First up in the new year is a free pattern and pseudo-tutorial (you'll see what I mean in a moment) for an envelope clutch. I was OBSESSED this summer with sewing pleather, and faux suede, and other new-to-me fabrics, and I was digging the envelope clutches all over street style blogs and Pinterest. I'm comfortable sewing clothes, so putting together a bag has never been a technical concern. But when it comes to bags, there are often curves and proportions that look better when they're planned, and not made up on the fly.
I drafted a pattern and sewed the first prototype for this envelope clutch in October, and when I took it out one evening, my friend Norma gushed. Norma has a very strong sense of personal style -- a way of looking appropriate and trendsetting and fashionable -- and I could not have been more surprised how much she liked the clutch! I had to make her one for her recent birthday, and name this in her honor. :)
Download the Norma Envelope Clutch Pattern here. And the brief pseudo-tutorial follows the jump.
- 3/4 yard (27 inches) fabric for bag
- 3/4 yard (27 inches) fabric for lining
- magnetic closures
- approx. 40 inches piping (optional)
- Norma Envelope Clutch Pattern, printed and assembled, which will look like this if you can decipher the little matching code system I tried hard to remember from Burdastyle patterns of yore:
Use 3/8" seam allowance all around. The quickie directions / pseudo-tutorial for sewing together:
- Cut out bag piece and lining piece and mark notches for piping and magnets.
- Sew one magnetic closure to the right side of the bag, as marked, and the other magnetic closure to the right side of the lining, as marked.
- Baste piping to right side of bag fabric. You don't have to use piping but I think it looks cleaner and helps finesse little oopsies like fabric slippage, etc.
- Place bag on top of lining, right sides together, and sew, leaving an opening along the bottom straight edge of the clutch.
- Turn the clutch right side out, press, and sew the opening closed.
- Fold the bottom of the clutch along the fold line (where the piping begins) and topstitch all around. The topstitching will be functional where it holds the sides of the clutch together, and decorative along the flap. Choose thread color accordingly. :)
You have no idea how many patterns and ideas I haven't shared on the web because I avoid technical writing and photography! But I can handle writing 6 steps, and scanning in my hand-drafted patterns. I hope that works for you if you plan to download the pattern and sew the clutch.
This finished clutch is a versatile size -- it can accommodate netbooks, small laptops, iPads, and thin letter-sized notebooks beautifully. I sewed a pocket into my prototype version, but never use it because everything I put in the pocket makes it bulky. The fabric I used is an upholstery faux suede, and most home dec fabrics come in 60"widths, which means not only can you probably find a right-sized remnant in 3/4 yard, but it might also be wide enough that you can make 4 of these clutches from one remnant! (Save the other three as birthday gifts for your friends and family?)
Although I'd imagined a nickel magnetic closure, all I found at my local fabric store was this Dritz Magnetic Sew-On Snap. The magnets are strong, and encased in this rubbery plastic. You actually sew in the little groove. It was easy, I didn't break any needles, and I really like how flat they lay on the clutch. All good!
That's all for now. I hope you are all enjoying a safe, beautiful, fresh new year! Welcome 2012!