Story time: I want soo badly to make purses. I know that I’ve got to start somewhere – so I went to Pinterest for inspiration. There are so many great purse patterns there. The only problem is that I can’t afford the materials to make most of them, so it took me some time to find my starter purse. On my Pinterest adventure I ran into this tutorial from yellow brick home – where Kim discusses making an oversized clutch on her second date with a sewing machine (for the sake of citation, Kim got the the pattern from Liz at Say Yes). Anyhow, I liked the pattern, and it felt similar to the makeup bags I had been making, so I decided to go for it. This is a story of how I tried, failed, and tried again. The picture above is the version of the bag that I’m happy with – but it’s more interesting to tell you about my failure first:
I was ambitious as hell. I saw that the original pattern used faux leather and I was all like “Why not? I used it on that laptop sleeve. What could go wrong?” I went out and got the materials: 1/2 yard of faux leather, interfacing, two fat quarters of fabric for a lining, and a zipper. I even decided to be bold and make a little strap for it, so I got some lobster claw clasps. I cut out two 16×17″ pieces of fabric and interfacing. I attached the interfacing and sat down to sew the zipper on. This is where I began learning lessons about working with faux leather.
- You need to use a heavy-duty needle. My original needle just wasn’t doing the trick. Luckily, I had some heavy-duty ones on deck.
- Leather doesn’t feed through the sewing machine the way other fabrics do. The first time I went through to attach the zipper, the zipper was really wonky (it was wavy). Apparently there are machine feet that can fix this problem – but I’m a broke bitch and that wasn’t an option. So I went about using my seam ripper to try it again. This led to my third lesson.
- You only get one chance with sewing leather. The needle leaves holes in it. Things can get ugly really quick.
- I’m not about this life.
So yes. The whole project was a fail. After I took it apart and tried it again (holes and all), it was better – but the zipper was still wonky. Here’s a picture of the atrocity:
It’s ugly, right?
Luckily, I’m not a quitter. After my first attempt, I was determined to do better. I noticed that Kim used vinyl instead of leather, so I went to Joann and picked up 1/2 yard of some really pretty green marine vinyl. I decided to NOT use interfacing (the vinyl seemed like it could hold its own). I also didn’t use a lining fabric for this one (no particular reason why). Lastly, I grabbed an 18″ metal zipper.
I cut out two 16×17″ pieces of the vinyl. Using the zipper foot of my sewing machine, I attached the two pieces to the zipper, then I pulled the zipper open a bit (to make flipping it inside-out possible. I then put the right sides of the vinyl together and sewed around the edges, making sure to clip the bottom corners. Lastly, I flipped that sucker inside out (right-side-out?), and it was done! The over-sized fold-over clutch was born!
Things went so well on this attempt. Making the whole thing took me maybe an hour and a half. I’m really happy with how it turned out.