Free Sewing Pattern: Coffin Handbag

coffin handbag sewing pattern

This was originally posted on A Little Bit of R&R Blog

I was a novice pattern maker so I apologize if my methods were a little off haha.

Do yourself a favor and make this with a drop-in liner! LOL

You are encouraged to make and sell bags from this pattern. Credit is always appreciated! Please do not reproduce copies of this pattern :-)


Main Fabric (you don't need much. Maybe a fat quarter? lol)
Lining Fabric
Accenting fabric (I used a one way stretch faux leather that I DO NOT recommend using haha but a normal faux leather would probably work great)
Pellon Sf 101 interfacing (but really any light fusible interfacing would work fine)
Pellon 71f peltex (this is a fusible ultra firm stabilizer. I don’t like this particular one but beggars can’t be choosers ) I hear decovil light is a dream to work with.
Coordinating thread

2 skull rivets (or 8mm long rivets)
1 1” d ring
1 1” swivel hook 
Zipper tape and zipper pull (you can buy zippers at the store too but I like the tape better)

I didn’t take pattern pieces for the d-ring connector and the wrist strap but I cut 1 strip of the liner fabric and 1 of the vinyl 2x20 inches. 

I’m sorry I don’t have any pieces currently cut to show you step by step!

I interfaced all of the main pieces and liners. You do not need to interface the vinyl. 

Click here to download the free pattern pieces

I started with the top panels and the zipper tape.


1. Place the accenting fabric RIGHT SIDE facing up. Place the zipper tape with the teeth and pull facing down on top of the top panel piece. Place the liner piece on top of the zipper with the RIGHT SIDE facing down. The right sides should both be facing each other. I spaced and forgot to add the stabilizer to this piece in my original but I would recommend adding it after this step. Clip the layers together and sew with a 3/8inch seam allowance. I like to make my tape a tad longer than the panels so I can move the zipper pull out of the way.
2. Flip the panels open. Don’t press if you’re using vinyl. At this step, I would slide the stabilizer under the accenting fabric layer so that when you top stitch the layers together it will get sandwiched. Go ahead and top stitch those together.
3. Repeat step two on the other panel. 
4. Once the zipper panel is completed, it will need to be trimmed (cause math is hard, y’all) I took my clear ruler and centered it on top of the zipper. Ideally you’d like both sides to be symmetrical. The whole piece should measure 3x12.75 inches. You can trim the excess on both sides with scissors or a rotary blade. 
5. The side panel pieces are going to first be attached to the zipper panel. Like you did with the zipper panel, take the panel piece in the accenting fabric and place it RIGHT SIDES facing together where the zipper ends. Do the same with the lining fabric and clip together. The zipper panel should now be sandwiched between the accenting and liner pieces. Repeat these steps on the other end of the zipper panel. DO NOT add the stabilizer yet. We’ll repeat the same step as the zipper panel so there won’t be too much bulk. Make a mark ⅜ inch from the ends. This is where you will start and end your stitching. This leaves a bit of space so you can attach them more easily to other panels later. Stitch with panels with a ⅜ inch seam allowance.
6. Flip the side panels open. Don’t press if you’re using vinyl. Slide the stabilizer under the accenting fabric layer so that when you top stitch the layers together it will get sandwiched. Make a mark ⅜ inch from the ends. This is where you will start and end your stitching. Top stitch between those marks.
7. Now comes the fun. And by fun I mean pain lol
8. Mark the center point of the zipper tab on both sides. Also mark the center top of all the coffin pieces. This is also the part where things will start to get super tight. I started with the main fabric pieces first since those were the most important. 
9. My main pieces had the stabilizer already fused. I made markings on each corner so I knew where to trim. I found this video on YouTube that was really helpful on sewing the corners. I found that doing a cut on a diagonal from the corner worked better for me than the straight one she does. This is essentially what I did when attaching the zipper panel to the main and liner coffins. Again, ⅜ inch seam allowance but follow these directions in the video. I personally started from the top of the coffin, starting at ⅜ inch in and stopping ⅜ inch before the first point. Snip the diagonal line (the part that your snipping is the one attached to the zipper, not the coffin. Since this purse has no raw edges, you don’t want to sew the main pieces to the liner pieces.
10. With the RIGHT SIDES and center markings together, stitch the zipper panel to the coffin pieces with a  ⅜ inch seam allowance. It’s easier to unzip it and stitch. Also, stop where the zipper tape ends under the side panels (don’t go all the way down the coffin until you’ve stitched all 4 coffin pieces to the zipper panel… or you’ll be sad lol. It’s just easier to stitch that way)
11. Once all 4 coffins have been stitched, you can start to finish the bottoms. Make sure you follow the same rules as above for going around corners. The only part you don’t have to do that is the very bottom. That’s the part where I kinda just fudged it because I couldn’t get it neat. 
Stitch down the bottom sides of the main fabric and accenting side panels, being sure to catch the stabilizer in the seams. Stop at ⅜ in before the bottom. Repeat this for the other main and accenting pieces. Once that was done I took the accenting bottom with the stabilizer and stitched to side and main panels with a ⅜ inch SA. There’s was a lot of cursing involved with this part lol. Like I said, I fudged it. 
12. Once the main coffin pieces are done, repeat the same for the lining pieces, but be sure to leave one of the panel sides open for the birthing process. 
13. For the d-ring connector and wrist strap, I took the 2x20 strips and folded the raw edges to the centers if using faux leather, double stitch tape helps tremendously with that step! Your strips should now be 1x20. Layer the two strips together with the raw edges sandwiched. You can secure them with double sided tape or clips. Top stitch ⅛ inch down both sides. 
14. Now you can cut 14 inches for the wristlet and the rest is for the d-ring connector. I slid my d-ring on and folded them so the raw edges overlap in the center. There’s probably better ways to do this but I’m no expert. Take your leather punch and punch through all three layers. Then find where you want to place your d ring. I put mine on the back but you could probably add it to the side too just underneath the zipper panel. Just make sure you go far enough down so you’re not attaching the rivets to any seams or bulk. Attach the rivets and hammer. 
15. For the wrist strap, I like to sew a diagonal point from the center and cut the excess. Kinda like an arrowhead. But yeah, slide the swivel clip on and sandwich the raw edge in the middle, underneath the arrow. Then punch your holes, add your rivets and you're done! 

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