse body corners pressed together ready for stitching


Corner sewn

Now take 2 STRAPS and place right sides together. Sew along the short 3″ edge. Press the seam open. Repeat for the second set of STRAPS.

Straps sewn together and pressed open

Place the sewn and pressed STRAPS right sides together. Sew along both edges. Turn your tube right side out. Follow THIS LINK for a tutorial on how I turn my tubes.

Sewn strips placed right sides together and sewn into a tube

Press the edges of the STRAPS, wiggling to make sure that you are pressing as close to the seam as possible. Finish your STRAP by top-stitching both edges. This will prevent your strap from rolling and twisting while using your purse.

Straps turned, ironed, and edge stitched

Turn one PURSE BODY right side out. Pin each end of your STRAP to each side of your right side out PURSE BODY, with the ends of the strap, extended an inch or two from the edge of the purse body. It is VERY IMPORTANT to make sure the STRAPS are not twisted.

Purse body right side and wrong side

*** The raw edge of your straps must be placed along the raw edge of your purse body. The strap will wrap around the bottom of your purse body. This is the opposite of how a normal strap would sit when wearing a purse. This issue will be corrected when we turn the bag in the last step. ***

Place the PURSE BODY with the STRAPS pinned on it into your second PURSE BODY right sides together. Mark a space to leave an opening along the top edge of your PURSE BODY. I did this with spent machine needles as a distinctive *DO NOT SEW* marking. Sew from the beginning of your first marker around to your second marker, leaving a gap for turning.

Purse bodies inserted right sides together, with marked gapped and with purse straps attached

Turn your PURSE BODY through the gap left. Your purse will be right side out. Push one PURSE BODY into the other. Iron and press the top edge, wiggling to make sure you’re pressing right at the stitching. Top stitch around the edge.  Top-stitching will also close the gap you left for turning.

Purse immediately after turning right side out

Finish snipping any threads that are hanging out. You can now give your purse a final iron to make it look spiffy. I also like to run a lint roller over my finished pieces to pick up any threads or fluff.

Now go show off your badass double-sided bag!

I hope you enjoyed my free sewing tutorial! I would love to see any of your finished pieces. Please share in the comments below!