Introduction: Sew a Simple Foldover Clutch

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This wristlet clutch is so easy you can sew it by hand in an afternoon - and with a sewing machine, it should take less than an hour.

It's a great beginner's sewing project and a fantastic way to use up scrap fabric! And it's the perfect size for all the necessities - chapstick, cellphone, bank cards, cash... it can all fit in there!

I've also got some of these listed in my etsy store if you'd like to go that route: making jiggy by jessyratfink

Step 1: What You'll Need:

  • 2 - 6.5 x 8.5 in pieces of cotton fabric for lining
  • 2 - 6.5 x 8.5 in pieces of cotton fabric for outside
  • 1 - 2 x 14-16 in piece for strap
  • 1 button (I like the ones you can cover yourself!)
  • 1 small piece of ric rac, tshirt fabric, or elastic for closure, less than 5 inches long.
  • pins
  • scissors
  • needle and thread OR sewing machine
It works best if the fabric going on the outside of your clutch is a thicker cotton - home decor fabric works great here. The lining can be any cotton you want.

The length of your strap depends on how big you'd like it - I like mine to be longer so that I can wear the clutch higher up on my arm, in the crook of my elbow, with lots of extra room.

Step 2: Cutting!

Cut two 6.5 x 8.5 inch rectangles of each of your fabrics, and then one 2 x 14-16 inch strip of your exterior fabric to be made into your strap.

Step 3: Sew the Strap!

Fold the strap in half lengthwise, then finger press. Open back up, and fold the long edges into the center crease, finger pressing both sides. Now fold the strap in half!

Now you have all the ragged edges nicely enclosed. Pin the strap together every couple inches to make sewing easier.

Sew the two folded over edges together using a tight, short running stitch, knotting well at each end.

Step 4: Pin the Large Rectangles Together!

You're going to do this with the right sides of the fabric facing.

The lining is simple enough, just pin around three edges, leaving the top open.

For the exterior fabric, you'll need to put the strap into place and pin it in before pinning around the edges. Get a ruler and fold the top of the fabric down at 5 1/2 inches and crease lightly near the edge. Open back up, and lay the strap in around the five inch mark, overlapping the edge of the edge about 1/2 inch with the strap ends. Pin the strap to the bottom piece of fabric, then pin around the edges, leaving the top open.

Step 5: Sew the Rectangles Together!

Use a backstitch for this, with a double threaded needle. You want these seams to be strong - they'll take the most abuse! You'll have a 1/4 inch seam allowance, as well. Try to keep your sewing lines as straight as possible - you can even mark them on the fabric if you'd like. :)

Sew down the two long sides, and across the bottom - leave the top totally open. :)

Remember to knot well! And make sure to really secure the strap into the seam - I'll normally sew over that area a couple times, just to be sure!

Step 6: Assemble the Clutch, Put the Closure in Place, Sew!

Turn the lining to the right side and leave the exterior wrong side out and insert the lining into the exterior fabric, making sure the side seams are lined up.

Then, grab whatever you've decided to use as a closure, and create a loop (as shown in picture 3) that's big enough for your button to go through.

Place the closure on the bottom of the bag, as close to the middle as you can get it (measure if you like - or just eyeball) and pin in place as shown in pictures 4 and 5.

Now, pin around the top of the bag, placing the pins horizontally to the top, except for the side opposite the closure, where you'll place two pins vertically a couple of inches apart. These pins will be your markers to start and stop sewing, leaving you a hole to turn the bag right side out. (See picture 6)

Sew 1/4 inch in from the edge using a backstitch all the way around except for the place you've marked as a opening, knotting well at the beginning and and the end.

Step 7: Turn Right Side Out!

First, pull the lining through the hole. Take it slow and do it little by little. Once that is all out, you can turn the exterior fabric right side out.

Use a pencil to push the corners all the way out gently, and flatten the clutch as shown in picture 4 to make sure everything looks right.

Then, tuck the lining into the exterior so it looks like the first picture!

Step 8: Sew Around the Top Edges!

Sew very very close to the edges as shown in the picture, no more than 1/8 inch away from the edge. That way you make everything nice and tight and you close the hole that you left open for turning!

It's fine to use a running stitch for this and will go very quick. :)

Step 9: Add the Button!

Fold the clutch over, and place your button into the closure to see where it will fall.

Use a marker to place a dot where you'll sew the button on. Sew the button on firmly - it's easiest to keep one hand inside the clutch to help guide the needle in and out. For knotting, turn the clutch inside out so you can easily knot off in the lining fabric as shown in the last picture.

Step 10: You're Done!

Enjoy your new clutch!

Let me know if you have any questions about any of the steps - I'll get back to you as soon as I can. :D

And - if you make one and post a picture of it, I'll give you a 3 month pro membership!