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Presidio Purse Sewalong: Hardware and Zippers

Presidio Purse Handles

The Presidio Purse has two purse handle options – one is all fabric and one has a rectangular ring on each strap. Sourcing these 2″ rectangular rings isn’t easy, unfortunately. When I designed the purse, I had them in my stash and had kinda forgotten that I had cut them off of an old RTW purse that fell apart. When I went to sew another, I couldn’t easily find 2″ rectangular rings – I checked 2 fabric stores and 2 hardware stores. I did eventually find them in a leather supply store (at S.H. Frank, for those in the Bay Area). It’s worth making a note for the future that leather supply stores usually have a great selection of hardware for purses, bags and belts. If you don’t have ready access to a leather supply store, Etsy is a good resource (I searched “2 inch rectangle ring” in supplies to find some. Jodi of SewFearless recommends 3Dpatternpaper).

2 inch purse rectangular d rings

When buying the rectangle rings (often called rectangular D rings, although they aren’t D shaped), you may find that there are 2 different sizes that are both sold as 2″ rings. Some rings have a 2″ external dimension and some have a 2″ internal dimension. Since the straps finish at 2″ wide, they will fit best with the rings that are 2″ internal dimension. However, you can easily use the 2″ external dimension rings by either letting the fabric bunch a bit to fit into the ring or by increasing your seam allowance to make the finished size at less than 2″. I’ll explain these more in depth when we reach that step in the sewalong. The height of the ring doesn’t matter too much, it just affects the amount of gap that is visible between anchor and strap.

presio purse d ring and circle hardware

It is possible to use an actual D shaped D-ring on this purse or a circular ring, but it will require a bit of fudging when you sew the fabric onto the curved part of the metal. I wouldn’t recommend that a beginning sewist use a D or round ring, but an intermediate or advanced sewist should be able to compensate without a problem.

heavy duty zippers

For the body of the purse, you need an 18-22 in heavy duty zipper. I found that it was easier to find a heavy duty zipper in interesting colors in a separating zipper. It’s fine if your zipper is fixed end or separating – you will sew a tab on the end of the zipper to secure the end regardless. It will be a bit easier to sew if it is already a fixed end zipper, but really, either kind works. Why is there a size range for the zipper? Because it’s fine to have the tail extend a few inches. It will actually make it easier to open and close the top of your purse if the zipper extends a ways. You can tuck the tail inside the bag so it is not noticeable when you are carrying the purse. The zipper tape will show on this zipper, so pick one in a color that complements your purse fabric.

regular zippers

For the inside of the purse,  you need a normal dress zipper that is at least 8 in long. You can start with a zipper that is as long as you want as it will be trimmed to fit (I stock up on super long zippers when they go on a big sale because I can always trim them to fit). Because you will be trimming the zipper, I recommend a plastic over metal zipper. Again, you can use a separating zipper here if that’s what you happen to have as you will be securing the end. The zipper tape will show on this zipper, so pick one in a color that complements your lining fabric.

Here’s a video of the various notions for the Presidio Purse and what to consider when selecting them.

presidio-purse-sewalong-bar

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