I had been thinking about making a leather clutch for myself for a while and finally went off to the leather store with my friend Danielle. I searched through tons of scrap pieces and finally found a beautiful grey leather. After getting home with my purchase, I googled DIY clutches and came across this beauty by Jenya of EvaForeva. Perfect! mine, however did not turn out as lovely as Jenya’s but it was my first attempt, so I thought I would document it and add some additional instructions. Also, I am by no means an expert with a sewing machine so there was some trial and error.
Fabric for the lining
Leather needle for your sewing machine
Bone folder or letter opener
1. First, decide what size you want your clutch to be. I decided that I wanted mine to be 10″ x 5.5″ and the flap would be 3″ at the widest point. Allow a 1/2″ on all sides because your bag will turn out smaller than you think it will (or mine did at least). Note: my flap is wider on the opposite end of Jenya’s version.
2. Choose a fabric for your lining. I love when the outside of a bag or coat is understated and there’s a fantastic lining. So, be bold with your choice! I chose a beautiful Amy Butler print for mine.
3. Put the fabric and leather right sides together on a cutting mat and carefully cut with the rotary cutter and ruler.
4. Sew the bottom edge and the top edge of the flap with a 1/4″ seam allowance. Tip: always make sure you do a test strip to make sure the tension is correct for your sewing machine before you start.
5. Now, centre the bottom seam with the bottom edge of the flap separating the fabric from the leather. Sew both sides of the leather and only one side of the fabric with a 1/4″ seam allowance. Tip: notch out a triangle close to each corner so that you’ll get a sharp edge as shown in the last diagram.
6. Turn your clutch right side out. You can use a bone folder (or letter opener) to make sure the corners of your flap and bottom corners of your clutch are square. If you don’t want your clutch to be floppy, you can insert a piece of plastic (I cut up a binder). Sew the edge of the fabric closed. Tip: don’t forget to change your needle to sew the fabric.
7. The final step is to topstitch around the flap and the top opening so that everything lies flat. I chose to use a matching grey thread for mine, but you can use a contrasting colour for it to pop.
That’s it! Happy DIY-ing!