This adorable Kate Spade purse, originally at Nordstrom, has been all over Pinterest. Unfortunately, in addition to being nearly $500, it’s also sold out. So even if I had tripped and fallen into money, this little baby couldn’t be mine. Luckily, with a little ingenuity, we can make our OWN with a much more cost-effective DIY.
This is a much simpler red crossbody bag you can find at Target for about $27. Quite a bit more budget-friendly, and it has the available space on it to add a little embellishment. Really, any purse that has enough space for a little keyboard addition will work, either store bought or thrift store goodness. Red is totally optional too, but darn cute.
In addition to a purse, you’ll need the awesome Typewriter Alphabet embroidery designs, cool-fuse interfacing, and some applique fabric. As we will be using interfacing to attach these pieces on later, be sure to pick a fabric that can be ironed without melting, especially for the large grey keyboard area. If you want to use something a bit fancier for the accents (like the space bar) you could always attach it with fabric glue.
So let’s start with the embroidery. Take your gray piece of fabric, and hoop it up as usual with some cutaway stabilizer. You’re going to want to carefully stitch your Typewriter Alphabet keys in a rough arrangement of a typewriter, like so. For a purse this size, I used the smallest size alphabet. With this much embroidery, it’s nice to be doing this on a separate piece of fabric, instead of directly onto our purse, which would be darn near impossible to hoop anyway.
If you want to know how to arrange and stitch alphabet designs, click here for a tutorial.
Once your alphabet it all stitched and pretty, you can trim the fabric down to a “keyboard” shape, so to speak. Now, if you purse has a front with a large enough opening that you can applique your fabric piece directly on, good for you! If not, we have a little trick to make it look like a chic, stitched piece of final work. First, stitch a seam around the edge of your fabric anyway. Then, you can attach it to the front of your purse by using your cool-fuse interfacing.
I recommend cool-fuse because there’s a good likelihood the purse you might be working with could be leather or pleather, and in that case, the lower heat you can use the better. If your purse is pleather, take care not to iron over the edges of your fabric onto the pleather, as it may melt.
Finally you can add your extra fabric details in a similar manner. Cut them to shape, and stitch around the edges to give them a finished look. Then use more fusible interfacing to attach them, or if you’re feeling fancy like I was for the space key, you can go with vinyl and just use fabric glue. Smaller pieces of fabric are ok for that.
If you’re a bit worried about your fabric staying put, I’d recommend going in with a needle and thread and adding a few stitches here and there through the purse to make sure the seal doesn’t start to pull away. Wouldn’t be good to have your typewriter fly off.
And you’re done! Some adorable embroidery and some quick fused applique, and we’re in business. Plus, we saved ourselves like, $470. Score!
So next time you see a cute idea that’s a little beyond your budget, remember that you’re a crafty wizard, and you own magic machines that can help you make cool things. Things like totally chic typewriter purses!