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Making an Evening Clutch Purse

Updated on January 16, 2015

Making an Evening Clutch Purse for a Gift

It's the weekend and it's cold and gloomy...threatening to rain! I know we have to expect this kind of weather in winter (I'm in New Zealand) but I do like to see the sunshine. This is the perfect weather for being indoors and creating something...a Squidoo lens or perhaps an evening clutch purse. Yes, this lens was written in the cold winter months!

I had made an evening clutch purse for my best friend's birthday (a birthday with a zero in it). I had felt stuck on what to give her as I wanted a bead project to be the ultimate gift of love for her. As her daughter does beading I didn't want to be seen to be competing in any way so I came up with the idea of making an evening clutch purse as I knew her daughter was not into sewing.

It was a great hit with her family and friends...and her sister hinted at having one made for her birthday the following year. That birthday is now looming so I am considering making another this weekend!

All photos by Lyn Bell

Clutch purse stage 1
Clutch purse stage 1

Materials Needed

1/4 yard evening fabric (I used embossed fabric left over from an evening dress)

1/4 yard Pellon interfacing

1/4 yard lining material

Magnetic snap

Fray check and thread.

Unless you like stitching by hand you will need a sewing machine too!

While I do not have this machine myself it is on my 'wish' list! I've had two Janomes in my lifetime. The first was given to me as a 21st gift but when I travelled to New Zealand I sold it...much to my regret. I had a small portable machine for a while which wasn't Janome.

As soon as I had the opportunity I purchased a new Janome and have never regretted it. In the more than 30 years I've had it I've only had it serviced once and it still works beautifully. I would always go for Janome as my preferred brand. I love them.

Have you ever made a clutch purse or other bag?

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Patterns for a Clutch Purse - ...and a book

You can always put your own little touches to a bag created from a pattern to make it your own. Sometimes we just need a helping hand, don't we?

Vogue Patterns V8628 Clutch Bags, One Size
Vogue Patterns V8628 Clutch Bags, One Size

Includes six different styles, all a little different. Vogue is another easy to follow pattern. A classy

The Bag Making Bible: The Complete Guide to Sewing and Customizing Your Own Unique Bags
The Bag Making Bible: The Complete Guide to Sewing and Customizing Your Own Unique Bags

A book in paperback. Has a high star rating and is a handy item to have on your bookshelf if you are going to start crafting.


Making the Clutch Bag

For the original bag I had searched for a pattern and ended up with a simple design of stitching oblong pieces of fabric together. This is how I did it.

  1. First of all I cut two pattern pieces out of paper. The purse body pattern is 11 inches x 7 1/2 inches the flap pattern is 11 x 6 inches.
  2. Using the pattern pieces, I cut two of each pattern piece out of the embossed fabric making sure I cut with the short side parallel to the selvage.
  3. Then I used the purse body I had sewed as a pattern to cut the interfacing...trimming ½ an inch off the long and short side to make the interfacing ¼ of an inch smaller all around.
  4. Use the flap pattern and cut one piece of interfacing, cutting off 1/2an inch from the short and long side of the interfacing.
  5. Place the purse body on a flat surface with the right side down. Center the interfacing on the main fabric, carefully pinning it on all sides. The idea is to have the interfacing and fabric acting as one piece. Baste close to the edge of the interfacing all the way around.
  6. Repeat the same process with one piece of the main fabric (in my case the embossed material) and the interfacing for the flap.
  7. With right sides together fold the purse body in half. Stitch both sides using a ½ inch seam allowance
  8. To form the bottom of the purse, take one side seam you just sewed and place the top facing you (inside out). Flatten and form a triangle at the corner and stitch across – about 1 inch. Do this on the other side. This will give a base to the purse. (Sorry I didn’t photograph this so hope my description works for you). Turn the bag the right side out.
  9. Take the piece of the flap that has the interfacing attached and find the center of the flap by folding the flap in half lengthwise.
  10. Take the other piece of flap and place the two flap pieces right sides together and stitch the two sides and bottom using a ½ inch seam allowance.
  11. Clip the corners within the seam allowance and turn the flap right side out. Use a blunt that is not too pointy to force out the corners.
  12. On the inside of the flap find the center of the flap. About 1inch from the bottom make two slits with small scissors at the center point. Apply the fray check to prevent fraying or ripping and insert the prongs of the non-magnetic side of the snap through the slits. Place on the snap backing and bend the prongs out.
  13. Place the flap on the back of the bag raw edges together. Stitch the flap to the bag using a 1/2 inch seam allowance
  14. Using the paper pattern pieces for the purse body, cut two pieces of lining. With right sides together sew both sides of lining.
  15. Keep the lining wrong side out and slip it over the purse. Stitch around the top using a 1/2 inch seam. Turn lining to the inside.
  16. Apply chalk to the snap you placed in the flap and close the flap. Gently rub the chalk onto the body of the purse. Make two slits with small scissors on either side of the chalk mark. Apply fray check to prevent fraying or ripping and insert the prongs of the magnetic side of the snap. Apply the snap backing and bend the prongs out.
  17. Pull the lining out of the purse. Fold the raw edges towards the inside 1/2 inch. Stitch the bottom of the lining closed and push lining back into the purse
  18. Topstitch across the top of the body of the purse to keep the lining from puffing.

Stages of the Clutch Creation

Click thumbnail to view full-size
The lining.The final bagThe bag being createdThe interfacing
The lining.
The lining.
The final bag
The final bag
The bag being created
The bag being created
The interfacing
The interfacing

The Final Touches

Beading on bag
Beading on bag

I said at the start that I was doing some beading. Unfortunately I didn't take a picture of the final purse with the bead work. This photo was of a sample I tried out. What I ended up doing was tracing the edges of the flowers with the beads. I did this on the flap part of the bag.

Do you think you might try making this purse?

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You guessed it! I spent my weekend indoors building lenses and not making the purse for my friend's upcoming birthday...another BIG O! I've got a couple of months to go yet though...have to get on to it!

Hope you thought it was worth the effort...

Please let me know you dropped by...

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    • VspaBotanicals profile image

      VspaBotanicals 3 years ago

      Wonderful and easy to follow instructions. Thanks!

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Nice clutch bag!

    • JessCa LM profile image

      JessCa LM 4 years ago

      I really enjoyed your informative lens.

    • takkhisa profile image

      Takkhis 4 years ago

      Indeed it is a great idea, I like it :)

    • profile image

      fifinn 4 years ago

      informative lens.

    • simplysusan51 profile image

      simplysusan51 4 years ago

      Wonderful step by step detailed lens. It's an interesting and quick clutch guide. Loved it.

    • profile image

      Bartukas 4 years ago

      Great lens :P

    • lesliesinclair profile image

      lesliesinclair 4 years ago

      What gorgeous fabrics you chose.

    • ajgodinho profile image

      Anthony Godinho 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Very creatively done and beautiful clutch purse!

    • rattie lm profile image

      rattie lm 5 years ago

      This so reminds me of my mum who used to make these gorgeous dolly bags when I was a little girl.

    • LouisaDembul profile image

      LouisaDembul 5 years ago

      Great explanation on how to make an evening clutch purse. Even I might try it out!

    • LouisaDembul profile image

      LouisaDembul 5 years ago

      Great explanation on how to make an evening clutch purse. Even I might try it out!

    • msalada lm profile image

      msalada lm 5 years ago

      Gorgeous materials!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago


    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      What a special gift that will be a special treasure for years to come, I can just see your friend running her hand softly over it and appreciating your thoughtfulness in presenting her with the "ultimate gift", a labor of lovely!

    • CamelliaPenny profile image

      Perrin 5 years ago from South Carolina

      I love your choice of fabric. I am a sewing beginner looking for simple patterns to make Christmas gifts, and I like how detailed your instructions are! Thanks for writing a lens of such good quality, and Congrats on making the front page of Squidoo!

    • peggygallyot profile image

      peggygallyot 5 years ago

      I would like to try to sew this thank you for sharing

    • profile image

      aquarian_insight 5 years ago

      This clutch is absolutely beautiful and thanks to you, I may try making it myself. I have a lot of birthdays and such coming up. Bookmarked and blessed!

    • LaraineRoses profile image

      Laraine Sims 5 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      What a beautiful gift. I want one! I have a Jenome sewing machine as pictured, I love mine too. I majored in sewing and at one time sewed a lot. Not so much any more, just when necessary. My love is knitting (baby clothes mostly). Just beautiful .. your friend is very fortunate. Angel blessed!

    • Elyn MacInnis profile image

      Elyn MacInnis 5 years ago from Shanghai, China

      Its so lovely. Definitely worth the effort. -Angel blessings to you!

    • ofwdin lm profile image

      ofwdin lm 5 years ago

      Nice! You'll finish it :) and happy bday to your friend.

    • Teapixie LM profile image

      Tea Pixie 5 years ago

      Love this. My great challenge right now is to understand zippers. Yikes. I would love to make a little purse like this with a zipper included, but zippers are a mystery to me. I like that you've created this one without a zipper for those of us who zipperally-challenged. :)

    • profile image

      colafrank 5 years ago

      That's really neat.

    • profile image

      colafrank 5 years ago

      That's really neat.

    • profile image

      mouse1996 lm 5 years ago

      Very pretty purse.

    • Stacy Birch profile image

      Stacy Birch 5 years ago

      Awesome fabric.

    • ComfortsOfHome profile image

      ComfortsOfHome 5 years ago

      Beautiful fabric!

    • jrivera1049 profile image

      jrivera1049 5 years ago

      Great lens, very creative, love the clutch :)

    • maryLuu profile image

      maryLuu 5 years ago

      Nice ideea. I've made once a bg from an old pair of jeans. I was so trendy with it!

    • FRANCOEUR profile image

      FRANCOEUR 5 years ago

      Good lens...good idea for a gift!Thank you for sharing.

    • profile image

      kgdunst 5 years ago

      Hey sewing queen, this is a great lens!

    • profile image

      KaraAshton 5 years ago

      Busy sewing up a patchwork quilt at the moment so will have to put off making this purse for the time being, really love it though.

    • Deadicated LM profile image

      Deadicated LM 5 years ago

      Oooo, pretty!!! Thanks for the inspiration ;-)

    • SheilaMilne profile image

      SheilaMilne 5 years ago from Kent, UK

      I've given up all hope of being able to sew and don't even have a sewing machine. But I've enjoyed reading about what might have been. :)

    • profile image

      FashionMommy 5 years ago

      This looks nice. I'd like to try doing this.

    • hypermomma profile image

      hypermomma 5 years ago

      I love everything Purpleee :D Awesome lens.

    • thememorybooksh1 profile image

      thememorybooksh1 5 years ago

      Nice Creativity...

    • MartieG profile image

      MartieG aka 'survivoryea' 5 years ago from Jersey Shore

      Nicely done ~~~Blessed~~~~

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Nice lens.. Very very creative.. :)

    • profile image

      JoshK47 5 years ago

      Very nice! Thanks so much for sharing - blessed by a SquidAngel!

    • profile image

      kmyangel 5 years ago

      I've made two purses till now but never such a fancy one :) Great job, Congrats for your hard work

    • anne mohanraj profile image

      anne mohanraj 5 years ago

      A very interesting lens! Easy to follow instructions. Thank you for sharing.

    • EdwardZhang profile image

      EdwardZhang 5 years ago

      Hey! Thanks for sharing a good ideas for making an Evening Clutch Purse. I try to make clutch purse

    • suzy-t profile image

      suzy-t 5 years ago

      Great lens. Love new ideas for using my sewing machine. Am definitely going to try this project soon. Thanks for sharing. Blessed and pinned by a squid angel.

    • Close2Art LM profile image

      Close2Art LM 5 years ago

      I will pass on this info, Angel Blessing

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Great lens! Thanks for posting :)

    • dahlia369 profile image

      dahlia369 5 years ago

      Looks simple enough - if only I had any interest in sewing...

      Great lens!! :)