Wednesday, May 6, 2009

The Making of a Girly-Girl Clutch Purse

Ooh La La!

A couple of months ago, I was shopping in From My Hands To Yours' fabulous Etsy shop. (If you haven't checked out her shop yet, you should. Very cool and unusual offerings.) I spotted these gorgeous pin-up girl buttons and bought them right away.

Of course, at the time I had no idea what I would do with them. But when I opened the package and saw the little beauties, I knew I had to use at least one in some type of purse. As the idea percolated in my mind, I began seeing lacy flowers and a bow-shaped evening clutch--something really girly. At first, I thought I might use a lace overlay of some kind for the purse body, but then decided I'd like to find a cotton with a lace print to make a sturdier clutch for my first try.

On a trip to my local fabric shop where they specialize in miles and miles of quilting cottons, I found what I was looking for: a black cotton with an all-over white, lacy print. I took it home and played with my idea a bit. Then I went to work.

Behind the seams:

I cut out matching rectangles of the black cotton, a thin fleece interfacing to add some body, a sizzling, scarlet red cotton twill for the inside, and a stiff interfacing for the lining. First I applied the fleece interfacing to the back of the black cotton, then ironed on the stiffer interfacing to the red cotton twill lining.

Next, I cut out two red twill rectangles and one piece of interfacing approximately 8" by 4" and sewed them together leaving an opening for turning right side out. After I finished with this, I had a pocket for the inside! I pressed the pocket nice and flat, then positioned and sewed it to the red twill rectangle.

Then, after I sewed the purse and the lining into matching clutch-shapes, I lined them up and sewed them together. Of course, I left another opening at the top that I used for pulling that beautiful right side out where it belongs.

To make the subtle bow shape, I cut a 4 1/2" wide by about 18" long strip of the black cotton and some more stiff interfacing. Assembled and sewed this together, then sewed the first 2/3 to the top of the purse on the front, scrunched the body a bit, then attached the band to the back at the middle. This left a flap of about 5 1/2" that lays across the top of the purse and down the front to where I sewed on snaps for the closure.

Now for the sexy, pin-up button!

I decided to use one of the Bettie Page buttons--the gorgeous brunette showing some major cleavage! At only 1/2", the button sort of got lost on the front of the purse flap. So I took some black lace fabric and cut out a looong rectangle that I tapered at the ends, sewed it together, zigzagged over some dental floss and pulled/gathered it into a flower shape. The button still didn't pop enough, so I got some white lace trim and gathered that, too. After sewing them together, I sewed the button and the lace flower to a pin back.


The result is this great-looking, pretty and feminine, Girly-Girl clutch purse with a removable 3" Flower Brooch. The purse measures 8" wide at bottom, 9 1/4" across top, 1 1/2" deep, and 5 1/2" high.

Wouldn't this be great for a prom, or wedding, or just for fun?? Let me know what you think. Oh, and don't forget to tell your friends, they can purchase this fabu clutch in my Etsy shop. The link is to the right. Over there >>>>

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