Monday, November 15, 2010
For those of us who plan to make homemade gifts this Christmas season now's the time to get started. Here's an easy project you can complete in about an hour with eye-catching results. As soon as I saw Noodlehead's tutorial for a gathered clutch I knew I'd wind up making at least one for myself and lots more for friends. The design's so simple in a "why didn't I think of that?" sort of way but it's unique enough to make an ordinary zippered pouch look snazzy and sophisticated. This was my first attempt at the pattern and I found it easy to follow and hard to mess up, two pluses in my book. It's nearly impossible to screw up when making the gathered front because there's no right or wrong in how the folds lie. It'll look interesting no matter what you do and no one will know you didn't place them that way on purpose.
This set is a birthday present for a friend. The smaller one is the size you get if you follow the pattern as printed. For variety I added two inches to the dimensions and made a larger one as well. I left out the optional divider and card holders as I see these being used as handy pouches inside her purse or suitcase when traveling, not as a clutch. With the interfacing on both outer pieces the pouches are definitely sturdy enough. I've seen people use this pattern to make wristlets by sewing in a little loop into the side with a longer strap attached. I like the look and might try one like that in the near future.
As always, half the fun is in choosing the right fabrics with the contrasting band across the front. Each gift can be customized to suit the recipient's hobbies, interests, or favorite colors. I plan to have lots of fun with the ones I make for Christmas presents! For myself I plan to whip up some using that cute novelty fabric I keep buying that's just a little too weird or cutesy for me to use on the outside of a purse for the world to see. This is the perfect way to feature those without letting everyone know just how weird I am.