The Hand Strap Clutch: Sewing Pattern + Tutorial

NOV 10, 2015 updated Jun 3, 2021

Today’s tutorial comes from our creative friend and textile designer Ceri Gwen. She shares how to stitch up the sweetest hand strap clutch using an engineered design she created that fits perfected on a fat quarter of fabric. Whip one up for an upcoming holiday party or make a few as gifts for friends! 

Bokeh Clutch

Ceri: Recently I’ve been seeing more and more clutch bags with hand straps and think they look so good–what a neat and practical idea it is! I wanted to try and make my own version and came up with this quick and easy pattern. It’s a compact clutch but easily accommodates all of your essentials.

Both clutches with accessories

Dress it up or down with your choice of fabric and a fun zip-pull. I have designed it to be made with Spoonflower’s Faux Suede, but any medium-weight fabric will work. Line it with cotton, satin or any lightweight coordinating material.

Aztec Clutch

As well as being a free pattern which you can download here as a PDF (Letter size for US) (A4 for the rest of the world), the Hand Strap Clutch is also available as a cut and sew version. You get the outer panels for two clutches on a fat quarter of faux suede. You can purchase the cut and sew pattern on Spoonflower here.

Cut and sew pattern

I’d love to see your interpretations of this pattern, so please share your makes on Instagram with the hashtags #thehandstrapclutch and #spoonflower.

You will need:

  • A fat quarter of Faux Suede (or similar) for outer panels
  • A regular fat quarter of quilting cotton (or similar) for lining
  • Heavy-weight iron-on (fusible) interfacing for outer panels
  • An 8” zip
  • Optional tassel or hanging zip decoration

Sewing instructions:

The seam allowance is 1/2 an inch. If using Faux Suede, use a medium steam heat on your iron and cover the fabric with a thin cloth to protect it.


1. Cut out all of the pattern pieces.


2. Iron the interfacing to the wrong side of the relevant outer panels.


3. Sew hand strap: With right sides together, baste and then machine sew along the long side of the Hand Strap. Seam allowance is 1/2 inch. Remove basting and press open the seam with a medium heat. Faux Suede can be difficult to iron and I found that the steam option helps. Be sure to protect your fabric with a thin cloth when pressing. 

  STEP 4

4.Turn the Hand Strap the right way round and press again.


5. With both right sides facing up, place the Hand Strap onto the Outer Middle Front panel, 2 1/4 inches from the bottom edge. Baste together along both sides. This is very important as you don’t want the strap to shift when you come to machine sew the front panels together.

  STEP 6

6. With right sides together, place the Outer Left Front and Outer Right Front panels onto the Outer Middle Front. Baste along outer edges and then machine sew. Remove basting.

  STEP 7

7. Press open. Baste free ends of the Hand Strap to the outer edges of the completed front panel. Trim off excess from the Hand Strap so that all edges are flush.

  STEP 8

8. Take both Zip Extensions, fold over each end 3/4 inch and press. Then fold in half and press again. The creases should look like this.


9. Wrap the Zip Extensions around each end of the zip and machine sew in place.


10. Trim the Zip Extensions if they are wider than your zip. Also trim the bulk from the seams at ends of the zip.


11. With front panel face up, place the zip face down so that top edges align. Don’t worry if your zip is now wider than the front panel. It will be trimmed later, just centre it horizontally. Baste in place.

  STEP 12

12. With right side facing down, place one of your lining pieces on top, aligning edges. Baste in place along the zip edge, then machine sew. If you aren’t used to sewing zips, make sure you start with your zip opened half way. Sew almost up to the zip pull, then lower the needle, lift the foot, and pull the zip past the foot, away from you. Lower the foot and continue machine sewing to the end.

  STEP 13

13. Remove the basting and press both outer panel and lining away from the zip.

  STEP 14

14. Repeat for the Outer Back and remaining lining piece. Trim the Zip Extensions so that all edges are flush. Both sides should look like this. If you want to top stitch along the two seams you have just sewn, now is the time to do it. I don’t bother as I prefer a cleaner finish with very few stitches visible. 

15. It is very important to open the zip now, so that you are able to turn out the clutch the right way after the final few steps—which are coming right up. 


16. With right sides together, match front and back outer covers, and both lining pieces. Pin and baste. At the junction of the outer panels and lining, pinch the zip extensions so that they protrude into the space between the lining layers. See below.


 17. Machine sew around all edges, leaving a 4 inch gap at the bottom of the lining. Remove basting.


18. Clip all corners and reduce bulk at the zip ends as shown above. Take the time to press open all of the seams. It’s worth putting the effort into this as it will really improve the finish of your clutch bag. Turn bag the right way round through the opening you left in the lining.


19. Hand sew closed the gap in the lining. You may or may not need to give the completed bag a light press. Attach a tassel or decorative zip pull for a nice finishing touch.

DIY strap clutches

About Our Guest Blogger

I’m a freelance graphic designer, working from home in an old cottage in the countryside on the outskirts of Cardiff (the capital city of Wales). I love to photograph my morning walks which I document on Instagram and I love to sew with my young daughter. Nothing gives me more pleasure than working with fabrics I’ve designed myself.

Recommended Posts

Four models wearing handmade joggers

25 Unique Pairs of Joggers to Keep You Cozy


How to Make Bias Tape in 2 Easy Ways

Two rows of small stockings hang on wooden dowels. The fabric of the stockings are a variation of terracotta, brown and cream colors, some are terracotta-and-cream plaid; some are white with small floral designs with red berries; some are brown with small white-and-orange wreaths, mugs and presents.

5 Easily Customizable Projects to Make This Holiday Season



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • This is so fab Ceri! Just googled it as I’m going to a wedding in July and think this would be perfect to make for it!

  • Hi there I was just wondering if you can use this pattern to make and create your own clutches to sell? Does ‘not for commercial use’ mean that you can’t resell the pattern itself or does that relate to the bag too? I love it and I’m sure others would love to buy it here in NZ.
    Thanks Julia

    • Hi Julia

      Its Ceri here (the designer). Thanks for your interest in this pattern. The ‘not for commercial use’ term refers to both reselling of the pattern, AND using the pattern to make bags for sale. However, if you wish to make small numbers of bags for sale (less than 100) and can credit me in your sales description, then I can give you permission to go ahead and use this pattern. Please use the wording ‘Bags made with The Handstrap Clutch pattern by Cerigwen at’. I’d love to see your finished bags — if you can share pictures on Instagram with the hashtag #thehandstrapclutch that would be great! Many thanks again for you query. Best wishes, Ceri.

  • Hi Wiesia, that sounds like a lovely project! I’d love to see pictures of that. All of the seam allowances are included in the pattern pieces. No need to add extra.

  • I love this project…will make one in embossed white satin for my daughter-in-law to be, for her wedding. By the way, do I add the 1/2 inch seam allowance or is it already there?

  • Hi there! I love this tutorial and can’t wait to give it a try. I was wondering if there are alternative fabrics from faux suede that would look and feel good with this clutch as well? Thanks for sharing!

  • Wow! Whatca fantastic design, and so lovely of you to share it! I am for sure going to make one…can’ t wait!

  • Thanks, Amy! We love this project, too! Please share photos of your finished clutch with us using #spoonflower and @cerigwen when you get the chance.