Macrame Purses: Before & After

Tuesday, June 10

I know, I know.. it took me awhile to circle back around to work on these macrame purses. I bet you thought I had forgotten.

On 5-21 I posted, More Macrame Purses Coming. And true to my word, here they are.


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Used 113 yards of 6mm braided macrame cord.


  • Length 12 1/2″
  • Height without handles 9″
  • Height with handles 14″
  • Width 1 1/2″


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Used 98 yds of 6mm braided macrame cord.


  • Length 10″
  • Height without straps 8 1/4″
  • Height with straps 12″
  • Width 1 1/2″

I have made many macrame purses over the years but had never tried either of these designs before. Both purses were really easy. Only had to consult the instructions twice. Once for the brown one, when creating and attaching the flap and another time for the lavender one, when creating the “V” shape in the front and back. Anyway you slice it, a square knot is a square knot. I can usually look at the picture and figure it out. Like cooking your favorite dish. You don’t need to look any longer at the recipe.

I am hoping the brown purse is a hit with a chat buddy of mine. She asked me to make her a macrame purse several months ago. She knew I was just getting back into macraming so said there was no rush. Not really sure what she would like, I searched through my macrame purse books and selected this one. I changed up a bit from the original instructions. I added the beads on differently and made it wider and longer. So after looking at the directions to add on the flap, it was just me and the knots, going to town.

The lavender purse was fun to make. So much fun, I have already started another one in peach and will probably make several more in summer colors. No added cost for a purse handle. It is all cord. And quite easy to make. I don’t think I will sew buttons on any of the others. I only added buttons to the lavender one since, # 1, it is Button Month, and # 2, I had a lot of lavender and purple buttons to use up.

There are so many other things you can make with macrame cord. Not sure if you have ever seen or heard of the Chinese Crown Knot. It is really a cool knot. Very easy to make. You only need two hands and a pair of knees. This knot can be used in so many ways. I have used it in plant hangers, candles, corn stalks, animal noses, snakes and bracelets. Once I get over my obsession with purses, I will show you how to create things using it.

Macrame Cord Suppliers

Sewing Day 13: Double Pocket

Tuesday, May 6

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An online friend suggested I might enjoy sewing this little project called Double Pocket. She had made several in various colors and they turned out very pretty. So I decided to try my hand at making one.

It has a pocket in front and back of the buttoned tab.  I had a bit of a problem sewing all the pieces together and getting them all on the right side but eventually I did figure it out. I am going to make a second one just to see where I went wrong. It turned out good. It will do what it is intended to do. And that is to hang from a belt to hold small items such as keys, coins, cell phone, etc when you are out partaking in your favorite form of entertainment or exercise.

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Here is how it looks hanging from the denim tote I made. I used the same denim and printed fabric. You could use fabric leftover from other sewing projects. Would be perfect to use up some of your scraps.

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Supplies used to make Double Pocket:

  • 1/4 yard denim
  • 1/4 yard printed fabric
  • one decorative button
  • 3″ navy satin piping (for button loop)
  • navy thread

Measurements: 7 1/2″ height and 3 1/2″ length

Pattern used: Double Pocket from the book A Pocketful of Whimsy, Wee Patchwork Gifts by Kathleen Rindal Brooks, pages 28-30. Full size pattern pieces are in the book. I scanned the pattern pieces and printed them out onto hardstock paper.

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Sewing Day 12: Living Large

Saturday, May 3

This tote is HUGE!! I had no idea it would make up this big!!

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This is the purse I had planned to make with my wild and crazy fabric. Can’t do it now for two reasons. I would look like an idiot coming down the street with it, feeling like everyone was looking at me. 😀 And #2, I don’t have enough of my wild fabric to make it. It really takes a lot of fabric. I used four Fat Quarters of the printed fabric. So..I will save it and make something else.

This tote was made from Kwik Sew Pattern 3133, Bag A. I had no problem understanding and following the pattern instructions.

I am just about done. I need to finish turning one of the straps, sew the straps to the lining and then sew the lining to the purse.

If I make another one, I will use heavier fabric for the entire tote. It will make a nice book bag.

Sewing Day 11: Dog Day Afternoon

Saturday, May 3

Yep, I have been sewing…still. 😀

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I have actually been working on these purses with doggy fabric for several days. Didn’t want to get too far behind so thought I would post what I am working on.

These just need the strap sewn on the sides. I found this strap when going through my craft supplies. I don’t remember how long I have had it but it works perfectly for these little totes. Adds a hint of a doggy collar or leash.

These totes/purses are quick to make, now that I have made so many of them. If you want to try your hand at it, you just need 1/2 yard of two different fabrics. The doggy fabric I purchased by the yard from JoAnn Fabric and Crafts a couple years ago. (Probably that’s when I purchased the black strap.) The black print fabric was a Fat Quarter 18″ by 22″. Fabric must be a square for both pieces. I used 18″ square.

I also made a larger tote in denim and red fabric with tiny white hearts. I had to buy special denim needles to sew the sides together. Size 16. They work great. No more jamming.

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Haven’t decided how I will finished this one up. Probably a shoulder strap. I have about two yards of denim left. Next time I get my hands on a 50% off coupon at JoAnn’s, I will replenish my supply.

Macrame Sewing Baskets

Friday, May 2

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Not sure how I came up with this idea. One day last summer I was making macrame baskets and it just popped into my head.

Why not make a sewing basket to hold all the gadgets a seamstress needs within reach!!??

I had plenty of macrame cord and rings so I got started designing one. First on paper, then I started testing what length of cord I would need to make a long row, a sennet, of square knot buttons, SKB. I wanted the SKB’s to go around the basket to hold scissors, cutting tools, etc.

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I ended up fusing the cord several times when I was short on cord but not yet at the desired length. So my first attempt was kind of makeshift. Though you would never know it since I am a master at burying my flubs within the knots. 🙂

So after a few test runs, I was ready to make the SKB sennet with the correct yardage of cord. I have to tell you, it was kind of genius the way I turned the square knot buttons to go horizontal instead of vertical. But that was the only way the tools would fit per my design. They needed to hang downward.

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I also knew I wanted to store spools of thread right on the basket so I put elastic around the inside rim to hold them.

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On the navy one and red/black/white one, I added elastic around the bottom area so thread could be accessible from the bottom as well as the top. You can unwind the thread right from the elastic, no need to remove it. That is another cool feature of these baskets.

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Inside the basket has a clear plastic liner to hold even more supplies such as glue, ruler, fabric, zippers, buttons, etc.

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They all have removeable carrying handles. Some handles hook on, some tie on.

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I am proud of how the baskets turned out. I made eight and sold five. I have a green one started and need to finish it.

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My favorite is the beige one with the buttons. The buttons are on the front side only.  This was the first to sell.  Maybe it was the buttons.

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One Day of Rest & Back To Sewing

Tuesday, April 29

OK, I feel rested now and ready to go. Back to Sewing!! Cause Macrame Month is around the corner. (As if anyone even remembers or cares what it is, LOL!!)

But today I need to make a visit to the Janome store. I want them to tell me how to sew through stacks of denim. My sewing machine, Janome 10001, doesn’t seem to like heaps of thick fabric. And for the price I paid for it, it should sew through gold!!

I don’t normally pay much attention to needles. Just turn the machine on and go. That is, until I break one. Several days ago, I broke a needle sewing on denim. I switched to a size 16 and that seemed to fix the problem but today it jammed again and would not go through the fabric at all. Oh, what a racket the machine made. I guess it told me, don’t even think about it!! I have no clue what size needle I need so I will let the experts tell me.

So…if you are looking for me, that is where I will be. BBL

Sewing Day 9: The Cafe

Friday, April 25

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Yippee!! I am so happy!! I have the next five hours to do as I please. Hubby is making a run to Indiana in hopes of winning $150 million (yeah, right) or whatever the magic number is currently. I am sure the Lottery registers are spitting out tickets as fast as the clerks can type.

Michigan has a state lottery but it does not participate in the PowerBall game. So to buy a ticket you have to travel to the closest city across state lines. Not only will hubby be making a wish list and checking it twice, as he drives along, he will have his precious Garmin, with its precise directions, to keep him company. It is a neat gadget but I tell you, if I had to spend more than an hour listening to “turn left, turn right, turn here” from Miss Soft Sweetness, that thing would be a heap of metal littering the highway.

Well, anyhoo, back to my happiness… The Cafe.

I belong to one of THE best online groups out there. How do I know this? Because everyone says so. A few of the members have known each other since around 2002 having originally met online at one of eBay’s Discussion Boards. A place for like-minded individuals to seek assistance on their latest hobbies and for the more talented crafters to offer help wherever it was needed. I fell kind of in the middle. Not a complete idiot newbie but not a perfect 10 either on the expert scale.

Then when eBay decided to go in a new direction and created the Groups format, some people from the board started their own group. A place to be yourself and chat about what’s on your mind. A place to share new ideas, ask questions and offer tips. A place to go if you just needed a hug, anytime you needed one. Some of the original members have moved on to other paths in their lives, but new people regularly find The Cafe and join in.

After almost six years, we are still going strong. I think it is because WE LIKE EACH OTHER!! We really like each other!! We are truly interested in what the members are doing. One popular and active thread is “What Is Everyone Working On At The Moment?” It is one of my first stops when visiting The Cafe. We also have group projects where one member will post a project for others to try.

Which brings me to the reason for my post today. I am making “Popcorn’s Project”.

It is a tote bag made by folding material in a specific way and top stitching some seams. Add a carrying handle and you are done.

Where am I? About in the middle of all that folding and stitching. This is what my purse looks like thus far.

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I may just leave it like this. Unfinished and open. Not like I have any money to put in it anyway. Hubby is not back yet with the $150 million!! Wish me luck. Both with finishing this tote AND winning the lottery!!

Sewing Day 3: Take A Bow

Monday, April 14

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All done!!

Square Dancing Purse comes to an end, thank goodness.

Never before have I spent as much time sewing on a patternless simple item. So glad to be finished. I am somewhat happy with the outcome. I think the ruffle could have been a tad bit shorter but it is what it is.  I am not going to make any changes. Janome is off for the day, resting up. In fact, I plan to have a little bonfire party with my “rectangle.” 🙂

Here’s out it turned out.

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Supplies used to make this purse:

  • 1 yard denim
  • 1 yard checkered gingham
  • 1 yard interfacing
  • 1 decorative button
  • red thread
  • navy thread

One good thing from making this purse is that I am bonding with my sewing machine. Learning my way around. Though still having to look up stuff in the Instructor’s Manual. Even simple stuff. BUT the more I sew, the better I get. I just know it.

Next up…. something from a store bought PATTERN!!

Sewing Day 2: Test Drive Barbie

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Well, I am finished with Square Dancing purse #1.

I decided to make a “test” purse first. Didn’t want to make a mess of perfectly good denim and checkered gingham. Didn’t follow the pattern and instructions much. I got them from Janome’s website. The “pattern” printed out on one sheet of 8 1/2″ by 11″ paper. It was shaped like a rectangle. There was one more piece shaped like a cup but I couldn’t get it to print out. The instructions showed how to sew the purse on a serger. And since I do not have a serger, I glanced briefly at their directions then set them aside. I referred back to the picture I found in Janome’s Summer 2007 Digest. So basically, this purse was created by sight and Janome’s rectangle. Talk about winging it!! Not bad, huh?


I used Barbie Fashion University fabric in blue, pink and yellow. The print on the fabric faces all different directions; top, bottom, sideways. So I didn’t have to worry about lining up shapes when cutting. I used hot pink cotton for the ruffle and lining. Lining? Oh yeah. Nothing was mentioned in the instructions about a lining. That was just me, winging it again.

This purse turned out much smaller than I pictured. With the flap folded, it measures 6 1/2″ length and 9″ height. Flat it measures 14″ in height. The inside compartment measures 7″ deep. Shoulder strap is 28″.

Now that I know what to do and what NOT to do, I will go ahead and cut out the denim purse. I think I will make it slightly larger. After this, I will be using a REAL pattern for my next project.