"Why in the world did you pick this name for your blog?" ...so glad you asked...

Friday, December 3, 2010

Gathered Clutch

Sew Mama Sew has a wonderful Handmade Christmas Gift list that I was perusing a couple of days ago. I came across a tutorial I had already saved in my bookmarks here on my laptop (along with 50 gabillion others) and it struck me that this was the time. The time now is. The gathered clutch's time has come.
I was inspired and I have two preschool teachers that are needing gifts, so I set out to make some pouches with zippers.
I have never tried sewing a zipper on anything and, frankly, have steered clear of any patterns that use them. I am less intimidated by tutorials than of paper patterns, so when I rediscovered this one, I was game to finally try a zipper.
Turns out, the zipper itself wasn't really the thing that tripped me up, but rather the directions regarding sewing the fabric onto it. I don't know if it was just me, or if it really is the instructions, but I sewed the first "sandwich" onto the wrong side of the zipper. (you might see what I mean if you try it out for yourself) I had it face down with the right end facing the right way and I had my fabric facing the right way, but I put it on the bottom edge instead of hiding the zipper completely between the fabric and sewing the top edge.
I even did a similar mistake when sewing on the other side of the clutch. It just wasn't clear to me where everything should go. Now that I've done it correctly a few times, it seems perfectly obvious how it should be done.
That's why it's so hard to write a tutorial or directions for anything for that matter. It's hard to make everything clear to someone who has never seen the finished product and has no hands-on guidance.
All that to say, after plenty of seam-ripping, I was able to finish these.

And now that I have figured them out, I most certainly will be making more. They are so sweet and simple and useful. You can put dividers and pockets inside and use as a wallet. You could use them as a small handbag (as the name implies) for when you just need a couple of essentials. They could hold anything smallish. You could put a bunch of Christmas tags (that you printed for free from here), a couple of colored ink pens and a roll of tape for your Christmas present-wrapping needs. So many possibilities!

PS. a few days have passed and now I'm trying some with embellishments. I also bought some fusible batting to use and much prefer the end result over the light weight interfacing I first began using. I would recommend cutting the batting or fleece a half-inch smaller all around though to make sewing it all together easier.

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  1. I love your clutch! it's so pretty.

  2. Such a pretty yet pratical idea. Especially since you can put dividers in them. I love the red embellishment.