Let’s make a clutch! There are a few more details, but it is basically two fabric sandwiches sewn together. Really! I’ll help you figure this simple design and break it down into pieces. Here we go!
My clutch has an optional wrist loop. Finished clutch is 12″L x 9 1/2″H x 3 “D (at bottom–top is flat)
2/3 yd. Soft and Stable bag stabilizer (highly recommended) or other stiff interfacing
1/3 yd. Canvas fabric for outside of purse
1/3 yd cotton lining fabric
12″ polyester zipper (longer is fine)
15″ lengths of trim for front (I sewed 2 (2 1/2″W) pieces of lace onto my front with a 3/8″W black ribbon on top)
Swivel hook (optional, for wrist strap)
Miscellaneous supplies: sewing machine, a zipper foot is handy but not necessary, matching thread, scissors, marking pen or pencil, iron
1)Cut 2 (14″Lx12″H) pieces of outside fabric. Be sure to pay close attention before cutting if your fabric design is directional. Repeat this process with the lining. Cut 2 stabilizer pieces (or interfacing) 14″L x 11 1/2″H. Cut out a 12 1/2″L X 7″H piece of lining for the pocket (optional).
2)Decide which outside fabric piece will be your front and sew on trim. After marking the placement with a marking pen, I butted together the straight edges of my two lengths of 2 1/2″W lace and sewed along the straight edge as well as the scalloped edge. Cover center line of lace and stitch ribbon on top. The top edge of my lace is 2 1/2″ down from the top. It is helpful to make a small mark on the fabric to indicate “top”(this will be used later).
3)If you wish to make an inside pocket, follow this step. If you are not making a pocket, disregard step #3 altogether. To make lining pocket, turn fabric right side down and press edges 1/4″ down around all sides. On right side of fabric, topstitch on one long side only. Fold pocket piece in half widthwise and lightly press to form a straight sewing guide for dividing the long pocket into two halves. For a reference mark to be used later, lightly mark the top edge of one of your lining pieces. Pin pocket onto lining with top edge of pocket 2 1/2″ down from the top lining edge, making sure your topstitched edge is at the top. Sew pocket onto lining, sewing around the 2 sides and bottom of pocket only. Sew down center fold (where you pressed your line) to form two smaller sides to the pocket.
4)Let’s make our front and back. Layer outside piece, right side up, then lining piece, right side down, then stabilizer (or interfacing). Your stabilizer will not completely match the other pieces–make sure the stabilizer is lined up at the bottom of the piece so that you have the gap at the top. This makes it easier to install the zipper. Pin all along outside edge. [If you made a pocket in your lining and if your outside fabric is directional, pay close attention and make sure your pocket will be facing up (look for your mark you made to indicate top)]. I placed my pocket at the back of the purse, the choice is yours. Also, make sure your lace is nearer the top (this will only matter as you stitch all layers together). If you want to make a wrist strap for your purse make sure you sew a loop now and pin near the top on the right side of your purse, keeping the loop in between outside fabric and lining fabric. [To make loop, cut a 3 1/2″ x 1 3/4″ piece of outside fabric, fold in long edges to center, then fold in half and topstitch along both edges.] Now, using a 1/2″ seam allowance, stitch all layers together starting at the bottom near the center. Stitch around outside edges, leaving a 4″ gap at bottom edge for turning. Clip corners and trim away stabilizer from seam allowances to reduce bulk. Turn entire piece right side out, poking corners out with a pointy object. Press. Sew the opening closed.
5)Zipper time! To prepare zipper, cut the bottom of the zipper off to 11″, if necessary. Take two small 1 1/2″ squares of outside fabric and sew onto zipper ends. Draw a line across the top of both pieces 1/2″ down. Place zipper face down on the top of the purse front. Center from side to side. Sew portion of zipper that is closest to the top, keeping stitch line in the middle and not too close to the zipper teeth. A zipper foot is handy but not necessary. Turn zipper over to the back, press and topstitch on the outside or purse.
Repeat for other side of zipper.
6)Fold piece in half, right sides together, carefully lining up edges. Make sure zipper is part way open. Pin. Starting at the purse top, sew around all edges with a 1/2″ seam allowance. Reinforce all seams, especially the bottom. Clip all four corners. To give the bottom depth (called boxing the corners), fold each bottom corner upon itself, lining up the seams, as shown in the picture. Measure 1 1/2″ up the seam line. Draw a line straight across. This will be your sewing line. Sew across. Clip corner off and finish with a zigzag stitch. Turn right side out. Press, if necessary. Hand sew a bow to the outside trim.
7)For optional wrist strap, Cut a 16″ x 2 1/2″ piece of outside fabric and a 16″ x 1/2″ piece of strong interfacing or batting. If you don’t have anything like that, cut a piece of your outside fabric and use it instead. This is just for extra support. Fold outside fabric long edges in to center. Press. Fold in half lengthwise. Press. Slip in interfacing. Topstitch along both long edges. Attach swivel hook. Attach completed unit onto purse loop. You are done!!