Sunday, 25 November 2012

Crafty Little Clutch Purse

What better way to use up a few cotton furnishing fabric scraps than to make a natty little clutch purse. It will of course do equal duty as a pencil case if that's a more appropriate use for you. Clutch purses are a hot little trend currently, so why not sport your own bespoke version. Alter the size depending on your need. These can be made any size that matches a zip; and using any little bits and pieces of ribbon, lace or bias binding that happen to by waiting in your stash.

First measure out your purse.
The body should be the width of the zip, plus 1cm each side for seam allowance.
Be sure to allow enough depth, as the lining tends to make the inside of the bag smaller.

I used a 20cm zip, therefore my fabric measured 22 x 13cm.

Now choose the embellishments. The bias binding is good combination with the lace as the raw edge of the lace can be encased by the binding when it is stitched to the bag. I always decorate both sides of the bag.

Varying the stitches also adds interest to the design.

Now pin the right side of the zip to the right side of the fabric. Sew the zip using a zipper foot on the machine, so as to get close (but not too close) to the zip edge.

Zipper foot in action.

A really good tip is to start sewing with the zip head in the centre, then when you get close, stop, put the needle down, foot up, and then move the zip head back out of the way. This saves having a wonky bulge of sewing around the zip head.

Both sides of zip sewn in. Time to sew the lining to the inside of the zip.

Now place the right side of the lining fabric against the wrong side of the zip and sew into place.
The lining and main fabric can be sewed onto the zip in one step; however if your trying this for the first time I suggest doing them separately. Make sure the lining is facing the right way up once the bag is finished.

This is what the lining should look like sewn to the zip on the inside of the bag.

 New fold the layers together and sew the side and bottom seams of the bag. Be sure to unzip it before you sew, or it will be very difficult to get the zip undone from the wrong side!

Now stitch the bias binding onto the seam to cover the raw edges.
Clip the corners into rounds. Then sew the short edge of the bias binding to the seam.

 Fold the binding over the seam and ensure the long edge overlaps the sewn side. Carefully 'stitch in the ditch' from the right side, ensuring the underside is caught by the stitching.
This is quite tricky to say the least. If you find you have missed catching the long edge of the bias binding, then getting that quick-unpick moving is the only cure. If its proving oh-too-tricky, then there is no reason why it can't be hand stitched into place from the underside.

Turn it in the right way, zip it up and your done.

A cute and handy little clutch purse made for less than the price of a couple of coffees.

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