Bridesmaids' gowns get a bad rap (see the movie, 27 Dresses for hysterical proof)! Many of us have a frightening ensemble or two stuffed in the back of our own closets. But wedding styles are evolving in wonderfully new, non-closet-hiding directions, with cute accessory trends at the forefront. One of the latest, must-have articles in bridesmaid attire is a coordinated clutch for the ladies of the wedding party. Bridesmaid dresses rarely have any pockets; there's no where to tuck an emergency tube of lipstick or a tissue for those romantic moments. So, a small clutch a certainly functional idea, but it's also a beautiful gift for the bride to bestow on her girlfriends, possibly with a little something extra tucked inside. Not just for weddings, these pretty little clutches are perfect for all kinds of special occasions.
Each clutch features a top and bottom panel. To match our rustic theme, we chose pairs of medium weight, cotton/rayon blends with rustic appeal by Premier Prints from Fabric.com. We then added a tattered rose in a silk dupioni also from Fabric.com, and created the lining from the same silk. We topped it off with a great chunky, gold metallic zipper from Coats.
Our clutch finishes at approximately 5½" high x 10" wide, and there's a little split pocket inside for extra organization. The sparkly zipper opens wide so it's easy to reach in and find what you need.
Inventory shifts constantly, and some of the fabrics we originally chose are no longer in stock at Fabric.com. As new possibilities, we found the pretty options shown below within the same fabric families.
For the exterior fabric, we like these four Premier Print options: Towers Rosa Oatmeal/Pink, Carnival Oatmeal/Rosa and Rio Oatmeal/Rosa for the top panels and Ikat Dots Nina Pink/Birch for the bottom panels. Click fabric name links to the left or the swatches below to view more and shop.
For the rose and lining fabric, we like: Dupioni Silk Fabric Gold. Again, click the link to the left or the swatches below to view more and shop.
Sewing Tools You Need
- Any Sewing machine (we recommend the Janome Décor Computer 2014)
- Quarter Inch Seam foot (optional but helpful)
- Zipper foot
Fabric and Other Supplies
The ingredients shown below are for ONE zippered clutch. There is a extra yardage figured in to allow for precise fussy cutting. If you are new to fussy cutting, check out our handy step-by-step tutorial.
- ¼ yard of 45"+ wide medium-weight cotton or cotton blend fabric for the top panels and zipper tabs
- ¼ yard of 45"+ wide medium-weight cotton or cotton blend fabric for the bottom panels
NOTE: we used the same bottom panel fabric for all three of our sample clutches, which tied them together nicely as a set, yet still allowed for individuality for each bridesmaid.
- ⅓ yard of 45"+ wide silk (or similar) for the lining, lining pocket and the accent rose
NOTE: The fabric for the rose is cut WOF (width of fabric) - our silk dupioni was a 54" width, which gave us a fuller rose, therefore, it is our recommended width although a 45" width is useable.
- ½ yard of 45" medium-weight fusible interfacing; we used Décor Bond by Pellon
- One 9" metallic zipper; we used a Coats & Clark Fashion Metallic zipper in Gold
- All purpose thread to match fabric
- ONE felt circle, 2" in diameter
- See through ruler
- Seam gauge
- Seam ripper
- Fabric pencil, pen or chalk
- Iron and ironing board
- Scissors or rotary cutter and mat
- Straight pins
- Hand sewing needle
- From the fabric for the top panels and zipper tabs, fussy cut the following:
TWO 4¾" high x 11" wide rectangles for the top panels
TWO 1¼" x 2½" strips for the zipper tabs
- From the fabric for the bottom panels, fussy cut TWO 3¼" high x 11" wide rectangles.
- From the fabric for the lining. lining pocket and rose, cut the following:
TWO 7" high x 11" wide rectangles for the main lining
ONE 8" x 8" square for the interior pocket
ONE 3½" x WOF (wide of fabric) strip for the rose
NOTE: For a more tattered edge to your rose, tear the strip instead of cutting it.
- From the fusible interfacing, cut the following:
TWO 4¾" high x 11" wide rectangles
TWO 3¼" high x 11" wide rectangles
At Your Sewing Machine & Ironing Board
- Following manufacturer's instructions, fuse the interfacing to the wrong side of all four exterior panels (the two top panels and the two bottom panels).
- With right sides of fabric together, pin each top panel to a bottom panel.
- If you have a directional fabric, make sure everything is facing the right direction. You are pinning along the bottom edge of the top and the top edge of the bottom. Pin first, then gently open up the piece to check that everything is correct.
- Stitch together, using a ½" seam allowance.
- Press the seam allowance down towards the bottom panel.
- On both the front and back assembled panels, topstitch along the horizontal seam, ¼" from the seam within the bottom panel. We used our Janome Quarter Inch Seam foot to keep a perfectly straight seam.
Insert the zipper
- Find the 9" zipper and the two 1¼" x 2½" strips.
- Place one strip on each end of the zipper. The strip and the zipper are right sides together. Open up the zipper about midway so you can sew right up against the tabs on either end. Pin in place.
NOTE: We based the width of these strips on our zipper. Cut your tabs as needed to best fit your zipper; you want the strip to fit within the zipper tape.
- Stitch the zipper tabs in place, running your seam just below the top and bottom zipper stops.
- Press the zipper tabs away from the zipper on each end.
- Find the front and back exterior panels.
- Fold under and press the top raw edge of each panel ½".
- Place the zipper right side up on your work surface.
- Place one panel on each side of the zipper.
- Pin both panels in place. The top folded edge of the panel should be approximately ¼" away from the zipper teeth. Make sure the zipper is centered between the left and right sides of the panel. The zipper tabs will extend beyond the raw edges of the panel.
- Attach your Zipper foot. Edgestitch both panels in place.
- Go slowly. When you can start to feel you're approaching the zipper pull, stop with your needle in the down position. Twist your fabric around slightly and carefully close the zipper. Re-position your fabric and finish sewing to the end. Be very careful and go slowly; you want your seam line to be super-duper straight.
- Press the panel away from the zipper. You now have panels stitched in place on either side of the zipper and the excess width is neatly filled in with the zipper tabs. Trim the excess tab fabric so the side edges are flush.
NOTE: If you are new to working with zippers, check out our tutorial on regular zippers. For additional zipper insertion options, check out our Zippered Pencil Case, our Ty Pennington Tasseled Pouches, and our Amy Butler Pleated Evening Clutch with Bow. These tutorials have similar zipper insertion techniques.
Complete the exterior bag
- Open the zipper about half way again. Fold the two panels right sides together, aligning the raw edges along both sides and across the bottom. Pin in place.
- Using a ½" seam allowance, stitch along both sides and across the bottom, pivoting at the bottom corners. Use a substantial backstitch at both the beginning and end of your seam to reinforce these stress points at either end of the zipper.
- Press open the seam allowances and clip the corners. Leave the exterior wrong side out
Create and insert the lining
- Find the 8" x 8" pocket square.
- Fold in half, right sides together. Pin along all three sides.
- Using a ½" seam allowance, stitch around all sides, pivoting at the corners.
- Leave an approximate 2"-3" opening along the bottom for turning.
- Clip the corners. Turn right side out through the bottom opening. Push out the corners so they are nice and sharp. A chopstick or long knitting needle works well for this.
- Fold in the raw edges of the opening so they are flush with the sewn seam. Press well.
- Find the two 7" x 11" lining pieces.
- Pin the pocket in place on the right side of one lining piece. The pocket should be centered side to side, 1½" down from the top and 2" up from the bottom.
- Pin in place. Then, measure 1½" in from the right side of the pocket and mark a vertical line with pins or draw a line with a fabric pen or pencil (make sure it will easily wipe away or erase with exposure to air as you are working on the right side of the silk fabric). This vertical line will be stitched to divide the pocket into two sections.
- Edgestitch the pocket in place along both sides and across the bottom, pivoting at the corners and with a generous backstitch at the beginning and end of the seam, ie. at the pocket top. This is a stress point for the pocket and it's smart to secure the seam well.
- Stitch one additional vertical seam on the pocket from top to bottom, following your pin-marked or drawn line.
- Place the two lining pieces right sides together, sandwiching the pocket between the layers. Pin in place along both sides and across the bottom.
- Using a ½" seam allowance, stitch along both sides and across the bottom, pivoting at the corners.
- Clip the corners.
- Fold down the top raw edge of the lining ½" all around. Pin in place.
- Find the exterior bag.
- Turn the lining right side out, but keep the exterior bag wrong side out. Slip the exterior bag inside the lining so the two bags are now wrong sides together.
- Align the bottom and side seams. The top folded edge of each side of the lining should fall below the zipper teeth by about ⅛". If it doesn't, adjust the fold to fit and gently re-press.
- Pin the layers together along the edge of the zipper.
- Thread the hand sewing needle.
- Slip stitch the lining to the bag, using very small stitches. Stitch along the front and the back, but leave the lining loose where it wraps over the side seams. This allows some "give" in the lining so it folds smoothly as you zip the bag open and shut.
- Turn the clutch right side out through the open zipper and press flat.
NOTE: Our thanks to our friend, Elaine Schmidt and her book Precut Patchwork Partyfor the hints on how to make this rose accent.
- Find the 3½" x WOF strip of silk.
- Press it flat and smooth.
- Tie a knot at one end of the strip.
- With the knot in one hand, twist the strip with the other hand and gradually wrap the strip around the knot.
- The longer your strip, the more you will spiral around the knot, and the fuller your finished rose will be. It's okay for the raw edges of the silk to show; that's part of the "rustic" look.
- You can simply hold the spirals as you go, or pin them in place. You can even use a little fabric glue to hold things together.
- When finished, we used a threaded hand needle to tack the back in place. Your stitches don't have to be pretty; they'll all be hidden.
- Find the felt circle. Sew the back of the finished rose to the felt circle. Again, don't stress about the look of your stitches; you'll never see them.
- Find the finished clutch. Zip it closed. When looking at the "front" of the clutch, the "front" should be the side with the zipper pull on the left (when zipped shut). Position the rose on the opposite side, the right hand side, centered top to bottom within the top panel (as shown in our photos).
- Hand sew the rose in place.
NOTE: Pull the lining out of the way prior to stitching the rose in place. You want your stitching to go through the felt circle and just the exterior fabric. Replace the lining and gently press the clutch.
Project Design: Alicia Thommas
Sample Creation and Instructional Outline: Debbie Guild