How to Make a Purse out of a Skirt

I am really happy with this recycling project.  It only takes one day and almost no space or money.  That is pretty much a necessity in my apartment.  I can still see what I could have done better, but I do not think that it takes away from the beauty or functionality of the finished product. Everything came together wonderfully, and this purse is sturdy as hell.  Click on the pictures to enlarge, the fabric trim is GORGEOUS!

Man is it big!  I wanted a sturdy craft bag to take to my knitting group, this thing can handle the biggest blanket I can make. (I know because I am making the world’s most ridiculous blanket…nothing like a beginner biting off more than they can chew…wait until you see this monster!…seriously 10 1/2 to 11 feet long crocheted with no holes…nuts!) And this blanket fits inside with room to spare (see last image.)

I would first like to thank my cousin Stephanie who was very patient with the fact that I am not a seamstress and my sewing table consists of a $10 TV tray from Target with a cheap sewing machine on top (someday I will have a home and a craft room…)  She helped me figure out what might work and together we totally butchered another skirt first to learn everything the hard way.  Take a look at the tiny, tiny, tiny fabric hemmed onto the shoulder straps; ALL Stephanie…you go girl. (It was all the fabric I had left in this pattern.)

Major lessons that we learned from killing the first skirt:

  • The smooth gap between the top of the skirt and the pleats is very important for the look of the purse.  This allows the purse to look like a purse, not just a skirt with the bottom sewn shut.
  • The longer the pleats you leave behind, the more unmanageable the hemming process becomes even if you have tacked the pleats down.
  • Sew the handles on first, the fabric is too pretty to have the handle stitching showing.
  • Little girl’s skirts are so cute…but if you are a beginner…they might make you cry, you have been warned.                               So. Many. Small. Pieces. And. Pleats. (shudder)
  • Sometimes zippers are just sewn in too well, we now call that a feature on the purse.
  • When lining a pleated purse, you sew in pleats at the top of the lining (not the straight line that we did…duh.)
  • Lining part two: Purses made from durable skirts are pretty sturdy without linings; remember these were meant to be worn. (I chose not to line the final skirt as it would only be used for crafts and yarn.)
  • Last lesson: you bought the skirts at Goodwill and only spent $4 dollars each…know when the attempt is dead and let it go.  When you sleep on it and try again in the morning with the second skirt everything will fall into place.

I had a little bit of difficulty getting the two sides of the fabric to join together properly so I made this nice little bow and ribbon to go over the bad seam.  It is now my favorite part.  Never get frustrated by failures, they force you to be creative.

I was not able to take pictures while we were working (too busy talking and getting stuff done.) Please let me know if you have any questions about how to do anything you see here and I will be glad to help.  When I have a craft room in three years I will definitely be making these to sell for a little extra money. Total cost to me in supplies $6.50 for skirt and fabric.

If you happen to have skirts or sweaters sitting around and are not sure what you want to do with them check out this site for some great ideas.  She also has a tutorial here.

If you are looking for another fun and cheap one day project check out naturally coloring eggs here.  You can do this for almost nothing but the price of the eggs.

And last but not least, do you need an awesome skirt, have some old jeans? I have a post on how to make a skirt out of old jeans, check it out here.

We did it, we took the plunge. I now run a Female, Veteran owned Small Business.

From now on all posts will be uploaded at Go Places, Baby!

My family and I could not be more excited to start bringing you the very best products that we can.

Thank you to everyone that visits and supports us!


7 Comments on “How to Make a Purse out of a Skirt”

  1. Stephanie says:

    you are so welcome, and yes the little girl skirt bad idea. The finished one looks awesome. I think I have my next project for me now. I need a knitting bag too. Oh how I wish I had time, stupid classes getting in the way of life. The bow turned out great.

  2. Amy says:

    Nikki! I found you!!! I love the blog. I can’t wait to read all your old entries! SO SO SO excited! I am so glad I finally got to meet you and I look forward to seeing you again soon.

  3. Jaime says:

    I love this! I actually got a super cute skirt that looked super stupid on me, but I love the pattern and had the random idea yesterday that it would be a great purse. I am now obsessed with making this a reality…one problem, I cannot sew, at all. Its depressing. But your blog did inspire me to seek out someone who can, since I know the skirt to purse conversion is possible and I’m not crazy. 🙂

  4. Barbara says:

    I just stumbled on your website. Check out my web site. I’m interested in getting into some nice
    street fairs, do you know how I would start.
    Can’t wait to check out all you beautiful and clever things.
    My Best,
    Seattle Wa
    Retired and trying to make ends meet like most of us.

  5. Zoey says:

    I just got a skirt for my birthday and its too short! (some birthday gift) my friends didn’t keep the recipe and I don’t want to give it away because it’s new. how do I take off the pleats but still give it a skirt purse feel?

  6. Nikki says:

    Well, you don’t take off the pleats, you tack them down with pins to hold the pleat in place and the sew the skirt shut, pleats and all. If you look again at the bag I made it still has pleats…it just had a space between the belt and the pleats even when it was a skirt. I didn’t alter that part.

  7. […] 1 Geri dönüşüm çalışmalarına pek meraklı bir kişi olarak yine araştırma yaptım ve bu etekten yapılan çantayı buldum. Bizlerde giymediğimiz küçülen eteklerimizi bu şekilde […]

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