How to Make Dog Carrier Purses

By Catherine Holden Robinson

In days past, purses provided a woman a convenient place for her wallet, her lipstick and perhaps a grocery list. Today, purses hold an entirely new lot of items, including the family dog. A dog carrier purse allows you to take your dog more places, and keep him close to you. These fashionable bags can fetch quite a price, but with a little sewing know-how you can create one of your own design.

Measure your dog using the measuring tape to determine how large your dog purse should be. Measure the dog from her neck where her collar rests to the base of her tail and add 2 inches. Measure her height from her shoulder to the floor and add 1 inch.

Using the paper, draw a pattern for your purse using your dog's measurements as a guide. The height of your pattern should be your dog's height plus 2 inches for gussets, used to create a flat bag, and 1 inch to allow for a 1/2-inch seam on both sides. The width of your pattern is the shoulder to tail measurement plus 1 inch for a 1/2-inch seam on both sides. From the bottom right- and left-hand corners of your pattern, measure in and cut out a 2-inch square for the gussets. Gussets are openings you'll later sew closed to allow your bag to have a flat bottom. Your final pattern will look like a rectangle with two small squares missing from each bottom corner.

Using the scissors, cut out your pattern from your paper.

Determine how long and how wide you want your straps. You'll need two straps. Using these measurements as a guide, draw out the pattern for your straps.

Using the scissors, cut out your pattern from your paper.

Iron your fabric. You'll need fabric for the exterior of your bag and a complementing fabric for the lining, or interior.

Lay out your fabric. Lay out all four of your pieces at once to make cutting easier. You'll need two pieces of your exterior fabric and two pieces of your interior fabric. Pin your pattern for your bag to the fabric pieces.

Cut your fabric pieces using the scissors.

Lay out your interfacing. You'll need two pieces of interfacing. Pin your pattern for your bag onto your interfacing.

Cut out your interfacing using the scissors.

Lay out the fabric for your straps. You'll need two exterior pieces, two lining pieces and two pieces of interfacing. Pin your pattern to these pieces.

Using the scissors, cut out your straps and interfacing.

Iron your interfacing onto your exterior fabric pieces. Iron-on interfacing has glue on one side allowing it to fuse to the fabric when ironed. Make sure you have the glue side down when ironing. Iron the interfacing onto the wrong side of your fabric pieces.

Pin your exterior fabric strap pieces to your lining piece, inside out.

Using the sewing machine, sew both long sides of the strap and one end, leaving a 1/2-inch seam. Sew your pieces inside out, and trim seams to 1/4 inch.

Using your wooden spoon as a guide, turn your straps right side out. Insert the spoon into your strap as your turn it right side out. This is especially helpful in pushing out your corners.

Close the open end of your straps once you've turned them right side out. Fold a small seam into the end of the strap, pin and then sew your straps closed.

Iron your straps, and using the sewing machine, topstitch your straps.

Pin your exterior pieces together by running a line of pins along the sides, and bottom, avoiding pinning the gusset area. The interfacing should be on the outside, and right side of the fabric pieces should be facing each other. Pin your interior fabric together in the same fashion and pin.

Sew the sides and bottom where you pinned the fabric, leaving a 1/2-inch seam.

Pinch your gusset openings of your exterior fabric together to create a straight seam, and pin. Sew closed leaving a 1/2-inch seam, and then trim all seams, including those you made in step 20, to a 1/4 inch. Repeat with the interior fabric, but leave one gusset open.

Determine where you want to place your straps and pin. You may want your straps closer together or further apart, especially if your dog is heavier. This is a matter of choice, but be sure your straps line up on both sides. Pin the straps to the outside of your exterior fabric that is turned right side out, making sure that the right side of the fabric on your straps is facing outward. Sew the straps onto the bag leaving a 1/4-inch seam.

Insert your exterior fabric bag with straps attached into your sewn interior fabric. The interior fabric should be inside out. Pin along all edges, and then sew using a 1/2-inch seam. Trim to 1/4 inch.

Pull your bag through the single gusset opening. Do this very carefully and slowly as to not tear your open gusset. Once completed, sew this final gusset closed, turning in your fabric 1/4 inch or so.

Iron your bag and topstitch along the top of your bag's opening.