Saturday, December 3, 2016

Gingerbread Girl Purse {Tutorial}

Last year My super talented mother-in-law and her sweet mom (Grandma Sweetie)
made the girls the cutest gingerbread men beanies. Winter has hit Southern California
(think a chilly 60 degrees) and we recently pulled out the cute gingerbread hats for
carpool mornings and later afternoons at the park. Since Grace loves purses and
carrying all her necessities (think Shopkins and ponies) around with her, I decided to
make her a cute Gingerbread Girl Purse to match.

The Gingerbread Girl Purse is made of soft fleece, a bit of felt, rick rack, some ribbon
and cotton print fabric. The tote purse took about an hour to put together. However, if
you don't have sewing ADHD, because you're trying to binge watch  
Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life or a spitfire toddler demanding your attention,
then you could finish it even faster.


  • 2 pieces of brown fleece cut to 9"x11"
  • 2 pieces red cotton fabric cut to 9"x11"
  • 2 pieces of 5/8" white ribbon cut 16" long
  • scraps of black and red felt for eyes, cheeks, bow {optional}
  • white ric-rac (about 12")
  • scissors
  • sewing machine
  • pins
  • basting adhesive {optional}


I cut my two pieces of brown fleece to 9"x11" and cut the pieces for my gingerbread
girl's face. Then, I laid them out  to see how I wanted to them to fit. I just eyeballed my
eyes and cheeks by free-hand cutting circles out of a scrap of felt. I used glitter felt for
the cheeks because I like the pop it added. Once I adjusted the size of the eyes and
cheeks, and figured out how much ric-rac I needed for the frosting stripe and the
mouth, I got to sewing!

First, I sewed the frosting stripe and the mouth onto the brown fleece with a zigzag stitch.
Just go slow and adjust as needed. I did pin the ric-rac down as best as I could, but it
definitely was a bit tricky. I didn't mind if it wasn't perfect, but I wanted it pretty close.
Also, make sure the ric-rac doesn't get too close to the top or bottom. This way it
doesn't get swallowed up in the seam allowance when you start putting the bag together.

Next, I put the cheeks on. Instead of using pins, I used some basting adhesive. Again, I
used a zigzag stitch to put the cheeks on. For the eyes, I sewed a couple of "X"s to make
them look like buttons. If you want to use large black buttons instead - you can. I didn't
for two reason: {1} I didn't have any that were big enough and {2} Since I am making
this for a little girl, I didn't want to create a choking hazard.

Once your face is all sewn on, then you can make a little felt bow if your gingerbread
purse is a girl like mine. I took another scrap of felt about 3"x4", folded it in half and
sewed the open edge. Then, I flipped it right side out and sewed up the open edges.
I took another little scrap and made a middle piece, scrunched up the bow in the middle
and hand sewed the middle piece to secure it and make a cute bow. It's a lot
like the bow I made for the Corn Heating Bag.

Now, we're ready to sew the bag! Put your two fleece 9"x11" pieces with right sides
together and sew together with 3/8" seam allowance on three sides, leaving the top open.
Repeat this process with the two red pieces of cotton fabric. Then, since I like the
square/boxy look on a purse, I pinch and flatten the corners and sew across about 3/8"
from the tip. If you need a better visual, I used the same technique for
my Harry Potter tote bag.

It's so adorable!!! Time to put the liner and the outside of the bag together.
I didn't put the bow on until the very end, it's just on there right now to see how it
will looked finished.

You'll need your two pieces of 16" ribbon as we are going to make them into handles
for the purse. This part is tricky and you'll end up with your  bag sewn together wrong
(believe me I've done it!) if you don't slow down and double check that you've got
it put together right.

Take the outside of your bag (your fleece gingerbread face piece) and turn it
WRONG SIDE OUT. Take your red lining piece and turn it RIGHT SIDE OUT and
slip it inside your fleece gingerbread face piece. Now, the RIGHT SIDES will be together
on the INSIDE of your bag and your WRONG SIDES will be visible on the inside and
outside of the bag. Pin the side seams and then tuck your ribbon handle pieces in
between the RIGHT SIDES together and pin about 1" from the side seams.

Then pin all the way around - being sure to leave a 3-4" opening for turning.
I mark my start and stop with blue pins so I don't accidentally sew the bag closed.
Sew from START to STOP point (being sure to leave the opening!) with a
3/8" seam allowance.

Time to flip it! Through the opening you left, pull your RIGHT SIDES out.
You're almost done. Tuck the lining back into the bag and sew the hole you left
for turning closed. You can sew all the way around and make a nice finished looking
topstitch, but I didn't do that for this bag.

Now is the perfect time to either sew or glue your felt bow on. You can use
grosgrain ribbon if you want something less bulky. I like how the felt looks with the
fleece and it's sparkly! Now I want to make some more little purses for all the little
girls that I know. Then they can all be twinners at park playdates.

We're very glad that the 90 degrees of October are gone and can finally wear our cute
winter clothes. Grace insisted that we add the yellow flower to her gingerbread man
hat to make it girl like her purse. I need to make a red bow so the purse and the hat
can be twinners too! Happy sewing!

This post was originally published at Skip to My Lou on November 13, 2016.



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