I thought I was the only one who always lost things at the bottom of my purse. The other day I was standing a checkout line and the woman in front of me was scrambling through her bag to find her wallet. She said “don’t you just hate how everything goes to the bottom of a hobo bag?” I totally understood what she was saying! I have had the same problem. On occasion, I have missed a phone call because I couldn’t find my phone before it stopped ringing! So, I designed a Purse Organizer to keep my stuff within easy reach. I used a simple fabric placemat. Placemats are perfect because the edges are already finished, thus making this a quick and easy project! Fabric placemats have just enough stiffness and body to stand up inside the purse, but they are not so thick that a sewing machine couldn’t handle sewing through it.
The next best thing about this insert is that you can quickly change purses to match your outfit! Just grab the insert and pop it into your other bag!
Here’s what you need to make your own Placemat Purse Organizer:
Fabric placemat of your choice (make sure it’s not too thick, it needs to be able to bend, but it should have some good stiffness)
A heavy duty sewing machine needle
If you plan to add a ribbon as shown in the photo, you will need to sew it onto the placemat first. (I like to use a tiny zig-zag stitch to sew the ribbon to the placemat with matching thread.) The ribbon should measure the length of the placemat, plus 20”. This gives you 10” on each end – which is enough to tie a small bow. I placed mine about 3″ from the edge.
Begin by folding the bottom edge up approximately 2 inches; I find it helpful to use a seam gauge to measure.
Then, bring the folded edge up and pin it about 1 ¼” from the top edge. (Your measurements may vary – remember to use your phone or your other desired items as guides to determine the depth of your pockets.)
If necessary, cut a small corner off each end of the placemat (before stitching) as shown to eliminate some of the bulk. Also, remember to use a heavy duty needle.
Stitch very close to the ends to secure.
To create the “channels” or pockets, find the middle and pin it. (I like to use blue painters tape to create a stitching guide.)
This helps to stitch a nice straight line. Just sew right next to the tape. (The tape is easily removed after stitching.) If desired, you can use a very small zig-zag stitch rather than a straight stitch.
This is where you will customize your organizer. Decide what items you want to put in it (your phone, keys, glasses, pens, lip gloss, etc. and customize the sizes of the pockets to fit your “stuff.”
Use a pin to mark the channels at the widths you want. Make the channels roomy enough so that the items are able to slide in and out easily.
Use the blue painter’s tape to mark where you will stitch the channels. Stitch close to the tape, then, remove the tape.
When finished, fold your custom purse organizer in half and place it into your purse. Your wallet can go right into the center!
CLICK HERE to watch our “how to” segment on KSL Studio 5!