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Wristlet Clutch Purse Tutorial

Wristlet Clutch Purse Tutorial

This is a simple rectangular shaped clutch with flattened bottom, cheeky frill, and (saving the best bit til last...) a 'rather sexy' bracelet wrist handle...mmm yum!

I have used a gorgeous piece of soft cotton velvet stripe home furnishing fabric for the exterior, some cream coloured home furnishing fabric for the lining, and some some translucent gauzy fabric for the frill.

In this project you will pick up/apply these skills:

    a bit of pattern making - it's a pain, but important.
    inserting a flat bottom into a purse - great for adding 3D shape to bags.
    inserting a magnetic snap - easy and professional closures.
    inserting a frilled border - lots of girls like frills; I'm no exception.
    inserting eyelets - easy and professional looking metal hardware.

Wristlet Clutch Purse Tutorial

This bracelet handle would set of a golden tan beautifully...

Wristlet Clutch Purse Tutorial

Close-up of the pretty shiny bits...

Wristlet Clutch Purse Tutorial

Here's How I Put It Together

Shopping list (as if you were buying from a shop, if not using stash fabrics) (20cm)

    1/4 yard of heavy weight sew-in
    1/4 yard of stripy cotton velvet for exterior (20cm) or other furnishing weight fabric
    1/4 yard lining fabric and matching thread (20cm)
    28" x 3" translucent gauze fabric for frill (71cm x 7cm) silk or satin would also work well
    1 x yard polyester boning (1m)
    1 x Natural shell bracelet wrist handle or Bohemian bracelet wrist handle
    2 x 3/8" silver eyelets (11mm)
    1 x silver 5/8" magnetic snap (14mm) & 1" square of iron-on interfacing for snap reinforcement

NB all seam allowances are 1cm unless otherwise stated.

1.  Make up your pattern - there are two pattern pieces; the main body piece and the flap piece.  Make them up as shown.

Wristlet Clutch Purse Tutorial

I made the main piece slightly wider at the bottom (because I prefer my purses that way) if you prefer you can have an even 24cm at top and bottom edges. From the main pattern piece pattern cut; 2 x stripy velvet; 2 x pieces heavy sew-in interfacing, and  2x pieces lining.

For the flap I have drawn a free-hand (don't be afraid of your free-hand, just let it do it's thing!) asymmetrical curve.  The flap is 11cm at it tallest point.  The pencil line margin is 1.5 cm tall, from the line to the top edge -  it's not very clear from the photo but  where I have drawn margin the sides of the margin are right angles (not a continuation of the curve) this is to accommodate the flap bending over the thick layers of fabric of the purse.  From the flap pattern piece cut; 1 x stripy velvet; 1 x pieces heavy sew-in interfacing, and  1 x pieces lining.

2.  Sew the exterior purse - make a sandwich with the 2 stripy velvet pieces (right sides together) in the middle and the heavy white sew in pieces on the outside  it.  Pin and stitch all around the sides and bottom.

Sew the lining in the same way EXCEPT YOU HAVE TO LEAVE A 13CM (5") GAP IN THE BOTTOM.

Pin your sandwich and sew all around sides and bottom edges.

3.  Make up the frill - take the long strip and fold it in half length ways with right sides out.  Sew a load of running stitches along the top edge.

Wristlet Clutch Purse Tutorial

Sew some running stitches along the top edge of the frill.  The length of fabric needed for your frill is determined by the length of the object to be 'frilled' (in this case, our purse flap) x 2.

4.  Pin and baste the frill onto the flap exterior - pin the frill at the top edge onto the flap exterior using quite a few pins (frills are slippery customers!) so the the raw edges of the frill and the flap meet each other.

Wristlet Clutch Purse Tutorial

1st pic: Use a good amount of pins for pinning the frill to the exterior.  2nd pic; the result of all that pinning (actually, I only took this 2nd picture because I thought it looked interesting!).

Wristlet Clutch Purse Tutorial

1st pic: take your time basting the frill close to the edge. For an even(ish) distribution of frills, you'll probably need to rearrange the frills with your fingers as you sew because the machine foot has a tendency to push all of the frills towards you (despite all of that pinning down). 2nd pic: frill basted on and ready to go.

5.   Insert the non-magnetic half of the snap (the male half) into the flap lining & pin the flap layers or stitching -  Iron the fusible square of interfacing close the to edge of the bottom curve of the flap (on wrong side of the flap lining).

How to position the snap - Measure and mark 1cm up (which is my seam allowance) from the bottom raw edge of the flap (that's what that black line is).  Then measure up another 1cm up from the mark you have just made, place the male snap half on the new mark, draw around it, and insert it the snap into position on the fabric.  

After you have inserted the snap half into the lining, make a (flap) sandwich (starting from the bottom);  the flap exterior with it's frills (right side up), the flap lining (wrong side up) in the middle of the sandwich, and the heavy sew-in interlining on the top.  Pin together and sew the sides and bottom of the flap.

Wristlet Clutch Purse Tutorial

Insert the male part of the mag snap into the flap lining as shown.  Pin the flap sandwich and stitch together.

6.  Clip the curve of the flap - Clip the curve of the flap.  Clipping makes for a smoother result when you turn the flap right side out because you are chopping into the seam allowance.

Wristlet Clutch Purse Tutorial

Clip the curve as shown and turn flap right side out.  This should be the result after a spot of ironing.  If using velvet place a tea cloth over the Velvet before ironing or you'll crush the nap (or pile) of the velvet.

7.   Pin and baste the flap to the exterior bag
- Pin the flap to the back of the exterior purse so that their right sides are touching each other (the velvet sides).  Start pinning the flap to the exterior bag by starting at the left hand edge of the flap (not the frill).  Match the flap edge  with the left side seam of the exterior bag (as shown in the photo) and baste close to top edge.

Wristlet Clutch Purse Tutorial

Match the edge of the flap to the left side seam of the exterior bag and pin.   Baste close to the top edge.

8.   Insert the magnetic (female) half of the snap into the exterior purse front - with the flap basted to the exterior bag we can now see where we should position the female part of the snap onto the exterior purse front.   With the front of the purse facing you, fold the flap down and mark (onto the exterior purse) where snap (on the flap) falls onto purse.  Insert the snap half through the exterior fabric only thru the mark (do not go through the heavy sew-in interlining).

9.   Pin and stitch the exterior bag to the lining - Insert the exterior bag (right side out) in the lining bag (wrong side out). The right sides of the exterior and the lining bag should now be touching each other.  Pin the exterior bag to the lining bag.

Press the frill down on either side of flap with your fingers to ensure that it is tucked out of the way from when you stitch the exterior to the lining (see photo in middle).

Stitch all around the top edge.

Wristlet Clutch Purse Tutorial

Insert exterior into lining, tuck , ends of the frill down, out of the way, and pin all together.

10.  Sew the polyester boning into the top edge seam of the bag - Polyester boning is incredibly useful stuff for bag making.  You can use it to add a flexible 'rigidity' to all of the openings and side seams of your bags to prevent things from collapsing in on themselves.

Measure the length top edge of the purse (not all the way round, just the front or back) and add another 2cm (for luck) to that measurement.  Cut 2 lengths of boning to that measurement and sew it into the top edge seam allowance of the purse.  

Start sewing the boning a few mms from the side seam of the purse and finish a few mms from the other side seam trim off the excess boning before you get to the end.   Sew the other boning piece in the same way on the other side of the purse.  The reason that we don't use one continuous piece of boning is that we want the purse to bend fully (and flatten properly) at the side seams.

Sew the boning into the top edge seam allowance.

10.   Pull the exterior bag though the hole in the lining - this is always my fave bit, but I forgot to take a photo of it!  Pop the lining into the exterior bag and smooth everything out.  Stitch the gap in the lining shut by tucking the raw edges into the hole and top stitching for a neat finish.

11.  Insert the eyelets into the purse - Insert the eyelets into the front top left corner of the purse.

Eyelet parts (from left to right): Top part of eyelet, Underside part of eyelet, eyelet, hammer plate tool, the thingy that you bang with the hammer tool :)

Wristlet Clutch Purse Tutorial

Pic 1. Cut a hole in the top left hand corner of the purse for the eyelet - Cut through all of the layers of the purse to make a hole for the underside of the eyelet (Yeeouch! I know...I feels sooo wrong!). Make sure that postion of the eyelet is clear of the polyester boning underneath, but as high up and as close to the side seam as possible.

Pic 2. Push the undside part of the eyelet through the hole you have just made and place the hammer plate just underneath it as shown in the photo.  Place the top part of the eyelet over the shaft of the underside eyelet part (so that the purse fabric is sandwiched in between the two eyelet parts).  Place the wide part of the thingy that you bang with the hammer onto the top part of the eyelet and give the tool a few sharp taps with a hammer (rather than one hard whack!). These instructions are included in the kit.

Pic 3.  With the eyelet on the front of the purse inserted mark the postion for the eyelet for the back of the purse.  Use a pen or pencil to mark the hole for the eyelet and insert eyelet in the same way as before.

12.  Screw the handle hook the eyelets -  Thread the handle hook thru both eyelets and screw the pin.

Wristlet Clutch Purse Tutorial

Insert and screw the handle hook through the eyelets.

13.  Clip the bracelet handle onto the handle hook - and get your glad rags on for a cheeky night out!

Ta dah finished!

Wristlet Clutch Purse Tutorial


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