Happy day, the Love Letter Clutch pattern and tutorial is finally here!
This purse/clutch pattern is kicking off my new Love Letter Collection: a series of four sewing patterns for accessories and Valentine's Day gifts. I'm so excited about this, you guys!
It gets even more exciting because I'm celebrating with a giveaway. Two lovely readers will win the fun clutches below. Read to the bottom for instructions on how to enter!
Metal frame purses or clutches are the perfect project for the beginning sewist. You can see the others I've made here and here. In this tutorial you will learn about constructing the basic shape of a bag or clutch, creating boxed corners, and securing fabric to a metal frame. Let's get started!
About the hardware
A lot of people have been asking me where to find the hardware for metal frame purses. Some are available at local craft supply stores such as Joanne's and Michaels, but my favorite place to shop for hardware is on Etsy.com. The two frames you see above were purchased here and here.
You will also need a strong craft glue to secure the fabric to your metal frame. I purchased mine here. You may also be able to find strong adhesives at local craft stores, but in my research I found that most people who make these professionally suggest a glue such as the Gutermann Creatv HT2 Textile Glue.
About the pattern
To receive this FREE pattern, you need to be a follower of CailaMade. I appreciate each one of you so much, and like to think of us as a community sharing together. I feel like those who support me by officially following by email, RSS, or Google Friend Connect, deserve some perks, don't you? If you are a follower of this blog by the three ways listed above, or through Facebook, send me an email, and I'll send you the pattern within 24 hours. Honestly, I'll probably send it to you within a few minutes if I'm at home because I'll be so happy you want it!
For various ways to follow CailaMade, check my right sidebar. Thank you for following!
Once you receive the pattern, please make sure you print at 100%, with NO SCALING.
For instructions on how to create your own pattern from any frame, see this post.
About the fabric
You can use any woven fabric for these clutches. I prefer to make mine with a strong linen or linen/cotton blend on the outside, and a cotton for the lining. This gives the purse some body and strength. If you decide to use a quilting cotton on the outside, I suggest using canvas for the lining, or something similarly strong. Did I mention this is a great scrap busting project?
1. First, print your pattern piece and cut it out. Now cut 2 from your main fabric and two from your lining.
2. Make sure you transfer the markings from the pattern (dots) to your fabric pieces.
Using a 3/8" seam allowance, sew along the curved edge from marking to marking on both sets. Now you will have a back piece and a front piece (they should look the same).
First, pinch the corner together so that it looks like the picture below. To make sure your corner isn't wonky, do your best to pinch it with an equal amount of fabric on each side. Press the corner so it's nice and flat.
7. Using a ruler, mark a line 3/4" from the corner point. Sew along this line, making sure to backstitch at the beginning and end.
8. Trim the corner off. Repeat this for all four corners of your clutch.
9. Trim the seam allowance to 1/4" on your curved seams only, and then clip the seam like in the picture below. This ensures that your seam will lay flat when turned right side out.
10. Turn your clutch right side out through the opening in the lining.
11. Take it over to your ironing board and press it well.
At this point, you should stitch the lining closed. You can do this either by hand, or at your machine. To close the opening on your machine, pin the opening closed and sew as close to the edge as possible.
12. This is how your clutch should look at this point. Yay! As an optional step, you can go around the opening with an edge stitch. Edge-stitching simply means that you sew as close to the edge as possible. As you can tell, I didn't edge stitch mine because it's not necessary, only cosmetic. Once the hardware is on your clutch, only the edge-stitching on the very corners will be visible.
Now it's time to add the hardware to your clutch! This part is easy-peasy and only takes a few minutes. Letting the glue dry is the longest (and hardest!) part.
1. Make sure you have all the supplies: clutch, metal frame, and glue.
3. Squeeze the tube until some glue starts coming out. Apply a liberal amount of glue to the inside of the frame. Look carefully to make sure there is plenty of glue the full length of the frame. Wait about 30 seconds for the glue to become tacky.
4. Sip your fabric edge into the frame, making sure that the center of your clutch is lined up with the center of the frame. You can pull the fabric from side to side to make sure it's centered properly. Make sure the fabric is pushed all the way in along the full length of the frame.
If necessary, you can use a small pointed object, like a pair of craft scissors or a dull pencil to push your fabric in. Honestly, this pattern fit so well for me that I just slipped it in with my fingers and, presto!
Leave it to dry for 10-15 minutes. Resist the urge to pick it up before it's fully dry! If some of the glue oozes out onto the frame, you can pick it off with your fingers. It should come off easily. If glue gets on the fabric, I've heard you can use fingernail polish to gently remove it. I would test the polish remover on a spare scrap of fabric first, just to be safe.
Once the first side is dry, repeat the steps to glue your remaining side to the frame. Allow this side to dry 10-15 minutes and YOU'RE DONE!
Now, go fill your clutch with all kinds of good things: business cards, change, iphones, or makeup!
To enter the giveaway you must be a follower of this blog. If you follow (as a subscriber by email, with Google connect, or however), please leave me a comment below and tell me if you like to sew accessories, and if so, what kind. This is my favorite part of any giveaway! You can enter an additional time if you follow CailaMade on Facebook. You can follow by liking the page here. If you are both a follower and a Facebook fan, leave 2 comments.
Please be sure to leave your email address so I can contact you if you win. Leave it like this: cailamade (at) gmail (dot) com, if you don't want the spam bots to pick it up.