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I just finished sewing this purse for a dear friend’s birthday. She loves all things Dia De Los Muertos. I used the same fabrics as I did for the Dia De Los Muertos Apron.

Muertos purse 2

Muertos purse 3a

The pattern I used is from the Book “The Bag Making Bible” by Lisa Lam, an excellent book that has great instructions for constructing handbags and includes some really cute patterns for eight different styles.


I used the “Piping Hot Hobo” pattern with a couple of modifications.

The "Piping Hot Hobo Bag" pattern by Lisa Lam

The “Piping Hot Hobo Bag” pattern by Lisa Lam

Muertos purse 7

On my version, I made the gusset much more narrow and skipped the side popper snaps at the upper edge of the gusset. I added the zippered interior pocket option:

Muertos purse 5

And I also divided the slip pocket into to two sections instead of just one large pocket. This is just the right size to hold a cell phone:

Muertos purse 4And for a more secure closure, I added the “concealed top edge zip”, so just in case the purse gets upended, the wallet, keys, etc. won’t come tumbling out:

Muertos purse 6If I make this bag again, I would taper down the width of the gusset toward the upper opening of the bag (if I choose to not use the side popper snaps in the pattern). I don’t like the look of the gape where the strap handles attach to the bag.

I also made my own piping which is incredibly easy to make. There’s lots of tutorials out there on the interwebs, but here’s my quick version. First cut a bias strip of cute fabric (mine is 2 inches/5 cm wide and was way wider than necessary) and get whatever string you have to hand. I used kitchen string:

piping howto 1I like the fabric cut on the bias because it makes it very flexible and able to bend easily around curves. Lay the string down the middle and fold over the fabric strip:

piping howto 3Then using a zipper foot (I don’t have one of those nifty piping feet) stitch as close as you can get to the string:

piping howto 4And there you have it! Easy breezy piping in any color you want!

piping howto 7