Make this cute little coin purse to use up your fabric scraps

Pinchy Pouch Tutorial - Sample

I was working on my computer today, like I do most days, and felt the familiar stirrings of fabric withdrawal start to well up. Usually I can keep that at bay by procrastinating on Pinterest for a few minutes (…a few minutes, who am I kidding?) but this time I had an itch that could only be scratched by crafting! I had no idea what I wanted to make so I just went into my sewing room and started looking around, hoping inspiration would strike. And lo and behold, it did! I came across a bag of internal flex frames I bought a few years ago back when I used to make a lot of handbags, and thought I’d make a pinchy coin purse for old times’ sake.

So read on, and learn to make one of your own! This is a great project to make when you only have an hour or two to spare for sewing, and don’t really feel like sinking your teeth into a big, intense project. And with the holidays rapidly approaching, it also makes a great gift on its own (or as something to hide a gift card in!). It takes next to no fabric to make, so it’s perfect for using up those scraps of fabric you can’t bear to make yourself throw away.

Pinchy Coin Purse Tutorial - Materials

What You’ll Need

  • Basic sewing tools
  • Sheet of letter-size paper (scrap paper is fine)
  • Pen or pencil
  • 1A small scrap (at least 5″ x 12″) of medium or heavy weight fabric for the outside (such as denim, wool suiting, or corduroy).
  • 2An internal flex frame, 3–4 inches wide.
    These aren’t that easy to find in stores, so unless you have a really great sewing or craft supplies store nearby I think you’ll have more luck finding one online. A couple places you could try:
    • Ah Kwok Buckles They’re also great for other hardware and findings. You have to buy a minimum of 10 frames though, and these will ship from Hong Kong so you may have to pay customs.
    • eBay
  • 3A small scrap (at least 5″ x 12″) of light or medium weight fabric for the lining (such as cotton broadcloth).
  • 4Some pretty decorative bits to adorn your pouch, such as buttons, beads, lace, or ribbon. (optional, sort of!)
  • Thread to match
  • Pliers
  • Ruler (preferably a clear ruler, gridded in 1/8″ increments)

Step 1Make the pattern

Not all flex frames are the same, so here I’ll show you how to draw a pattern to match the exact size of your frame. But don’t worry—it’s basically just a rectangle with a couple markings so it’s really easy to do!

Pinchy Coin Purse Tutorial - Pattern (1)

Measure the space between the hinges of your flex frame. This will be the final width of your coin purse. Draw a line on your sheet of paper the with of the frame between the hinges, plus double your seam allowance. From both ends of this line, square a line down a few inches long (you’ll end up with an open, three-sided rectangle. The height doesn’t matter at this point).

Pinchy Coin Purse Tutorial - Pattern (2)

Measure down 2 1/2 inches from the top edge and mark a notch at both sides. This marks the bottom edge of the casing where the flex frame will go, and is important for when you sew the pouch.

Pinchy Coin Purse Tutorial - Pattern (3)

Decide how tall you want your finished coin purse to be. You could make it about 3 to 4 inches tall for a standard coin purse, or much taller to make a pencil case, case for your glasses, or pouch for your knitting needles. Measure the height down from the hinge markings, minus 3/4 inch (or however wide your frame is) plus the seam allowance.

Step 2Cut the pieces

Pinchy Coin Purse Tutorial - Step 2
Use the pattern to cut two pieces of main (outside) fabric, and two pieces of lining fabric. Snip a 1/4-inch notch into the fabric at the hinge markings.

Step 3Embellish (optional)

If you’re going to embellish your coin purse, do it now before the pieces are sewn together.

Step 4Sew the pouch

Pinchy Coin Purse Tutorial - Step 4
Pin the outside pieces right sides together, and sew the sides and bottom from notch to notch. Clip the corner pieces at a 45° angle right up to the stitches (be careful not to cut through the stitches). Do the same with the lining pieces.

Step 5Clip

Pinchy Coin Purse Tutorial - Step 5

Carefully clip both hinge notches right up to the stitches.

Step 6Slip main fabric into lining

Pinchy Coin Purse Tutorial - Step 6

Turn main fabric right side out, and slip into the lining. Match top edges for both front and back, and pin.

Step 7Sew main fabric to lining

Pinchy Coin Purse Tutorial - Step 7

Starting at the notch, being careful to match up with the end of the existing stitch line, sew around the sides and top of the front flap (see left side of photo). Do the same for the back flap, but leave an opening about 2 inches wide (see right side of photo).

Step 8Turn and press

Pinchy Coin Purse Tutorial - Step 8

Turn the pouch right side out through the opening, and press flat with an iron (be careful not to damage your embellishments with the iron). When you’re done, it should look something like this.

Step 9Sew the casing

Pinchy Coin Purse Tutorial - Step 9

Fold the flaps to the inside, and pin. Sew about 1/8″ from the bottom edge. When you’re done, it should look something like this:

Pinchy Coin Purse Tutorial - Step 9b

Step 10Insert frame

Pinchy Coin Purse Tutorial - Step 10

Insert each side of the flex frame into one a casing, both sides at the same time.

Step 11Insert hinge pin

Pinchy Coin Purse Tutorial

Hold the open end of the frame closed, and insert the hinge pin through the hinge. Be careful not to let the hinge pin slide out (you may find it helps to take the pliers and close off one of the tabs before inserting the pin).

Step 12Close the hinge tabs

Pinchy Coin Purse Tutorial - Step 12

Use pliers to close both hinge tabs. If you find this difficult, use the pliers to bend the tabs downward first, then squeeze both tabs together.

You’re done! Step back and admire your handiwork (and give yourself a pat on the back and/or round of applause, if you’re so inclined).

Pinchy Coin Purse Tutorial - Finished

Pinchy Coin Purse Tutorial - Finished (Open)


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