Purse Pocket

One of my favorite things in fashion is taking a classic silhouette and adding a special detail!  Samina’s new top is a great example of that.  You can follow Samina at Sew Everything Blog!  Thanks, Samina!


Hello, what is that appendage on the front of my pear shaped neon yellow top? Why it’s a vintage style coin purse! The inspiration has been inhabiting my subconscious for at least 3 years since I saw this image of a tweed skirt on Pinterest (image is from the FIT archives) – and it is a Bonnie Cashin design from the 60s. What’s unique is the addition of what Ms. Cashin dubbed a “purse-pocket”.


My curiosity was good and piqued and I’m not one to let it go at a Pinterest image. A big tome on Bonnie Cashin was ordered, and a minuscule research project evolved.  So, what ensued when the little purse was added to the yellow pique top? A few tips are listed below. Please ask any questions you may have in the comment section.

Tips (mine, not Bonnie’s):

Selecting the right fabric: Obviously, this needs a fabric with some beef and stability. I thought the medium weight cotton pique (Sold Out) filled the bill; it’s available on the Sew Much Fabric website. And, it is just neon enough to fit my plan.

Selecting the metal frame: The size depends on your own physical frame. Due to limited choices, I had to select a smallish frame. The size also depends on your project; this smallish purse would have been perfectly in proportion on a short jacket and a smaller body than mine. But… I’m not complaining. Love this top anyway.

Know that the little purse will add a wee bit of weight to the garment on my right side – probably not on a wool or denim and such. A denim jacket is the next destination of a coin purse appendage.

It’s a good idea to interface the wrong side of the garment fabric where the purse will sit. If it’s being added to an already interfaced front of a tailored jacket, consider additional interfacing behind the purse area — needs a trial, but that’s what I’m thinking now.

Placement is a personal preference, so I suggest pinning on the purse to where you like it.

Sewing it on: attach the upper inside first, by machine sewing along the inside edge of the metal frame, and using a zipper foot. When turning corners, you may have to remove the zipper foot and free-hand it around the corners. My stitching is not too straight (below) but hey, it’s the first time I’m doing this.


When do you sew on the purse-pocket during construction? When it makes sense — I attached it after stay-stitching the neck and armholes but before sewing any other seams.  If this is too troublesome, hand sew the inside of the frame in place. For the outside, I edge-stitched from one metal corner, down and around to the other corner. That’s it!

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