Bride's Purse for Jeannette

Stephanie Novatski 2006

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My son is getting married to a wonderful young woman in November. I offered to do anything I can for the wedding and she gave me a list! One of the items on the list was a purse for the reception to hold her compact and lipstick and dangle from her wrist. She is very petite so I knew the purse had to be petite also. After measuring her compact (which is square!), I came up with the following design.

I made the purse entirely out of ivory silk dupioni. The gold embroidery was done using a decorative stitch on my sewing machine and gold metallic thread. The bodice of her gown is covered with embroidery in ivory and gold, pearls, sequins, crystal AB and silver lined crystal seed and bugle beads and Swarovski crystals so I wanted to use the same embellishments on her purse.

Her flowers will be red roses, but she wanted the purse to match her dress, so I added white silk ribbon spider web and French knot roses. I chose the spider web rose because it is flat on the surface of the fabric and will not cause any distortion. The ends were carefully secured on the back and the rose has a 6mm crystal in the center.

The French knot roses are also invisibly tacked down and have a pearl in the center. Bugle beads and 5 bead pearl flowers with silver lined crystal bead centers finish the design. The petals are edged with simple beading and finished with a crystal drop at the points.

3/8 yard silk dupioni
Gold metallic thread for hand or machine stitching
7 mm silk ribbon
4 mm silk ribbon
Crystal AB bugle beads #2
Metallic gold size 15 seed beads
Crystal AB size 11 seed beads
2 mm freshwater pearls (approximately 144)
6 mm crystal bicones (approximately 60)
4 mm crystal bicones (approximately 100)
Crystal drops center or side drilled (11 total)
1 yd 1 wide silk organza ribbon
Clear stencil plastic
Hand beading thread
Hand sewing thread
Sewing machine
Needles beading and hand sewing needles

To construct the purse:

Print out pattern and make templates from stencil plastic for the two pieces. 

Trace on the silk: 4 purse pieces and 4 over petal pieces.

Trace design or create your own and embellish the over petals and the purse pieces where indicated. If you use decorative machine stitching as I did, I recommend using tear-away stabilizer to avoid any distortion.

Cut out embellished purse and over petal pieces being sure to transfer the markings using a chalk pencil or tailor's tacks.

Cut out 4 additional purse pieces and 4 over petals for lining.

To sew the purse together:

Sew two purse pieces starting at the dot on the unembellished point to the dot near the center. Repeat with other two pieces. Sew these two pieces together to form purse.

Repeat for lining pieces leaving a 2 opening in one of the seams.

Place lining and purse right sides together. Carefully sew from dot on point to dot near center being careful not to catch seam allowances and not oversewing previous seams. Sew each seam separately. Stopping and starting stitching may seem like a lot of work, but by doing so you will have nicely finished intersections. Turn purse through opening and finger press edges. Blind stitch opening in lining closed. Fold embellished petals to outside.

Over Petals

Apply fraycheck very carefully to side edge only of seam allowance above dots. This will form the opening of the casing so we want to protect against fraying.

Place an embellished over petal and lining right sides together and sew around, stopping at dots and leaving a 1 opening on top edge. Turn and finger press.

Place a pencil or dowel into opening on sides and with very small stitches, tack the seam allowance in place. I put a dowel or pencil in the opening so I don't sew through more layers than I should. Do this on both sides of all petals.

Attach Over Petals to Purse

Place Over Petals on purse matching + marks on lines as indicated on pattern. The Over Petal side edges will butt together in the center of the purse petals. Carefully pin or baste in place. Machine stitch through all layers. Carefully blind stitch openings in top of Over Petals closed.

Beaded Edge:
Starting at center of petal point, bury knot of beading thread in seam. My crystals were side drilled so I attached them by adding 4 crystal beads, the drop crystal, three crystal seed beads, then through the first bead added and back into fabric. Make an obscure knot. I beaded the edges as follows:
Starting with needle exiting back of petal, pick up 1 gold 15 seed bead, 2 size 11 crystal AB beads, 1 silver lined crystal AB 11 seed, 1 Swarovski bicone crystal, 1 SL crystal AB 11, 2 crystal AB 11, 1 gold 15 seed. Enter petal from front about away so needle is exiting back. Beads should hang slightly. I highly recommend making an inconspicuous knot at each repeat.
Repeat as follows along each side of crystal drop:
Repeats 1 3, use 6 mm bicone crystals
Repeats 4-7, use 4 mm bicone crystals
Repeats 8-11, use 3 mm bicone or round crystals

For Under Petals, I stopped at repeat 8.

Top Edge:

Bead using same repeats as above but in a zig-zag pattern: starting at upper edge of casing opening and using seam line as bottom of zig-zag. There were 7 repeats, I used 4 mm bicones in all but the center repeat in which I used a 6mm bicone. 
Bottom Tassel:
Start by taking a stitch from the center of lining to center of purse bottom and back into purse lining. Make a knot. The tassel is formed by different length loops added in 3 rounds, beginning with the shortest row of loops about 3/8 from center and going from seam to seam. Round 2 is placed at from center and goes from purse panel center to center. Knot between each loop on purse bottom. Round 3 is 1/8 from purse center. At purse center, add 3 dangles ending in a crystal drop bead.
Round 1: 1 gold 15 seed, 5 AB crystal 11 seeds, 1 SL crystal 11 seed, 4 mm crystal bicone, 1 SL crystal 11 seed, 5 AB crystal 11 seeds, 1 gold 15 seed.
Round 2: Same as round 1 but 8 AB crystal 11 seeds
Round 3: Same as round 1 but 11 AB crystal 11 seeds
Dangles: 1 gold 15 seed, 15 AB crystal 11 seeds, 1 center drilled drop crystal, 1 SL crystal 11. Go back through crystal and all other beads to form dangle. Knot in inside of purse. Repeat 2 more times varying the number of crystal beads.


Cut 2 pieces of ribbon (I used 1 fine silk organza). 24 long and thread through casing. Finish edge by sewing together in French seam so raw edges are hidden. Pull ribbon from opposite sides of purse to close. I left the straps this length so she could wrap it around her wrist if she wanted to. 

Give to the bride and get out the tissues!



  1. The fresh water pearls have VERY small holes. You will need a 13 beading needle.
  2. Pattern can be enlarged. This purse is small enough to easily fit in the palm of your hand.
  3. Pattern can also be adapted easily to CQ. Just CQ the petal ends that are embellished.
  4. The pictures show a 1/8 satin ribbon which I changed to the organza. Either looks great.
  5. I added a rolled silk ribbon red rose in the center bottom of the purse just for fun and also to cover the small stitches.
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