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