Sew Powerful Purse Project

If you are looking to incorporate a meaningful sewing project that also serves as a way to help others, then you need to check out this Sew Powerful Purse Project. This project is designed to keep girls in Zambia in school for the entire month and help them achieve academic success. The pattern is provided for free along with a helpful video tutorial. Even if you don’t have time to add this service project to your curriculum right now, it does give you time to plan for next year!


  • In some countries, like Zambia, there is a menstrual hygiene management issue with teen girls that causes them to miss a lot of school (up to 6 weeks per year).  To combat this, they’ve created this purse project to keep girls in school all month so they can continue to get an education!
  • Here is an overview of the Sew Powerful Purse Project that you can read and share with your students.


  • Sewing Machines
  • Fabric & Supplies
  • Purse Pattern
  • Notecards (PDF)


  • First, download the FREE Purse Pattern for beginner’s from the website and then provide students with a supply list if you are requesting them to purchase the fabrics. If you are providing the fabrics, let students make their selections. Note: there is an intermediate pattern if you have more experienced students.
  • Show students the sew along training video on how to construct these purses so they know what they will be doing.
  • After students have constructed their purses, have them write a notecard to the future recipient of the bag.
  • Once all of the purses are completed, pack them up and ship them off!


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