Sewing | Uncategorized

DIY Travel Document Clutch (or any type of clutch…)

One of the projects I wanted to complete before we went on vacation this past August, was an organizer/carry case for our travel documents.  I looked around online a little bit, but didn’t really see anything I liked (or thought was worth the money.)

I had some leftover canvas and a magnetic snap from a tote bag project I did a couple of years ago and figured it would be a simple project to make myself an easy-to-spot, “break out” clutch to help keep all our passports, boarding passes, luggage claim tickets and transportation info organized.

How to make a Clutch Handbag.  Perfect for organizing Travel Documents.

I’m happy to report that this clutch worked awesomely on our trip.  The fabric I used was brightly colored and easy to find in my huge dark tote bag and the baggage check in attendant even complemented me on it!

The best part is that it this clutch only took about 30 minutes to make and didn’t cost me anything extra, because I already had all the supplies.  (FYI…  I was at Wal-mart this morning and noticed they had these magnetic snaps for just a couple of bucks for a set of 3.)

By choosing different fabrics and/or dimensions, this little clutch could be used for so many different occasions.  (Imagine one made from some cool gold or black sequin material for a holiday party or evening out on the town…)

To make the clutch, you need:

  • 2 pieces of fabric cut to 14.5 by 12.  I recommend at least one of the fabrics be a stiff/heavy weight duck/canvas/upholstery fabric.  If not, you will need to add an iron on interfacing to the back of one of your fabric pieces
  • magnetic snap
  • iron, spray starch, fabric marker, ruler, basic sewing supplies
(See the 12 easy steps to make this clutch after the jump…)
Instructions: 
1.  Line up fabrics right sides together and sew along the edge, using a 1/4 inch seam allowance.  Leave a 2 inch opening at the top. ( my pic is upside down.)

2.  Trim seam allowance to about 1/8 inch and clip corners at a diagonal.  (If you trim the lining fabric slightly more than the outer fabric, this will help keep the lining from showing more than the outer fabric when you flip and press.)

3.  Flip the fabric right side out.  (use a pointed object to help turn corners.)  Tuck in seam allowance for the opening and press the fabric around all the edges.  Use plenty of spray starch to get a nice flat even seam.

4.  Fold fabric in thirds.  Experiment with fold placement until you are happy with the way it looks.

5.  Open the “top flap” and pin top of clutch pocket in place.  (Circled in red below.  I discovered after I took this picture that it works better if the pins are parallel to the edge of the clutch instead of perpendicular.)

6.  Flip the clutch inside out.

7.  Fold the bottom edge of the clutch so the outer edges meet in the middle and for a triangle.

7.  Use your ruler and find the spot on the triangle that measures 1 inch.  Draw a line with your fabric marker at this spot.

8.  Pin the fabric in place and sew along this line.  (By this point, my fabric was getting  bulky. I found it helpful to start at the middle of the triangle, sew forward to the edge and then sew backwards to the other edge.  It seemed to help my machine grasp and move the fabric through.

Repeat on the other side.

Flip clutch right side out and admire your pretty box bottom.

9.  Grab the magnetic clasp and experiment with the placement until you find the spot where you want to put the top and bottom clasp.

Use a ruler to help find the center of the bag.

Place the clasp where you want it and mark the location of the two prongs.  Use a seam ripper or tiny pair of scissors to cut openings just big enough for the prongs to fit through.

10.  Maneuver to the clasp through the opening in the seam allowance.  Slide the 2nd metal piece over the prongs and fold the prongs in.

11.  Do the same for the top of the clasp.

12.  Sew the sides of the clutch together by top stitch all the way around the sides and top of the clutch, starting as close the the box bottom as possible.  For extra stability, back stitch where the bottom half of the cluck meets the flap.  Tie off, trim all your strings and you are done!

Pretty isnt it?  What a great gift this would make!

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