20 May 2012

Vintage Clutch Tutorial

Hello there
I hope you are having a nice weekend! The sun actually decided to appear here to-day on the Causeway Coast which meant I got lots of washing done, but not too much sewing I'm afraid.... Not to worry though, I had a lovely afternoon planning fabrics & bits & pieces for the Fat Quarter Retreat in a couple of weeks.... so exciting!
To-day I am so thrilled to post a tutorial for the liberty pouch I made, as part of Nova's Liberty Scrap Challenge. Nova blogs over at a cuppa and a catch up & stitches some beautiful & innovative stuff, like this boxy pouch (for her new knitting project!)
or this Bella bag
As if that wasn't enough, she's featured in the Zakka Style book & she recently added this lovely pattern to her repertoire too!
But before I share my tutorial, could I just say a HUGE thank you to each one of you who took the time to comment with such lovely encouraging words about the teeth situation..... I know that in the scheme of things having braces is really no big deal & some of you may have family or friends who are coping with huge physical, mental, or financial problems but I just wanted to let you know how much I appreciate all the kind words....If you don't normally comment on blogs, can I encourage you to do so, even if it is just to say hello....Those few words really do mean a lot to us.....
Right back to the clutch... I've posted a printable version of the tutorial & the template here, but if you prefer to follow on screen, here we go...
Vintage Clutch Tutorial
What You Will Need
" 1 fat 1/8 outer fabric
" 1 fat 1/8 lining fabric
" A small piece of linen for outer (approx. 5” X 3”)
" Fusible fleece (approx. 8.5” X 11”)
" 1 small magnetic snap set (approx. 14mm)
" Key fob ring (optional)
" Usual sewing bits & pieces plus freezer paper, a seam ripper & embroidery thread

When sewing please remember to use ¼” seam allowance throughout (unless otherwise indicated) & backstitch at both ends

STEP 1: Cut Out Your Pieces
Print out the two templates from this document
Vintage Clutch Tutorial Templates

"Trace templates A & B onto freezer paper (or onto card)
" Press freezer paper templates A & B waxy side down on the wrong side of main fabric (or trace round card templates onto fabric) & cut:
D    1 X template A
D    2 X template B
" Press freezer paper templates A & B waxy side down on the wrong side of lining fabric & cut
D    1 X template A
D    1 X template B
" Press freezer paper template B waxy side down on the wrong side of your linen piece & cut out:
D    1 X template B
" You should now have
D    template A: 1 piece in main fabric, 1 piece in lining fabric
D    template B: 2 pieces in main fabric, 1 piece in lining fabric, 1 piece in linen,
" From your fusible fleece cut:
D    1 piece of template A
D    1 piece of template B
D    2 pieces approx. 2” X 2”
D    2 pieces approx. 2” X 4”

STEP 2: Fuse your fleece
" Following your manufacturer’s instructions, carefully fuse template A fleece to the wrong side of template “A” outer fabric
" Repeat with the template “B” fleece & the template “B” linen piece
" If you like, you can add a wee stamp or embellishment to the right corner (approx. 1” from the side). I cut out a wee stamp from an image I had printed onto fabric
" I then just stitched it onto a wee scrap & onto the linen front
STEP 3: Insert Your Magnetic Snaps
" Your snap set should have 4 parts: 2 washers (which won’t be visible) & 2 magnetic snaps. Take the thicker & heavier of the two & one of the washers & your linen piece.
" Using the X on the template as a guide, mark the position of the snap on the OUTER side of the linen piece
" Using the washer as a template, lay it down on the fabric over the X, & mark where you need to make wee holes to be able to insert the magnetic snap prongs easily through the fabric. Use these marks as a guide to where you need to make wee TINCY incisions with your seam ripper.
" Take one of the 2” squares, &, using the washer (back of the magnetic snap) as a template, mark the position of the side slots using your fabric marker. Make small incisions in this with your seam ripper.
" Push the prongs of the magnetic snap through the wee slits in the fabric to the wrong side. Place the backing fabric/interlining over the prongs.
" Push the washer onto the prongs and fold them INWARD
" Take one of the longer 2 X 4” strips of fleece & place it over the back of the snap to protect the snap from rubbing on the other fabric layer
" Now repeat the process again this time with the fabric lining which you have cut into template “A” shape
" Well done! You should now have a lovely neat snap closure J

STEP 4: Making the pocket
" Pin the outer linen piece & one of the lining pieces (template B size) right sides together &  stitch along the top side only
" Repeat this with the other two template B fabric pieces
" Very carefully, cut notches out all along the seam line
" Turn the pieces right side out & press
" If you like at this stage you can top stitch the pocket pieces on both pairs, although I preferred not to, because I wanted to try to keep the vintage look…
" Pin both pocket pairs together right sides out, matching up the notches at the bottom of your pocket pieces & stitch all the way along the sides & bottom using 1/8” seam allowance, remembering to backstitch at both ends
" You should now have a wee half purse which looks something like this:
STEP 5: Preparing your main clutch piece
" You’re nearly ready to put all the pieces together, but first you could add some lace or a wee loop for a key ring if you like.
D    For the lace, simply stitch it all the way round the right side of the outer fabric template “A” piece approx. 1/8” IN from the edge of the piece (you can see a wee peak at that in the photo above) facing inward (so that it will flick out nicely when you put it all together).
D     If you want to add a wee loop, simply take a scrap of one of your fabric pieces approx. 2 1/2” X 8”. Fold the strip in half lengthwise right sides together & stitch along the LONG side. Turn the tube right side out, press & fold in half lengthwise. Insert a ring into your loop and stitch both ends to the right side of the template “A” piece using 1/8” seam allowance

STEP 6: Putting it all together
" Well done! You’re nearly there J
" Carefully pin the pocket pieces on top of the lining template “A” piece, right sides up matching the wee notch & stitch along the pocket sides & bottom using 1/8” seam allowance…you should be sewing over your previous stitch line.. This step just helps keep everything together, if you are confident in your pining & sewing you can omit this stage if you like
" Now take your template “A” outer fabric piece & place it on top of this lining/pocket piece right sides together.
" Using ¼” seam allowance, stitch all the way around the clutch, leaving a gap of approx. 3” in the top left side of the clutch (not the side where you have your loop)…. This will be for turning everything through, so make sure you backstitch at both ends. At a few places you will be sewing through a few layers, so take your time to keep your machine happy J
" Trim notches around the curves at the top & bottom of the clutch
Step 7: Turning it out
" Pull the clutch inside out through the gap in the lining, so that you have the lining fabric & pocket on the inside (right sides out) & the outer fabric inside. Use a pallet knife or something rounded, but not too sharp to poke out your curves & give it a good press
" Using a matching thread, hand stitch closed the turning gap between the lining and your outer piece (ladder stitch is a good one to use for this)
" If you like you could embroider a simple running stitch around the outside using 3 strands of co-ordinating embroidery floss
" Congratulations! You’ve just made a lovely wee vintage clutch!
I do hope you have enjoyed this tutorial. If you have any questions, drop me a wee note to birdsongstitches@gmail.com
If you like, you could make a wee card with some of those lovely liberty scraps
Thanks so much for calling in to-day & if you get a free moment, do drop by the Liberty Scrap Challenge flickr group to see some other gorgeous liberty tutorials
Hope you all have a great week
Take care


  1. Great tute, and love that you even have a flowery hammer to match!

  2. Thanks for the tutorial. I meant to say in the other post - I had braces when I was 22 for 11mths. I had to pay for them myself since my parents didn't put a lot of importance on visiting the dentist. I really had one really wonky tooth due to the fact that I wouldn't pull out a wobbly tooth and the other started to grow behind it. Anyway, it made me so self-conscious since it was it was on the top, second tooth from the front.

    Having braces was also hard to adjust to at first - did you get the clear ones? They do help but you have to watch the curries and red wine and anything that will stain them (best to indulge the night before your ortho visit). In the end once they were removed, it was so worth it!! In the grand scheme of things having braces was such a small part of my life but I live with the results everyday.

  3. I grinned when I saw your tutorial as I have been drawing out and working how to make a little pouch like this. I gave up on Friday night as my brain frazzled! Now I am going to follow your tutorial! Thanks Karen. Di x

  4. Gorgeous pouch and great tute K! I always thought you had a gorgeous smile before! Jxo

  5. Hello ;-)

    Great tute, hope your mouths not so sore today!

  6. Wow, that is such a beautiful clutch!

  7. Lovely tutorial and such a pretty little clutch! Love your photograph styling too!

  8. What a lovely bag, thanks for the tutorial

  9. Your clutch is just so beautiful! Lovely job.

  10. This is a great tutorial I love this. I am definitely going to give this a go.
    Lotts x