Sunday, May 22, 2011
Oops, I wrote this post weeks ago and then completely forgot to post it. Better late than never.
Annoyingly, my mom commissioned me to make a clutch for her friend but I just knew this month's project in the Style Stitches sew along, the Perfectly Pleated Clutch, was not what she had in mind. She's traditional so I know what she wanted was a clutch made from fancy fabric with a flap closure. Well, I departed from tradition in my fabric choices but decided I should at least appease her by finding an appropriate pattern. Fortunately, further on in the book there's the pattern for the Everything Wristlet, which looked to be exactly what I was looking for.
Because I had so much going on at the time in preparation for a Kentucky Derby party and a trip back home for Mother's Day and my mom's birthday I cheated a bit to make the project go by more quickly. I omitted all of the interior pockets and instead just cut and sewed my lining to match the outer bag. As a result, it went together very quickly so I was able to bang out this bag in just a few hours. I made the small version, which is perfect for a hand held clutch to hold the necessities.
I adore the fabric I chose. I bought the yellow houndstooth fabric a few months ago on a whim a from the clearance section at Jo Ann Fabrics. I was worried about how it would hold up since it has a loose weave but once interfaced it did just fine and looks super cute. The green flap fabric was also from my stash (another Jo Ann Fabrics buy) but I'll admit that I did go out and buy the blue polka dot lining specifically for this bag. I wanted something a little fancier than plain old cotton so found this in the clearance section and went for it. I think it adds a fun dimension and it's got a satiny finish more traditionally found in a clutch. I might try this same fabric combination for future bags since I like it so much.
I'm not 100% happy with the finished bag but that's all down to my lack of skills. As with the checkbook cover, I had a devil of a time top stitching around the curve of the flap, probably because of that darn Peltex, so I wound up ripping those stitches out and left it off. I'm sure the bag would have looked more finished and professional with the top stitching but it just didn't work for me. I also may have installed the snap a little too low since there wasn't really enough room for me to stitch around it. There must be some trick to maneuvering the sewing machine foot around or over obstacles like that or maybe I should have switched to a zipper foot. Anyway, what's done is done. I'm hoping that because she doesn't know the stitching's supposed to be there she won't miss it.
I also skipped the final top stitching around the top of the finished bag because it came out all wonky when I tried. Instead I took advantage of the loose weave of the houndstooth fabric and hand stitched some nearly invisible stitches to close the lining and hold it in place.
The book suggests adding a broach to the flap for some added glamor and I think it makes all the difference here. I managed to find a cool thrift store with a large array of cheap broaches to choose from. This one only cost me $2 and really helps make the finished bag look more, well, finished and polished.
I do like the pattern and think the arrangement of the pieces and the Peltex works great. I hope to revisit this not only to work on those top stitching skills but also so I can try it out with the inner pockets. I look forward to having a cute clutch of my own since I was cruely forced to give this one away.