What You’ll Need / Where To Get it

At Fabric Shop

  1. 1 yard lining

  2. 1 yard fleece

  3. black thread and sewing notions

  4. stay tape

  5. interfacing

  6. 1 heavy 7” zipper (outside purse)

  7. 2 light 7” zippers (inside pockets)

  8. 1 sheet plastic mesh

At Amazon

  1. silver link chain

  2. Blue Moon silver leaf charm (zipper pull)

  3. Simplicity Pattern 2617

  4. 1 yard Black faux suede

  5. 3/4 yard snakeskin fabric

  6. silver metallic thread

  7. magnetic snap

  8. silver dome stud


Faux Suede & Snakeskin Purse

I made major design changes to the Simplicity pattern 2617 pictured here.  In order to make this purse and follow the steps below you will need to buy the pattern as three of the pieces are used in my directions.  Watch for JoAnn’s newspaper coupons and get the pattern at a discount or download the JoAnn’s app to get coupons on your smart phone. 

I chose Silver and black, fake suede and snakeskin leather fabric and brought it together with chunky faux metal chain and lots of silver thread topstitching.  The snakeskin look fabric is used to face the top of the bag so you get a peek of it inside.  The purse offers major functionality with seven pockets; four open and three zippered.  Although most of the bag is soft, I built in simple structure at the bottom which keeps it from collapsing or falling over.  Like a well behaved puppy, it sits and stays and looks great in the process!

Using the Simplicity pattern lining piece for bag “A”, trace and cut out the new pieces that will form the shell for my bag in steps 2 - 5.

Step 1

Using tissue paper, trace the bottom portion of the pattern and draw a line across it 5” from the bottom.  This will be your pattern for the purse front pockets. 

On another tissue paper, trace the shape of the pattern piece and draw vertical lines to create three sections.  The center section should measure 5” across at the top and 8.5” across at the bottom.  Create the new “C” pattern pieces adding seam allowances on the new cut lines. 

Cut the center back section you just created in half horizontally and use it to make pieces “D” and “E”. Add seam allowances for the two new pieces on the  center horizontal and vertical cut lines.

Step 6 - Using pattern pieces “A” through “F”, cut the followng:

Piece “A” - cut one black, two fleece, two interfacing, and two lining. 

Piece “B” - cut one black, one snakeskin, and interfacing for each.  The snakeskin piece should be 6” deep instead of 5”.

Piece “C” - cut two black, and two interfacing.

Piece “D” - cut one black, one lining and one interfacing.

Piece “E” - cut one black, two lining, and one interfacing. Cut one of the lining pieces 1.5” longer than the other.

Piece “F” - cut two snakeskin and two interfacings. Extend them 1.75” beyond the left and right edges. 







Step 2

Step 3

Step 4

Create a facing for the top of the bag by tracing the top of the Simplicity “A” pattern piece and drawing a horizontal line 3” down from the top.


Step 5

Step 7 - No pattern is needed to cut the following fabric pieces:

Zipper covers - 2” X 1.5” - two black, two interfacing.

Purse snap flap - 10” X 2.75” - one snakeskin and one interfacing.

Shoulder Strap - 16.5 X 4.25 - one black, one interfacing.

Strap padding - 15” X 1.5” - one fleece

Loops - 7” X 2.5” -  two black, two snakeskin, and interfacing for each.

Strap end covers - 3.5” X 2.5” - two black and two interfacing.

Plastic mesh support for bottom and sides -  cut one 1.5” X 22”

Step 8 - Use the Simplicity pattern pieces to cut:

#11 Pocket - two lining

#5 Side And Bottom - one black, one lining, one fleece, one interfacing, all cut on the fold.

Iron interfacing onto all pattern pieces. To create the purse front pocket, match the tops of the pocket pieces and stitch with right sides together.  Reinforce the seam with stay tape as you sew.  With wrong sides together, pin the bottom edges which will create the snakeskin trim on the top pocket edge.

Use a feather stitch (found on most zigzag machines) and silver metallic thread to top stitch across the pocket edge. 

step 9

Baste the pocket to the purse front.  Double stitch vertically from the pocket top to bottom in the center of the purse.  Divide the spaces to the left and right equally and double stitch again, resulting in four individual pockets.

Create the purse back. Fold the zipper cover pieces in half so they measure 1” X 1.5”.  Pin one at each end of the zipper with the raw edge at the fabric edge.   With right sides together, sew zipper piece “D” to the top half of the zipper  and piece “E” to the bottom.  Catch the zipper end pieces in the stitching.  Sew as close to the teeth as possible.

To create the pocket, sew the long end of “D” lining to the wrong side of the top half of the zipper.  Sew the long end of “E” lining to the bottom half of the zipper. Fold “E” piece down and stitch it to the zipper edge.  Pin the two “E” pieces together and baste the side pocket seams to the black fabric.  Pin the bottom pocket edge to the purse bottom.

Sew the “C” pieces to the center back purse.

Trim and turn the seams to the center.  Topstitch with silver thread using the feather stitch.

Sew the #5 side and bottom piece to the purse front and purse back as per the Simplicity pattern instructions.  Topstitch the two seams with the feather stitch.

Assemble the fleece padding by sewing the front and back to the side and bottom piece.  Match the center of the mesh piece to the center bottom of the fleece’s wrong side.  Stitch the mesh to the fleece.  This can be carefully done on the machine with a stitch length to match the mesh or by hand. 

Attach the zippered pockets on the front and back lining following the Simplicity pattern instructions.  Sew together the front, back, side and bottom pieces leaving an opening in the bottom of one of the lining seams.  Sew the two “F” piece seams together.  With the wrong side of the facing to the right side of the lining, baste the strip to the lining.  

Turn the bottom of the facing under .50” and topstitch in place.

Fold the purse snap flap in half with right sides together.  Trim seam and turn right side out.  Pass one end through one chain link and pin the raw ends together.  Attach a magnetic snap to one flap layer.  Stitch the layers together close to the edges and to within 1.5” of the link.

Create the two loops by sewing the snakeskin fabric to the black fabric with right sides together.  Leave one end open.  Shape the other end into a curve.  Trim and turn right side out.

Step 22 - Pin the fleece padding into the outer purse shell.  When it’s in place, you should see the plastic mesh and fleece seams when you look into the bag. 

Pin the lopps to the sides of the purse with the black side up.  Pin the purse snap flap at the top center back.

Slip the lining over the purse with right sides together.  Stitch around the top sewing the lining, fleece and outer purse shell together.  Trim seam.  Stitch over the flaps again for reinforcement.  Pull the purse out of the lining opening.  Top stitch the seam to the lining.  Center half of the magnetic snap to the front of the purse.  Push the prongs through the outer purse and fleece layers.  Attach the back of the snap between the fleece and lining.

Complete the loops by slipping the curved end through the last link in a four link chain.  With black thread, sew the curved end to the center side of the purse 1.75” below the purse top edge.

Step 27 - Sew the open bottom lining closed and stuff the lining into the purse.  Topstitch the entire top edge of the purse with black thread.

Attach a decorative silver stud to the center of the loop.  Push the stud through the purse shell and fleece.  Attach the back side of the stud between the fleece and the lining.

Step 28 - Fold the shoulder strap in half with right sides together.  Pin the fleece over it and sew down the long edge.  Trim the seam and turn the strap right side out.  Use silver thread to topstitch along the center and close to both edges of the entire strap.

Fold the strap end covers in half and sew the edges together.  The finished piece should be 2.5” long.  Slip both covers over the strap and move them to the center.

Slip the strap ends through the last chain link attached to the loops.  Fold the raw edge up and pin it to the strap. 

Sew the fabric to the strap through all thicknesses.  Trim excess.  Slide the strap cover over the stitching and turn under the raw edges.

Note: My total strap length from the top edges of the purse measure 22.5”.  When cutting your strap, determine if you would like a longer strap by adding more fabric or more chain links.

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Attach a special silver leaf charm to the zipper pull.

step 36

download instructions

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The chunky silver plastic chain is sold by the yard in the trim section of JoAnns.  The links have a slight split on one side.  To separate the links from each other, line up two splits and twist.  The links will come apart easily.

Step 31 - Interface a piece of the black fabric measuring 3” X 10”.  Fold the fabric in half with the right sides together.  Sew along the length 1/4” from the raw edges.  Turn right side out.  Cut the piece in half to measure 5”. 

Slip one end of the fabric piece between the purse loop and the first link.  Slip the other end through the second link.

Slip both ends through the third link.

Slip both ends through the top link and pin them behind the strap.


Unfortunately, after wearing my purse I discovered that the chain links occasionally come apart with movement.  Not good!  I needed to make a change to the original bag but I really liked the chain and didn’t want to replace it with something else.  I finally came up with an easy solution -  run a strap through the links.  Here’s how to do it.

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click the thumbnail photo at the bottom of this page to download the instructions