Monday, October 29, 2007

Classy Clutch

This classy zippered clutch was inspired by a cute, free bag from Clinique cosmetics that turned out to be a perfect size and shape for taking to the opera. The clutch is eight-inches wide and six-inches tall with a two-inch wide, squared-off base. The shape tapers to a point at the top and features a zipper set-in one inch from the top of the clutch.

The clutch is constructed similarly to the pyramid pouch in that a zipper is used to form a tube of fabric and the bag is formed by shaping the tube with seams. A lining is constructed in the same fashion as the bag, without the zipper. The lining is hand-stitched in place. Beading embellishment may be added before the lining is inserted. I attached a beaded toggle to the zipper pull on this bag.

12 x 16 inch upholstery, decorator, or heavy weight dress fabric for bag
12 x 16 inch medium weight interfacing
12 x 16 inch lightweight fabric for lining
12-inch zipper to match fabric
thread to match fabric
beads and beading thread for embellishment


  1. Press fabrig for bag.
  2. Baste-stitch interfacing to wrong side of fabric along both 16-inch edges.
  3. Fold fabric and interfacing in half with right sides of the bag fabric together. Baste-stitch a 3/4-inch seam along short side of fabric, forming a tube. Cut basting stitches every one inch to make it easier to remove seam after zipper is installed.
  4. Install zipper according to your machine directions or zipper package directions. Release basted seam. Unzip zipper to make room to turn bag right side out when seaming is finished. Pin unzipped ends together.
  5. Fold tube of fabric with the zipper 1-inch from the top fold. Make sure the zipper placket opens folding upward toward the top of the bag. IOW, the open (unstitched) side of the zipper placket will be toward the bottom of the bag. Press. Do not turn bag. Continue to work with right sides facing.
  6. Measure 1-3/4 inches from the left side of the top fold and mark with pencil. Measure 1/4 inch from the left side of the bottom fold and mark with a pencil. Using a ruler, draw a line from the top mark to the bottom mark, creating a slanted seam along the left side of the bag. Pin. Repeat on the right side of the bag. Stitch both seams, stitching over both ends of zipper. Reinforce seaming. Trim seams to 1/4 inch seam allowances. Press.
  7. Take one corner of the bottom of the bag and re-fold to make the point of the corner into the point of a triangle with the side seam running from the point downward to bisect the triangle. Measure one-inch from the seam on both sides of the seam and mark a line from one side of the triangle to the other. Stitch along the marked line. Trim. Press. Repeat on other side of the bottom of the bag. This will form the two-inch base of your clutch.
  8. Turn the bag, push out all the corners and press.
  9. Embellish with beading as desired.
  10. Sew the lining in the same fashion as the bag, but do not install a zipper. Release the basting at the top of the lining after stitching the side and bottom seams. Do not turn right-side-out.
  11. Insert the lining inside the bag and hand stitch to the inside of the bag along the zipper on both sides. You may secure the lining to the corners of the bag by hand tacking the lining to the seam allowances of the bag at the corners.
  12. Attach a beaded dangle to the zipper pull.