SEWING DIY: Vampire Coffin Cross Body Purse

A good vampire hunter needs a coffin cross body bag that's big enough to hold her stakes, money and cell phone. My daughter said she felt like Buffy the Vampire Slayer modeling this bag for me. I'm more a vampire Lestat and Anne Rice fan myself. As a goth, of course I already have a coffin purse. It's lovely and a real statement piece, but not very practical. Mine is made oddly and requirements me to shove my hand through a narrow zipper to access my stuff. I rarely use it. I decided to make a flat version that was much more user friendly. Instead of a zipper, I used hook and loop tape in a way so that the bag opens wide. It has two deep pockets and plenty of storage space for whatever you need to carry. This bag uses Fairfield World Stick Fusible Interfacing for the moon applique and Smooth Fusible Fleece Interfacing for bag stability.

Fairfield World provided me with their products for this project. They paid me to create this project. All opinions, instructions, construction, and photos are my own.
  • Ruler
  • Pencil
  • Drawing compass
  • Scissors
  • Iron
  • Ironing board
  • Parchment paper
  • Straight pins
  • Sewing machine
  • Free motion embroidery/quilting foot
  • 3 Bobbins
  • Hand sewing needle

1) Fold the grey fabric in half longwise twice. Along the 2nd folded edge with a pencil and ruler, measure and draw a half coffin shape that is 18" long, 2.75" wide at the top, 5" wide at 7" down form the top, 2.5" wide at the bottom. Pin the layers together. Cut out the coffin shape. Unpin the layers.

2) Use one coffin shape to trace twice on the red fabric. Trace two coffin shaped pockets that start 6" down from the top, but with 1" added to the top for hemming. Cut out all pieces.

3) From the Smooth Interfacing, using the coffin shape and pencil, trace 4 coffin shapes. Cut out all pieces.

4) From the grey fabric and Smooth interfacing, cut a 48" by 3" rectangle. This is for the strap.

5) Set up the ironing board. Turn the iron to Cotton with the steam on. Match the rough side of the Smooth to the back of it's grey fabric piece and the full coffin red pieces. Iron fuse the Smooth to the fabric, moving slowly. I normally start on the fabric side to fuse, flip the fused pieces over and iron on the Smooth fleece side too, just to make sure all the pieces are completely fused and smooth.

6) Cut a 6.5" square piece of Stick and white cotton.

7) Rip off a piece of parchment paper that is bigger than the squares. Fold it in half, so that it's still bigger than the squares. Open the parchment paper. Onto the parchment paper, lay the white fabric square right side down. Lay the Stick interfacing onto the white fabric. Close the parchment paper. Turn the steam off on the iron. Iron onto the parchment paper, moving slowly, to fuse the Stick and fabric together. You will see the parchment paper color slightly change, as the Stick adheres to it. Remove the iron. Let the layers cool for a couple minutes. Once cool, you should easily be able to peel the parchment paper from the fused fabric. If there are gooey strings, then it's not cool enough. The Stick will resolidify once cool. It's science y'all!

I did the 8th step before the 7th, but it's easier in reverse.

8) On the fused white fabric, use the compass to draw a circle with a 2.75" radius. Decrease the compass width to 2.25". Draw an inner circle that intersects with the bigger outer circle at one side, creating a crescent moon. Using scissors, cut out the crescent moon shape.

9) Lay the moon with points up on one grey coffin. Using the iron with steam on, fuse the two pieces together.

10) Load the sewing machine with grey thread. Make sure the bobbin is full of grey thread. This step takes a lot of thread, but it won't be noticeable if you need to refill your bobbin and restart stitching along an edge. Attach the free motion embroidery foot. Adjust the tension to 5 or more. If you have no experience with free motion embroidery or quilting, you can either practice on a scrap, or opt for just straight quilting lines using the regular foot. If you are comfortable doing free motion embroidery or quilting, sew wavy lines across the width of each grey coffin piece. I started with the back, as it's just back and forth wavy lines. On the front, I stopped at the moon shape, stitched along the moon edge (not on the moon) before going back the opposite direction to make another wave. I had to do the moon section in parts, so I didn't sew over the moon.

11) Switch the thread to white and the foot back to regular. Make sure the bobbin is full of white thread. This step takes a lot of thread and it will be noticeable if you need to restart stitching. Set the stitch to zig zag with with the stitch distance small and the width about slightly smaller than medium, for a satin stitch. Adjust the tension back to normal. Stitch along the moon shape carefully. To make sure the points are nice, stop the stitching at the top of the point, lift the foot, turn the fabric to go the opposite direction, lower the foot, position the needle to overlap the previous point stitching and start stitching again.

12) Back to the ironing board. Carefully fold in the top edges of the pockets 1/4" one and iron in place. Fold those edges in another 1/4" and iron in place again. Fold the long grey rectangle in half lengthwise and iron the fold. Fold the long edges in 1/2" and iron in place. I do one long edge at a time, lining up the 2nd folded edge with the 1st one as I iron. Ironing the folds makes sewing easier.

13) Load the sewing machine with red thread. Sew along the folded pocket edges. Line up the pockets with the red coffin pieces, and pin in place. Sew around the matching sides 1/4" from the edge, to secure the pockets in place. Remove the pins as you sew.

14) Cut 3 hook and loop tape pairs 4" long each. Separate the pairs. Place the 3 hook pieces 1" away from the edges of a red coffin top and pin in place. Repeat with 3 loop pieces and other red coffin top. Cut the overlapping edges at a diagonal, so they match better. At the sewing machine, stitch the hook and loop pieces in place, making sure to stitch the overlapping edges too.

15) Load the sewing machine with grey thread. Straight stitch down the folded strap edges.

16) Pair up the grey and red coffin pieces, right sides together. Straight stitch around the top closure section, 1/2" from the raw edge.

17) Match up the red lining and grey outer pieces right sides together, pinning in place. Insert the straps, angled upwards between the grey right sides in the upper coffin section. Do not overlap where the closures will be later. With grey thread on the machine, stitch around the grey coffins, getting as close to the bag opening as possible. With red thread on the machine, stitch around the red coffins, leaving a 6" gap along one long side. All stitching should be 1/2" from the raw fabric edge. Remove the pins as you sew.

18) Using scissors, clip the bag corners at a diagonal and trim down the excess fabric to 1/4" Make sure not to cut through the stitching. I trimmed down the bag bulk after finishing taking step photos.

19) Turn the bag right side out through the red gap. Cut a long piece of read thread. Thread the hand sewing needle with red thread. Match up the thread ends and double knot. Using an invisible stitch, close up the red gap. Push the lining into the bag and arrange until it fits correctly. If there are any gaps where the closure section seams meets the bag body, close those up with grey thread and a hand sewing needle.

I used grey, red and white fabrics for my coffin bag. You could use any color combo that you desire. If you can't easily find red hook and loop tape, black and white are easily found. Do not use a sticky back kind, or it won't sew easily. Alternatively, you can use a zipper or buttons. I used a moon motif for my applique. You could use a bat, cross, or any other image for your coffin top. Most bags don't have a reinforced lining. I chose to use Smooth interfacing on the lining to make the closure section more sturdy. If I was to make this bag again, I might only use the Smooth interfacing at the closure section of the lining and not through the full lining, as it's bulky around the narrow bottom. Whatever you're making, have fun with it. Happy Makery!


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