diy: simple leather clutch
2 – 1 1/2″ x 2″ pieces of leather (about a 1.2mm thickness)
2 – 9″ x 11 1/2″ pieces of leather
Leather machine sewing needle
1. Place one of the 1 1/2″ x 2″ leather pieces, with the right side facing down, 1/4″ down from the top edge of the zipper, and pin in place. Stitch 1/4″ away from the leather edge (the long side), and snip off any excess thread. Fold the leather on the seam (away from the zipper), to have the right side facing up and top stitch along the folded edge. Repeat this for the other zipper end, and then proceed to trim the excess leather and be equal width with the zipper.
2. Place one of the 9″ x 11 1/2″ leather pieces with the right side up, lay the zipper on the 11 1/2″ side edge with the teeth side down on top (make sure the entire zipper length is centered on the leather piece), pin in place if you feel you need the extra support to keep it lined up. I didn’t want to poke more holes into the leather, so I didn’t pin the zipper to the leather piece. Sew along the entire length of the zipper (you can use a zipper foot if you have one on hand, but I did without it). It’s best to pull the zipper down to the middle when starting, so that it won’t get caught, then when approaching the zipper pull, leave your needle down in the leather, pull up your presser foot, pull up the zipper, put down the presser foot, and then continue sewing the rest length of the zipper and leather. When done, fold the leather on the seam and top stitch the entire length near the fold. Repeat for the other 9″ x 11 1/2″ piece of leather and the remaining zipper side.
3. Pull the zipper down to the middle, place the leather with their right sides together, lining up all the edges, and sew around the 3 edges of the clutch. Snip any excess thread and trim any excess leather. Pull open the zipper and turn your clutch right side out, and there you go!
My best friend has one of those fancy Clare Vivier clutches. It is quite lovely, but I’m not really a bag person, I’d rather spend the money on shoes. I’ve had these leather scraps I’ve been hoarding for like 7 years (back when I used to make True her baby shoes!) and I took those scraps out and got little leather clutch happy. I had been using a 99 cent store wallet for myself, so I was happy to make a little one out of the leather too. I ended up messing up a smidge on the zipper part, but it does the job. I got the silver stripe on accident because I had painted a bright pink one on, but it didn’t stay and was peeling off, so when I peeled it all of, it lifted some of that bronze color and what was left was a silver stripe. It wasn’t my original idea of pink, but it was a good accident.
I didn’t put any lining inside because my best friend’s fancy one didn’t have it, so I thought I could do without it. Although, should I attempt to make another (because I just need more clutches in my life, obviously), I’d add in the liner. I originally wanted to make one to put my planner and sketchbook in, but now, I’m thinking Ben needs to take me on a date because the clutches feel a little bit too fancy just for my planner and sketchbook. Am I silly or what?! Maybe now I need to make a fabric clutch instead!