Monday, August 15, 2011

B5576, Wool Clutch Bag

Luvin' it!

Pattern: Butterick 5576, four views of a very simple to make clutch. 
  •               Easy construction, would recommend for beginning, eager bag makers
  •               No zips, pockets, thick strap issues. 
  •               Love the style. It may be "Mad Men", it may be a throwback to my long gone youth, but     lately I have been experiencing clutch craving. 
  •               Highly Recommend this pattern
Fabric:  The turquoise blue is from an old jacket I made in the early 80's and decided to take apart and felt by throwing in a hot water wash and hot dryer. I cut off the buttons and lining first. The flower and strap were made from some wool I dyed back around the same vintage as the jacket and never knew quite what to do with. Those were the days when fabulous fabric waited in the stash for a fabulous design that never seemed to emerge. Now, nothing is sacred. No matter how big, small, expensive, or old or new, I have learned to just cut it. This change in attitude, which occurred a few years back, has set me free. There is always more fabric to buy so why "save" stuff? As the seamstress for Nike says, "JUST CUT IT."

The lining is one of those poly brocades from Joanns. They have some heft, the price is right, and I find that make a luxurious lining. 

Construction: This was easy, peasy. I do recommend a couple of things now that I have some hindsight.
  • You need to account for turn of cloth for the flap lining. I cut the lining 1/8th inch smaller on one short and one long edge on the lining. I should have cut more off of the long edge of the lining to account for the turn of the flap when closed. What I did cut back made the fashion fabric turn just a tiny bit to the wrong side, which is what I wanted. But you can see the slight excess in the flap lining which is not a huge thing to notice when the bag is closed but I know about it and that it could be better. 
  • Understitch your seams on the lining top edge. The pattern does not instruct you to do this. It will help those edges turn nicely and look much sharper. 
  • All of the lining pieces are interfaced before cutting. 
  • The bag bottom is interfaced, and this is not in the pattern, with a strip of Peltex fused to a piece of muslin. The Peltex is a 1/4 inch smaller than the bag bottom. The muslin is an inch longer. Center the  Peltex on the muslin and fuse. This will leave a half inch on each side that will be a handle you can stitch into the little triangle seams you make to square off the bottom of the bag. The pattern calls for non fusible interfacing, not my choice as to me, a clutch should have some serious structure. All of this interfacing business had to be thought out because Peltex is a biatch to turn. By stitching those little handles it is flexible.
  • The front and back of the bag was interfaced with the Peltex when all was well pressed and only the lining remained to be installed. Before doing that I cut two pieces of Peltex, no seam allowances, to fit into the front and back of the bag, only, not the sides. These were then fused to the completed bag quite easily. Make sure the seams stay free of the Peltex. You want a crisp, flat bag. 
  • Remember to also fuse some Peltex into the flap. I forgot,(blush). I was just zippin' right along and everything about the flap was done and attached and I forgot to add the Peltex. So the next bag will be crisper. The good news is that the lining was interfaced with a decent fusible so its not a limp dishrag. Hey, we are all entitled to a mistake now and then. My Amish friends tell me that to seek perfection is a waste of time here on earth. You will only achieve this in heaven. In the meantime just do the best you can. If you do land on perfection, feel free to throw in an intentional mistake as they sometimes do so as not not offend the Lord.... Never use seam allowances with Peltex. It will drive you nuts if you do. 
  •  I used 40 weight Sulky rayon thread for the topstitching and love how it looks. It glows more IRL than in the photos.   I did samples, as always, and decided on a triple stitch. This is the stitch that looks like a straight stitch but it actually goes back and forth over the stitch three times before moving on to the next stitch. It makes really nice topstitching and I think I will be doing this more often.

  •  Next time I make this, and that may be tomorrow, I will use a thinner strip of fabric for the wristlet strap, thinner as in narrower. 
  • If you missed the flower tute it is one post back. Making that flower goes very very fast. 
Opinion: Highly recommend. It's quick, easy, destined for embellishment and just too dang cute.  I hope you try this one out....Bunny


  1. GAWjuss!!!! And very inspirational :). And who knew that cheap poly brocade could have such a perfect use?

  2. love the your comments....can't wait to do one of my machine only does a double stitch but I love how it looks...yours is FAB...will take into account your notes on the Peltex.

  3. Great idea, I have to try it :)

  4. Love this bag. Great idea for holiday gift giveing.

  5. I don't often leave comments but I opened your post this morning and I gasped. This is unbelievable. You are an amazing artist.

  6. I want this!!!! I need this!!! I love this!!!! Maybe I can make one too.....:) Darby

  7. Oh, I am lusting. This is too wonderful.

  8. A beautiful bag! I particulary love the multicoloured flower.

  9. I love your bag and I love the dyed trim it is just perfect with that blue . Its great that you recycled . I love items with a history Well done!!!!

  10. Love your bag! Thanks for even more tips on bag making. I am currently making a clutch covered in feathers for my daughter. Thanks for reminding me to trim the seam allowance on the peltex. Your posts are always informative and enjoyable.

  11. I LOVE this purse! Now I have to try one.

  12. Your work always looks perfect to me! I also love how your touch makes Joann's fabric look perfect.

  13. What a great bag, Bunny! So cute -- but that flower, especially, is to die for!

  14. what a lovely little bag Bunny - I love your "just cut it" story - a lesson to be learned by us all I guess.

  15. Beatiful and very perfect recicled!


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