Photo courtesy of Haute Handbags
I was so thrilled this bag was chosen to be featured in Haute Handbags last fall. I love handbags and this was my first attempt at making an actual handbag! Every girl needs a pretty clutch to play dress up with and I change my bags often. In fact, the running joke between my husband and I is when he asks where my keys are, he’s really asking me which bag I’m using at the moment.
My inspiration behind this bag was these must haves – colorful, add the look of leather, must have pattern, interesting shape, cute details.
Tools & Materials: Merino Wool felt, faux leather, cotton fabric, natural-colored canvas fabric, Pellon heavy-duty stabilizer, 10 inch polyester or metal zipper, binder clips, thread, cute zipper pull is a must! And, of course, you’ll need a sewing machine with a standard foot and a zipper foot, as well as, a steam iron. Additional suggested tools: quilting ruler, rotary cutter.
Don’t do this!
I don’t like to purchase patterns because I’m too impatient for them to arrive in the mail and I just want to start creating when I get an idea. So, I dug out my chipboard and started cutting shapes with my paper cutter. In fact, I cut so many different shapes, I had to trash some because I was getting confused when I went to make this bag on what was the front, the back, and how each piece fit together for easy sewing. After several shapes where trashed, I labeled everything clearly so I could just start assembling my pieces to sew. I don’t recommend you do this part. I just wanted to share how I normally bulldoze my way into creating something new! Ha! Below are your cut dimensions for this bag.
This clutch bag is 9-1/2″ tall by 10″ wide finished when folded. So, I basically cut a big rectangle that is 14-1/2″ tall by 11″ wide and cut a 45 degree angle off the top. I recommend you wait to cut your 45 degree angle off your fabric pieces until you have all the pieces lined and cut. Then you can assemble them, like a sandwich, in order like they will appear when your piece is finished. Once you have the “sandwich” created, then it’s easier to cut all your fabric pieces at once in insure the angle will be accurate.
Here are your cut measurements:
Line your fabrics:
After assembly the fabrics I wanted to use. I cut my pieces using the measurements above. I line everything with Pellon heavy-duty stabilizer. I didn’t want a puffy bag, so I opted for this lining instead of the quilting interfacing most use by other sewers. But, feel free to use whatever interfacing you like. (TIP: If you do use the fleece interfacing that most bag makers use, I recommend you peel the interfacing off the fabric in the seam allowance and trim that off to get rid of bulk.)
Wool Felt Applique:
After each piece was cut and lined. I worked on my wool felt color block look for the front of the bag. I use the same technique on this bag I use for my other colorful patterned pouches seen in my shop. In order for the felt to stay put, I start by ironing a piece of Pellon Wonder-under to the canvas fabric. Wonder-under has two adhesive sides. So, adhere the Wonder-under to the TOP of the canvas using the Wonder-Under instructions. I peel off the top paper of the Wonder-under and add my wool felt shapes being careful to line them up exactly where you want them. Play with your design and don’t worry if you have felt that extends over the fabric. You can cut that off once everything is ironed and sewn into place. Once in place, steam press the shapes onto the canvas. Once they are steam pressed onto the canvas, they are very secure. I also sew the felt in place using the stitches as part of my design.
Wool Felt Pattern Play:
I did a striped pattern play with my wool felt. You can use the above technique to create any pattern play idea you may have. To replicate the striped pattern, cut your felt stripes one inch wide to fit across the canvas. I am currently working on some floral appliqué ideas, so stay tuned!
Sew Your Bag:
Once you have all your pieces prepared, you can start assembling your bag. Sew your faux leather, fabric and wool felt appliqué pieces together using a 1/2″ seam allowance to create the front of your bag. Then sew the two pieces for the back of your bag together, as well. Now you have a full two full pieces and you should already have the interior pieces cut and lined.
There’s many tutorials online on how to sew in a zipper. I recommend you watch several of these to finish this project. My favorite place to look for video tutorials is Craftsy or YouTube. I sew my zippers in using this method here. (Tip: She mentions pressing your fabric after your zipper is in place and please note that will be easy to do on the interior fabric side but will be more difficult on the exterior because of the bulk of the wool felt. Plus, do not get your iron anywhere near the faux leather, it will melt! Also note, top stitching is not needed on these bags.)
Finish it up:
Feel free to follow Made Everyday’s video on finishing your bag. However, because we didn’t do the topstitching, I find facing your zipper to the exterior of your bag seems to work better using the bulky wool felt. But, if you are used to do it the other way, feel free. (Tip: In the video, she only removed a little bit of seam allowance bulk. I remove all the seam allowance bulk and trim that all the way around. Since you are dealing with heavy weight fabrics, the goal is to remove the bulk so your bag looks professional.)
Photos courtesy of Haute Handbags