DIY Leather Clutch Purse

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I have a small group of sewing buddies that are kind enough to drive across town to sew with me every once in a while. We get together every couple of weeks to gab, and eat, and gossip, and do some sewing, too! We are all big fans of instant gratification so the goal is to finish a project in one night. So far, that’s meant a clutch. Tonight was no exception.

I mean seriously! Aren’t they the cutest. We used an online tutorial for inspiration, but quickly realized it wasn’t the most well written or the best technique for putting together what we saw as an oversized zipper pouch. We did change the design ever so slightly, too, just to incorporate a magnetic closure so we could fold it over and have it stay. We also made them slightly taller and skinner to what we thought would be the best size after it was closed. 

If you’d like to make our bag exactly, cut these pieces instead:

Leather: 5” x 14”

Outer: 9” x 13”

Lining: 13” x 13”

Follow steps three through six exactly. But before you move on to the lining, you’ll need to attach your magnets. These are super easy to install and come with instructions. Just remember to back the pieces with some thin cardboard to ensure the flaps don’t slip through your fabric over time.

We placed the “innie” part on the leather about 1/2” from the seam line where it meets the main fabric and the “outie” part about 2” from the top raw edge. 

Once you’ve got the magnets in, continue on making your bag following instructions for making a zipper pouch (Noodlehead has got a great tutorial with photos if you’re more of a visual person). You know the one where you sandwich the zipper between the outer and lining fabrics and sew down one side. Then, sandwich all of that in between the other layer of outer and lining, fabrics right sides facing. Press. Open zipper half way. Then, pin the two lining fabrics together and the two outer fabrics together.

Insider Tip from Blair (she made the navy bag above): Line up the leather seam first to ensure this matches from front to back when you’re done. Then pinch the zipper ribbons together and pin to the outer fabric. After that smooth the rest of the edges and fill in the open areas with more pins. 

Sew around the whole thing leaving a four inch opening in the lining. When you get to the zipper, go slow and manually move the needle through the tough parts by using the knob on the side of your machine. Trim seam allowances and clip corners.

Now, stick your hand through the hole in the lining and through the zipper (you remembered to unzip, right?!?) and pull your bag through all the parts. Tuck the lining into the bag and press everything really well. 

And, there you go! A few small adjustments to the inspiration post and you’ve got yourself a totes adorbs, totes practical little handbag! 

Here’s to thinking for ourselves. We all really love out bag and we’ve already got ideas to change out the leather for other fun fabrics like denim and burlap! 

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