Useful Handbag Hacks

Do you ever want to make a handbag and the pattern looks great, but it just doesn’t have all the features you want? That’s how I’ve been feeling.

Here’s my first Raspberry Ripple handbag. I love the outside of this, but I didn’t love the inside. A zipper on one side and a couple of side pockets. It’s adequate, but not exactly what I want.

Common Patterns

I’ve been looking at a lot of patterns, and too many of them are totes. I don’t love totes. They’re fine as a tote, to throw a few books in when heading to the library, but they’re not a handbag.

Most of the patterns I have, or have seen are all missing one thing I really want in a handbag – a divider inside. I love a divided handbag. I like to put things like my sunglasses on one side, my wallet in the zippered divider pocket, and any cosmetic things like hand cream or lip balm on the other side. Nice and neat – not all thrown in on the bottom. I also like a top zipper closure to secure it all.

So, I haven’t found my perfect patterns out there. After a little searching around, it seems I’m not alone. A few bloggers have posted some hacks that look really good and I wanted to share them with you.

Purse Dividers

This first one was referred to me by Marsha (Seam of my Pants). Thanks, Marsha! Sherri at Thread Riding Hood has a free pattern (for a tote) and tutorial on how to install a divider.  I’m using a photo from Sherri’s blog post to show you just how nice it looks.

That is so lovely and such a neat-looking finish. I love her fabric choice too.

This next one came from a search and it looks really good too. On the photo it says it’s from Diedel Bug. It’s on the Swoon website. It’s adding an interior divider pocket to the Eleanor handbag. This is a great-looking tutorial, and exactly what I’m wanting. Again, I’m using the photo from the website.

This is great! It even has the zipper in the divider just like I’m wanting.

Here is one more divider tutorial for you.

This photo is from Abby at Things For Boys*, and it’s a divider for a tote bag.

These are all great tutorials, and I’ll go through them all before I draft a divider for my next Raspberry Ripple handbag.

Zipper Closures

There’s one more thing that will make my Raspberry Ripple, and so many of the other bag patterns I have, my perfect handbag – a zipper closure at the top.

Here’s one more great tutorial on how to add a zipper closure.

This one is from Lisa at Andrie Designs. And it’s for a tote!

With all these tutorials, I feel ready to make all the changes I want to make to my Raspberry Ripple pattern.

Happy creating!

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13 thoughts on “Useful Handbag Hacks

  1. Even if the inside is lacking, you did a great job with that Raspberry Ripple. No raspberries for you this week! (Raspberry — is that a universal expression?)

  2. So many great ideas. As you say, it is not easy to find the perfect bag and lately I was thinking on making myself one (more) so now that I have all your sewing hacks it will be the time to do it! Thanks

  3. Everything I look for in a bag too! Thanks for collecting all the tutorials into one spot! Now to work up the courage to make a bag…

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