Project: Holiday Fabric Project #1 – A Simple Clutch

Are you ready for the first project in the Project: Holiday Fabric sewing party?! Here it is: a festive clutch! This time of year, there are lots of social events and parties to attend. Instead of using a standard clutch that I use for every other event, I thought it would be fun to be more festive to use one made out of holiday fabric! Here’s my tutorial for a pleated clutch. There are a lot of steps, but that’s because I’ve tried to break it down into very small steps. I’ve also made the pictures small, but if you click on them they link to larger versions. Enjoy!

HolidayClutch_DIY

1. Gather your supplies. I used Thanksgiving/fall fabric that was in my stash (it was originally my mom’s!).

-1/2 yd fabric (pick something with a more subtle print if that suits your tastes)

-One 9″ zipper in a coordinating color

-Fusible interfacing (optional)

2. Cut your fabric and interface if desired (Shown below L-R):

-Two pieces 14″ by 6.5″

-Two pieces 10″ by 2.5″

-One piece 2.5″ by 24″ (This is your wrist strap. Shorten the 24″ value if desired.)

-Two pieces 10″ by 8.5″ *

-Optional & not pictured: cut 2 pieces of interfacing 10″ by 8.5″

HolidayClutch_Materials

Fuse your interfacing to the wrong sides of the fabric with matching dimensions. I didn’t interface my clutch. If you wanted it more stiff, interfacing is how you would accomplish that. Or, you could even use batting for a more quilted appearance! For me, the benefit of not having a stiff bag is that it’s easy to travel with. I can roll it or fold it up and stick it in whatever left over space is in my luggage!

*Mine look like it’s already sewn, and that’s the case! I goofed–learn from my mistakes.

3. Sew the strap. Pin wrong sides together (hot dog style) on your single long and skinny piece of fabric. Sew 1/4″ from the edge, turn inside out, and give it a good press.

HolidayClutch_strappinned

 

Et voila, your wrist strap:HolidayClutch_strapfinished

4. Sew your pleats. Fold your long rectangle (the 14″ by 6.5″) in half hamburger style. 2″ from the fold, make a row of stitches. Mine is approximately 3/4″ long, but it doesn’t need to be exactly that length.

HolidayClutch_Sewpleat

Bring the folded edge to meet the line of stitches to make the pleat. Give it a good press. Repeat this for the other rectangle.

HolidayClutch_PleatFolding1

HolidayClutch_PleatFolding2

 

5. Sew top in place. Pin your 10″ by 2.5″ rectangle to the piece you just pleated. Pin right sides together. Then, sew 1/4″ from the edge of the fabric. Open, press your seam, then repeat for the other two pieces. These are now the “outsides” of your bag.

HolidayClutch_Pintop

6. Baste strap in place. On one of the outsides, fold the wrist strap in half and baste in place like below:

HolidayClutch_strapsewntobag

7. Sew in zipper. Sew the outsides to your zipper (right sides of bag outsides to the top of the zipper), and the interfaced insides to your zipper (right sides of the bag insides to the back of the zipper). You will then have a zipper with four wings, if you will!

HolidayClutch_outsidetozipper

HolidayClutch_insidetozipper

8. Sew insides and outsides. Open your zipper at least half way (this is important!!). Then match your two inside pieces together, and your two outside pieces together. If you did step 7 correctly, they should automatically be right sides together. Starting from the inside fabric pieces, sew all the way around the large rectangle. Stop about 2″-3″ before meeting up with where your seam started:

HolidayClutch_insideout

HolidayClutch_insideoutsewn

 

9. Flip the clutch inside out (through that 2″-3″ hole you left in step 8!). I didn’t take a picture of this, but you will also need to hand stitch up this hole after the flipping. Push the insides inside the clutch, and give everything a good press!

HolidayClutch_finished1

 

I also made a non pleated version in Christmas fabric!HolidayClutch_finished2

HolidayClutch_finished3

If you’re not the type to use a clutch, try making a bow tie instead!

How are your sewing projects going? Would you use a novelty print bag this time of year? Can’t wait to see your projects!

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