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How to make a simple fold over clutch

 A fold over clutch is not only simple to make, it is super versatile! I love to use them for traveling or just as a simple clutch for a night out.


Fabric marking tools
Scissors and/or rotary cutter
Iron and ironing board
Sewing machine

Recommended fabric
The sample pieces used in this tutorial were made from upcycled leather and denim.

TIP: Visit your local thrift store and purchase a few old leather skirts and breathe new life into them! It’s an inexpensive way to get a good amount of leather.

Ideal fabrics:
Canvas, Denim, Linen, Calico, Leather, and Suede.

Fabric and Notions
Two - 12” X 12.5” fabric rectangles     
Two - 12” X 3” contrast fabric rectangles
Two - 12 X 15 lining fabric
Optional: Two - 2” X 1” fabric rectangles to cover zipper ends.
One - 9” zipper
Matching thread

Sewing Instructions

Step 1
Start with the outer portion of the bag, or the self fabric. Sew the lower contrast rectangle to the upper fabric, making sure to sew right sides together. Repeat step 1 for both front and back sides of clutch.
If possible, press open seam. If you are unable to press (say if your using a leather that cannot be pressed), then you can simply fold fabric to one side before top stitching.

Step 2
Top stitching is a great way to make your pieces look very professional.
Using a larger stitch length (3.0-4.0), top stitch seam allowances. If you were unable to press, fold seam allowance one side and only top stitch that portion.
TIP: Using a walking foot will make it much easier to sew leather and suede.

Step 3 (Optional)
If you choose, you can put “tabs” on the ends of the zippers. Often times, I find this step more trouble than it is worth. However, sometimes it turns out fabulous. It is up to you if you choose to follow this step or not, as it is not necessary.

Fold zipper tab in half and press. Then fold each half in half towards center and press again. Sandwich one tab over the end of the zipper, pin and stitch close to the edge. Repeat with other side of zip.

Step 4
Unzip the zipper about halfway. Layer lining, zipper, and body fabric a top one another. First, lay self fabric face up, lay zipper face down, and lining face down. In other words, sew the right sides of the lining and self fabric together, with the zipper sandwiched in between, face down. Stitch all three layers together close to the zipper teeth.

Make sure to use a zipper foot so you can stitch close to zipper.

Step 5
After stitching, flip both the lining and the self fabric back. What you should have is the self and lining fabric with wrong sides together and the zipper facing the outer portion of the clutch.
Next, sew the other side to the zipper, repeating step 4.

Step 6
Flip the bag so that the right sides of the self fabric and the right sides of the lining fabric are touching. Stitch the all the way around bag, leaving a 4-5” opening in the lining for turning the bag right side out.
TIP: If you’ve done zipper tabs, you’ll need to fold them in half during stitching.

Step 7
After sewing seam, clip the corners and trim seam allowance
as necessary. Next, reach inside of the bag through the
opening of the lining and pull bag right side out.
TIP: Use a point turner to push out corners of the outer portion of the bag.

Step 8
Press the opened seam allowance of the lining toward the inside of the bag and press.

Step 9
Hand sew the opening closed using a locking whip stitch or your favorite hand stitch.  Tuck lining inside.

Step 10 (optional)
Using any left over fabric you have, cut a couple of long, thin strips to attach to the zipper head. Simply fold strips in half, stick them through the opening in the zipper and pull ends through the loop.

DIY Fold Over Clutch pattern and tutorial


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