Yoke Purse

By  April Moffatt 

size: 16"x16"


  • Fabric of choice, 1 yd. each: exterior, interior
  • Matching heavy-duty thread
  • Kreinik Tapestry Thread, in color of choice
  • Polyform Sculpey UltraLight Clay


  • Sewing machine with heavy-duty needle
  • Heavy-duty sewing needle
  • Acrylic roller and craft mat
  • DecoArt Americana Acrylic Paint, in color of choice; DuraClear Gloss Varnish
  • Heavy fusible interfacing, 2 yds.

Basic Supplies

  • tape, straight pins, scissors, iron with pressing cloth and pressing surface, disappearing fabric marker or chalk, toothpick, clay-dedicated baking sheet, oven, flat paintbrush

Pattern - Yoke Purse

  • 1. Print out patterns. Cut out patterns; tape together as marked.
  • 2. From exterior fabric, cut two purse bodies, two yokes, and two straps. From interior fabric, cut two purse bodies, two yokes, and two straps. From interfacing, cut four purse bodies, four yokes, and four straps. (Note: Save time by fusing interfacing to wrong side of fabrics before cutting out patterns.) Transfer pleat marks to all fabric purse body pieces using fabric marker or chalk.
  • 3. Following manufacturer's instructions, fuse interfacing to wrong side of each fabric piece.
  • 4. On one exterior body piece, fold fabric on Pleat A; bring fold over to Pleat B. Pin and press well. Baste stitch along top edge of pleats to hold in place. Repeat with other exterior body piece as well as both interior body pieces.
  • 5. With right sides together, pin one exterior handle to one interior fabric strap. Sew around edges using 1/4" seam allowance and leaving 3" opening along one side. Clip corners and turn right side out. Press well, turning under edges of opening. Topstitch 1/8" around edges. Repeat with other strap. Set aside.
  • 6. Press exterior yoke and interior purse body in half to mark center. Pin yoke to top curve of purse body with right sides together. Ease fabric around curve, then sew with 1/2" seam allowance. Clip curve. Repeat with other exterior yoke and interior purse body. Repeat process with interior fabric yokes and exterior fabric bodies.
  • 7. Pin exterior purse bodies, aligning side and bottom edges. Machine-sew sides and bottom. Repeat with interior purse bodies, leaving 5" opening at bottom for turning.
  • 8. Follow illustration to make gusset corners; trim away excess fabric. See Figure 1.

    Fig. 1
  • 9. Set one purse body inside other with right sides together. Pin top edges, then machine-sew using 1/2" seam allowance. Clip corners and curves. Pull purse through opening from Step 7, turning right side out. Press top edge; topstitch 1/8" along edge.
  • 10. Attach straps, overlapping top of yoke 2". Stitch small square in center. (Note: This will be covered with buttons.)
  • 11. ondition clay with hands until soft and pliable. Roll clay to 1/8" thickness; cut eight 2" circles. Using desired template, make patterns and impress designs into buttons. Make four holes in each button using toothpick. Bake on parchment-lined baking sheet in oven following manufacturer's instructions. Paint as desired; let dry. Apply varnish. Let dry completely.
  • 12. Hand-sew buttons to purse over stitched squares, attaching handles with tapestry thread. Hand-sew buttons on both interior and exterior for finished look for both sides.
  • Tip
  • 1. Outdoor fabric is the best choice for this project. It is sturdy, extremely durable, and resistant to dirt and stains.