I made a bunch of braids out of some yarn that I had leftover from previous projects. I was going to use them to make bracelets, but I decided to make something more useful: a braided purse.

braided purse hanging on wall

I love the texture of the braided fabric. It gives the purse a funky, bohemian look.

The braided purse was not easy to make. It took me several weekends before I finished the purse. Part of the problem was determining how to sew the braids into a fabric.

I had to pin the braids together lengthwise before sewing. It was difficult to insert the pins into the tough, braided fabric, thwarting progress. Also, each braid was not exactly the same length, so certain adjustments had to be made along the way.

I had to make certain that the braids were flat on the table while I sewed them together. Plus, once I sewed the purse, I had to determine what type of fastener to use.

However, the struggle was worth it. The results were better than expected (and I didn’t expect much).

If you are going to make a braided purse, give yourself plenty of time. I suggest making all of the braids at once (including the braided strap) before sewing them together.

Here are the instructions for making the fabric (part two, making the purse, will be shared in the next post).

Braided Purse – Making the Fabric

Materials

40 braided cords of approximately 7” long (see instructions here)

1/4 skein of Lily’s Sugar ‘n Cream Yarn (100% cotton; 2.5oz/70.9g; 120yds/109m) in White

safety pins

tapestry needle

scissors

Instructions

Make the braided sections

Pin 4 braids together with two safety pins (one on each tasseled end). This will be a braided section.

pinning braids for braided purse

Make 9 more braided sections of 4 braids each.

Sew the braided sections

Take one section of 4 braids and sew as follows:

1) Thread the needle with the yarn. Sew the yarn through the first tassel (i.e. the far left tassel) from top to bottom.

sewtasselend1final
The needle is inserted into the top of the far left tassel. The yarn will travel from the top to the bottom of the tassel.

2) Next, sew the yarn through the next tassel to the right from bottom to top, thereby connecting it to the far left tassel.

3) Next, sew the yarn through the third tassel (i.e. second from the far right) from top to bottom.

4) When you get to the last tassel, sew the yarn from bottom to top, then sew it again from top to bottom.

The section should look like this:

tassel knots of braided section for braided purse completely sewn
The yarn is now at the bottom of the far right tassel.

5) Sew the first row by bringing the yarn underneath the braids that are just below the tassels.

6) Remove the safety pin. Sew the second row by bringing the yarn underneath each left loop of each braid.

sew second row of braided section of four braids for braided purse
yarn underneath left loop (i.e. red loop) on the second row

7) Sew the third row by bringing the yarn underneath each right loop of each braid.

third row of braided section for braided purse completed
3rd row complete with yarn underneath right loop (i.e. the white loop)

8) Continue sewing the braids in this manner until you reach the end. Make certain that the yarn does not show on the opposite side (i.e. the front of the fabric). Sew the tassels per the instructions above.

sewing braids of braided section for braided purse
Don’t forget to bring the yarn underneath the loops for each row.

Your braided section should look like this:

Sew the other 9 sections of 4 per the instructions above.

Sew the fabric

Pin 5 sections of 4 together, then sew them together along the tassel-free sides.

pinsectionstogetherfinal

Repeat with the other 5 sections.

Pin the two pieces together along the tassel-free sections, then sew them together.

Your fabric should look like this:

beginsewtasselsides1final

You have now made the fabric for the braided purse. Click here for part two of the instructions.

I would love to know if you tried making this project. Please contact me through the Comments section below.

If you like this project, then check out my other braiding projects.

Thanks for visiting!

Spinster Simone 🙂

 

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