On the Sixth Day of Christmas
We made a glitzy party clutch!
This bag ticks so many boxes – it can be glammed up with sparkly fabrics or made from denim, canvas or linen, add a strap and you’ve got yourself a rather useful everyday clutch. It even fits an iPad mini or Kindle perfectly as well as all your other essentials with its little pocket, ideal for a phone and your lippy. What makes this such a fab project for this time of year is that you can make one for yourself to perfectly match that Christmas party frock and then go on and make a gazillion more for all your pals who try to rob you of it!
So…. Confession time – this is a bag I made myself and the bag in the project WAS the prototype – no time for messing here at HQ – straight in with that good old quick and dirty sewing. Saying that, I’m so in love with this bag – it’s turned out better than I ever dared hope at midnight last night, (ahem!) so I had to make it this week's make. Some of the pictures won’t quite be what I’m telling you to do in the tutorial as I tweaked it as I went along. I didn’t need to make many tweaks – just bear that in mind when you look at the messy double stitching where I got the sizing of the lining wrong initially (school girl error!) and decided that it would probably have been easier to cut the lining into fewer pieces (hey, why have 2 when you can have 3?!). Shall we move on now…..?
You will need:
- ¼ metre of fabric A (Gold)
- ¼ metre fabric B (Glitz Bars Luna)
- ½ metre fabric C (Steeping Awakening)
- 30cm zip
- Pellon Fusible Fleece
- Medium weight interfacing
- Point turner
- Measuring tape
- Rotary cutter/ruler/mat or scissors
Cut the following:
- 2x 32cm by 25cm
- 2x 2cm by 3cm
- 1x 18cm by 14cm
- 1x 32cm by 25cm
- 1x 30cm by 40cm
- 1x 30cm by 18cm
- 4x 30cm by 18cm (to attach to the larger of the fabric A pieces)
I doubled up the fusible fleece on the fabric A pieces as I wanted a bit more structure to the bag – if you do too, stack the fleece two pieces high and attach to the fabric pieces as per the manufacturer’s instructions. You’ll just need to press a little longer using a pressing cloth so that the two pieces of fleece adhere to each other as well as to the fabric pieces.
- 1x 30cm by 22cm (to attach to fabric B)
- 1x 28cm by 38cm
- 1x 28cm by 16cm
- Fuse all the pieces of fleece and interfacing to the fabric pieces so that you have a nice even 1cm border around the edges. This is your seam allowance.
2. Take the pocket piece of fabric cut from fabric 1. Press the top over by 1 cm and then over again. Sew this down close to the edge. This forms the top of your pocket piece. Fold the bottom and side edges in and press to form a neat little patch pocket.
3. Take the larger of the two lining pieces of fabric (fabric 3) and place it so the shorter edge is facing you horizontally. Measure up 4 cm from the middle of the bottom edge and align your pocket piece centrally on the lining piece. Sew around the 3 edges close to the edge form your very useful little pocket. If you know this is to be used for a phone, measure your phone before you cut this piece and make sure it’s going to fit in it, remembering to take into consideration seam allowance and wriggle room for your phone! Put this piece aside.
4. Take one of your fabric A pieces and sew it to your fabric B piece along the 32cm edge. Press the seam towards fabric A. Put this aside.
5. Fold the little fabric 1 pieces in half along the longer edge to make two pieces measuring 1cm by 3cm. Take your closed zip and measure it, starting from the end where the zip pull is. You will see approx. 27cm of it on the finished bag so you need to sew the little tabs you’ve just made across the two ends of the zip leaving a 27cm gap between them. This will make sure you hide any nasty ends-of-zip-business when the bag is complete.
7. Take one of your fabric A pieces and place it right side up in front of you with the wider edge horizontal. Lay your zip face down on top of one of the longer edges of the fabric piece and pin in place. Stitch it in place, close to the zip teeth. You don’t have to use a zipper foot for this but it does make life a little easier if you’ve got one.
8. Repeat step 6 to attach the other side of your zip to the pieces of fabric you sewed together in step 4. You need to sew the 32cm edge of the fabric B end to the zip.
9. Once opened out you should now have your outer bag sewn together in this order: Fabric A attached to the zip, attached to fabric B, attached to fabric A
10. Now take your two pieces of lining fabric (one big with the pocket attached to it and one smaller piece) and repeat the same steps for attaching them to the zip, lining them up so that they mirror the outer pieces of the bag.
Remember to make sure pocket is facing the correct way up (it should sit on top of the fabric A piece that is attached to the fabric B piece. Sew these to the zip a little closer to the edge of the zip (away from the teeth) than the outer bag pieces and remember to leave a cm of fabric free for seam allowance at each end. If you want to you can stitch the lining fabric back down onto the zip close to the teeth (as above) to make sure that it doesn't get caught when the bag is opened and closed.
11. Your bag should now look like this.
12. It’s very important at this stage that you OPEN THE ZIP, otherwise you will not be able to turn your bag in the right way once it’s been sewn together. Now line up the outer pieces of the bag, right sides together, pin and sew all around with a 1cm seam allowance. Repeat with the lining but leave a 5cm gap on the bottom edge for turning the bag in right way. It’s at this point that doubt sets in and you begin to wonder how your bag is going to be able to turn right way round. Don’t panic – it will all be ok!
13. Snip off all the corners of your seam allowances to help them sit better when you turn your bag, lay it all flat and give it a bit of a press (covering with a pressing cloth so as not to melt the fleece!) then slowly and carefully begin to pull everything through the opening left at the bottom of your seam allowance.
14. Take a little time to make sure all your corners are turn out correctly and smooth the lining. If at this stage the lining fabric is a little too bulky, turn back inside-out and sew down the edges to make it smaller. Turn to check again and if it all looks good, turn back inside-out again and trim down the excess seam allowance. Re-turn once more, slipstitch closed the opening in the lining that you left for turning, give everything a really good press and you’re done!