Have you ever heard the term - - "Fast Fashion" for me it means anything I can make in an afternoon. This tutorial is for a DIY Leather Fold Over Clutch, its a quick project you can make in a few hours. Enclosed you will find the step-by-step directions, also there is a link to a video that will help and guide you along. Once you get the hang of it, it's a fairly easy project for a beginner or someone with a bit of sewing experience.
Why do I sew and post tutorials? Because I constantly say to myself - - "I bet I can make that!". Well if I can, then you can and I hope you will. For more DIY Leather Inspired videos and tutorials look for me on YouTube.
Step 1: TOOLS + MATERIALS
SUPPLY LIST - TOOLS
Scissors (for cutting fabric)
X-acto Knife (for cutting paper)
Sharpie Marker, Black
Oak tag Heavy Paper (Manila File folders also work or Pattern Paper)
18” Clear Plastic Ruler
Metal Ruler, with cork back
Self-Healing Cutting Mat
SUPPLY LIST - MATERIALS
Leather 13” x 26”
(or material of your choice, buy more if matching a pattern or stripe)
Lining ¼” yard
Zipper 11 ½”
*I wanted a “beefy” zipper with metal teeth because leather was thick, I used a jacket weight*
**You can use a longer zipper, and cut to size*
69-Bonded Nylon, Thread
(For outside, I used two colors one for a “pop color” decorative stitch the and matching color for body)
Cotton Commercial, Thread
(For lining, matching color)
Ultra Hold Heat Bond
Glovers Sewing Needles (these have a diamond head, use for leather)
Contrast Acrylic Paint
Fiebling’s Edge Kote, color of your choice
Step 2: DRAFTING THE PATTERN
The measurements for the pattern are as follows:
11 1/4” = LEFT SIDE
11 1/2” = BOTTOM
8 1/2 “ = RIGHT SIDE
- Plot out these measurements onto paper, right side of paper should face UP.
- Right side of oaktag paper is Natural color.
- Right side of pattern paper is side with letters or markings.
- Right side of manila folder is arbitrary; pick a side and mark as top.
Connect all the lines as shown.
ADD SEAM ALLOWANCE
Next decide how much SEAM ALLOWANCE, I use 3/8”, commercial patterns use 5/8”. If making this from leather you do not need large seam allowances since leather does not fray or unravel.
Using a clear plastic ruler makes it easier to draw on and see the seam lines.
- Add seam allowances to all sides.
- Cut out paper with X-Acto knife, metal ruler on cutting mat, this gives you the cleanest straightest cut.
Mark your pattern(s) with the following information:
- Style Name: DIY Leather Fold Over clutch, FRONT SIDE
- Master + Working Pattern
- Cut: 1 (this means you will cut one piece) OUTSIDE LEATHER
- Cut: 2 (this means you will cut two pieces) LINING
Now make a second pattern that is OPPOSITE, (see photo). Follow all above steps and mark this: BACK SIDE
***Why make two patterns for the front and back? Because an asymmetrical pattern is not the same when right sides are facing UP (the back must be is opposite) trust me, this will eliminate and reduce confusion when cutting out the leather***
Step 3: CUT OUT THE PIECES
CUT OUTSIDE LEATHER
Before cutting outside leather be sure you check the skin for any discolorations, blemishes, marks or holes. Carefully navigate around any of these imperfections and then cut. In order to reduce waste, group pieces as closely together as possible.
- Trace your pieces onto your leather from the backside of the skin and cut. I recommend using a rotary cutter for the fastest, straightest cut, when doing long cuts. I use scissors for the curves.
CUT INSIDE LINING (optional)
Trace and cut lining, for this step you can use ONE pattern as long as you are cutting (2) layers of fabric lining. Lining is optional, but does give the clutch a more polished and professional looking outcome.
Step 4: SEWING - OUTSIDE LEATHER
- Make sure your zipper is the correct length, cut if needed. Zipper should be 1" smaller than top edge.
- Sew on the zipper END tab (once the tab is added) the zipper + tab should be the same length as top edge.
- Set the zipper to FRONT and BACK sections, top stitch, careful to catch the zipper tape.
- Slide zipper open to halfway point, you need to do this before sewing the sides and bottom, leave enough space for your hand to reach in. You will need this opening to turn RIGHT SIDES out.
SEWING FRONT AND BACKS
- Fold in half so that RIGHT sides face each other, match sides and bottom, secure with binder clips to hold.
- Sew on all THREE SIDES along the seam allowance, trim, clip and notch corners.
- Now turn INSIDE out.
- Optional, use BONE folder to shape corners.
If you picked leather that is stiff you may have a tough time turning the clutch inside out. If this occurs take out some of the stitches from the SIDE until you can get it to lay smooth. If there is a hole (there was with mine) close with a few hand stitches. For leather you will need Glovers Needles and heavy thread + pliers to grab the needle and pull through the layers. Just be careful when using these needles they are extra sharp and will puncture your finger if you are not careful. Trust me it hurts like hell.
Step 5: SEWING - LINING
HEAT and BOND
Apply the Heat and Bond to top edges of FABRIC on both sides. Follow manufactures directions. Do not remove tape until you are ready to drop in the lining.
With RIGHT sides facing each other, sew the lining on all three sides. Iron flat. Now turn this so the RIGHT sides are in INSIDE. Next, drop this into the OUTSIDE bag (this is called dropping the lining) secure it in place with binder clips. Caution make sure that lining does not interfere with the teeth of the zipper, side it back and forth to check. Once you are sure you’ve got it, remove heat and bond strip and iron.
Allow to cool.
CONGRATULATIONS! ALL DONE!!
Heat and Bond is a good product don't get me wrong, I wouldn't suggest it if is was not. However I am very fussy about my projects and strive for the optimum results, that being said I wanted to make sure the lining was in there GOOD. For added security once the lining was ironed in I took the clutch back to my machine and sewed over the existing TOP STITCHES + making sure to catch the lining a second time, careful to walk the machine and match each stitch one by one.
Is this pure madness? Yeah probably, but that's how I do.
Step 6: VIDEO TUTORIAL
Do you like written instructions, but LOVE a video even more? Well you're in luck there is a video for this tutorial which can be found on YouTube, please be sure to like, share and subscribe.
Are you on Pinterest? Pin it! I can be found there too.