Thursday, December 12, 2013

Revisiting the Special Occasion Clutch

A couple of months ago I participated in the Finish-A-Long tutorial week hosted by Leanne at she can quilt. The tutorial I shared there was for a Special Occasion Clutch that I made to carry at my son's wedding last summer. It was perfect for my rather last-minute sewing frenzy, so I thought now would be a good time to share it here, with holiday gatherings to attend and gifts to sew up and all.
Rather than spend alot of time piecing a complicated exterior, I chose to embellish Essex linen with multi-colored quilting. Here's how easy it is to whip up a Special Occasion Clutch for yourself!

Of course you need supplies. I like to keep both of these on hand in my studio:
~ a 8 x 3" purse frame
~ Gutermann Creativ Glue
(I get both of these items from WhileBabyNaps.)
Use the template {here} to cut out 2 each: exterior fabric, lining fabric, and fusible batt.
Fuse the batting to the back of both of your exterior pieces. With your hera or other making tool, mark several random, curving lines across the front of your clutch exterior.
Put on your walking foot and quilt on your marked lines first. From there, I suggest just going for it - there's no wrong way from here. Just quilt what you feel, even switching threads once or more to add some variety. (Of course, if it makes you more confident, feel free to mark as many of the lines as you wish!)

With the quilting done, it's time to construct your clutch. Using your pattern as a guide, mark on the backside of fabric where your frame hinge will hit the edge. Do this for your exterior pieces as well as the lining.
Pin the two exterior pieces, right-side together, and stitch from one mark, down along the bottom, and up to the mark on the other side, securing threads well at beginning and end. Repeat for lining EXCEPT leave an opening 2 1/2-3" wide along the bottom of the lining.
Turn exterior right-side out and carefully slip into the lining, which is still wrong-side out.
Nestle in until the side and top edges line up. Align sides were stitching ends and pin on both sides. Pin along upper sides and top edge. Note that you are pinning one lining piece and one exterior piece together. Stitch from one side pin, up along the top and down the other side to the other pin, securing threads at beginning and end. Repeat for other side.
You're almost done! Turn the entire clutch right-side out, pulling through the hole left in the bottom of the lining. Before tucking the lining into the clutch, fold 1/4" in along the hole in the bottom of the lining - I find it helps to press lightly with my iron - then pin and stitch opening closed, either by hand or machine.
Now tuck the lining into the pouch, pushing down into the corners, and smoothing along upper edges. Press entire clutch well.
I like the added touch of stitching very close along the upper edges of the clutch. This stitching will not show, as it will be tucked into your frame, but it makes the insertion so much easier.
Now for the frame! Run a bead of glue into the frame channel, from one hinge, all along one half of the frame to the hinge on the opposite side. Carefully insert one side of your clutch, starting with the corners, then finish tucking in along the top edge and the sides. It all works quite easily! Let clutch set on your work table for 15 minutes or so to let the glue begin to set.
Repeat to glue the remaining side and let clutch dry for an hour or so.
And you are done!! As you see, this second clutch was made with black Essex, giving you an idea of this bag's versatility.

Enjoy! If you make a Special Occasion Clutch, post it in the Quilting with A Quilter's Table flickr group! I'm anxious to see how you make it your own!


  1. This is such a lovely clutch, I need to order some of the hardware so I can make one.

  2. Elegant and understated. It's beautiful. Anyone who gets one of these would be tickled pink!

  3. These are lovely, and I'm all for decorative stitching. What kind of thread do you use?

  4. It's hard to decide which version I like better! Great job!

  5. beautiful. I love all the gorgeous stitching and how fun the lining is, too. Thanks for sharing.

  6. I have been wanting to make one of these. Thanks for a great tutorial.

  7. Thanks for sharing, Debbie! This is such a beautiful clutch!

  8. I do like the coloured threads on the linen in these

  9. Love the quilting on the clutches, so simple yet very effective.

  10. Ooohhh That butterfly clutch is gorgeous!