How to Make a Mini Clutch for Day or Evening

comments (0) March 20th, 2008     

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JenniferSauer Jennifer Sauer, contributor
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Patent leather is so very versatile; it works with any season, can go casual or glam, and best of all, is so easy to clean. Just wipe it with a damp cloth and you’re ready to go.
The vintage lining is an unexpected contrast to the sleek, modern leather. One large rose motif is strategically positioned at the back of the purse, so it is readily visible when the purse is opened.
Patent leather is so very versatile; it works with any season, can go casual or glam, and best of all, is so easy to clean. Just wipe it with a damp cloth and you’re ready to go.

Patent leather is so very versatile; it works with any season, can go casual or glam, and best of all, is so easy to clean. Just wipe it with a damp cloth and you’re ready to go.

Photo: Scott Phillips

Changing your pattern slightly opens up a new world of possibilities. Choosing genuine patent leather as your fabric is also a bit more of an investment in cash and time, but will give you an accessory so stylish your friends will think it's store-bought. For this project, we used Simplicity Sew Stylish pattern 3867, but feel free to choose another pattern that better suits your unique style.

What You'll Need:
Fabric:
1 black patent leather skin, approximately 7-1/4 square feet ($5.50/square foot; LeatherImpact.com)
1/2 yard rose print (dip dye rose borders 774822) for lining ($9.99/yard; Joann.com)
1 yard Pellon Ultra Weft interfacing ($22.99 for 10 yards; ShopPellon.com)

Notions:
Teflon presser foot ($9.98; NancysNotions.com)
Titanium-coated needle, size 10-12 ($1.98; NancysNotions.com)
Matching polyester thread ($3.50; SewTrue.com)

Hardware:
3/4-inch magnetic snap ($1.00; Pacific Trimming Inc., 212-279-9310)

Pattern:
Simplicity Sew Stylish pattern 3867

Step 1: Reduce the pattern using photocopier
Copy all pattern pieces at 80 percent to reduce the pattern size to 8-1/2 inches wide by 6 inches tall. Adjust the seam allowances to 3/8 inch to reduce bulk. Cut the bow detail with 1/4-inch seam allowances. Cut the lining and interface it with fusible interfacing; reinforce the snap closure area with two extra layers of interfacing.

Step 2: Assemble the bag
Following the pattern instructions, sew the leather bag and the lining. Leather needles leave large holes in lightweight leather, so it's better to use titanium needles. They pierce the leather smoothly, and make tiny holes. Attach the straps directly to the body of the bag, omitting the D-rings and zipper recommended by the pattern.

Step 3: Add a magnetic closure
Attach the magnetic snaps, and hand-sew the lining into the bag.

  An unexpected vintage-crinkle lining contrasts the sleek, modern leather.


Tips:

  • Use 1/4-inch binder clips to hold leather as you sew, instead of pins. You can buy clips at an office supply store.
  • Sew with a longer stitch length: 8 stitches per inch versus the standard 12 stitches per inch.
  • Pound seam allowances open with a rubber mallet. It’s best to avoid pressing leather, but if you must, use a press cloth.
  • Use rubber cement to hold seam allowances open. Spread a thin coat onto the seam allowance and corresponding section of the garment with a brush. Let dry; then finger press in place.
  • Don’t backstitch, which can pucker the leather. Instead, pull the thread ends to the back and tie off.
  • Cover with Glad Press’n Seal wrap before you sew. It allows your presser foot to glide smoothly over leather, and then it tears off easily, and leaves no residue. Also, cover the leather strap with the plastic wrap before you fold and sew—it makes turning a breeze.

Photos by: Scott Phillips

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