Did you know? It’s National Sewing Month! It’s been far too long since I’ve tackled a creative project or DIY, so I can’t tell you how excited I am to have had an opportunity to hone my skills and try something completely new! There’s something really special about breaking old the ol’ Singer and, after a few dates with the seam ripper, emerging with a completed project that you feel super proud to have made. I missed that creative energy and knew I needed something to feel revived.
A few months ago, I started working with Kristin from Create by the Yard, a site that sells fabric…by the yard! I was completely blown away by her selection of fabrics. Normally, I feel frustrated by the limited selection of cute patterns when I shop locally, even at huge craft stores like JoAnn Fabrics. I never find exactly what I’m looking for and end up settling for the next best thing. I had always been somewhat turned off by shopping online for fabric until I came across Create by the Yard. The site itself is fun and refreshing to look at, but the fabric is where it’s really at. You can select from quality and designer fabrics from manufacturers like Moda, Riley Blake, and Birch. The price points are all spot on and there’s almost always a promotion or coupon going on. Check out the coupon code AND giveaway at the bottom of the post!
I knew that working with Create by the Yard would be the perfect motivation (and excuse) to start sewing again. I recruited some of my other creative friends and we all selected some fabric from Create by the Yard with the challenge to sew something with a yard or less. I decided on two half-yard selections in my two most favorite patterns EVER and after much deliberation, I settled on sewing the Nora Clutch from The Glamorous Housewife. I am thrilled with how it turned out and am so glad I tried this tutorial.
- (2) 11 x 13″ pieces of fabric for the interior lining
- (2) 9 x 11″ pieces of fabric for the top part of the exterior
- (2) 4.5 x 11″ pieces of fabric for the bottom part of the exterior
- (4) 11 x 13″ pieces of fusible interfacing (I used medium interfacing, but could have gone for stronger at least for the exterior)
- (1) 12 inch zipper or longer
- Coordinating thread
- Iron and ironing board
- Sewing machine
- Cutting mat
- Rotary Cutter
- Grid Ruler
- Clips or pins
- Optional: Chop stick or turning tool
Note: All seam allowances should be 1/4 inch. Press all seams open as you work for a smooth finish.
I chose two gorgeous fabrics:
I love how they pair together! I decided that the stripes would continue as my interior lining. I thought a pop of pink would be perfect as the zipper.
- Cut out your pieces using a rotary cutter and cutting mat. Starting with the exterior, sew a 9 x 11″ exterior piece to a 4.5 x 11″ coordinating piece along the 11″ side right sides together, keeping in mind any directional patterns. The smaller piece will be at the bottom, since the bag will be folded over. Repeat for the other side of the exterior. Optional: sew a top stitch right above this new seam for a new finish.
- Iron on the interfacing to all four pieces–2 interior, 2 exterior. Using a cup or other round object, trace and cut out a rounded edge on the bottom two corners of each piece.
- Install your zipper by creating a zipper sandwich. Layer with an interior piece facing right side up, place the zipper with the right edge flush with the top edge of the interior piece, then place the exterior piece on top, right side down, matching up with the other edges. Clip together. Sew as close to the zipper teeth as you can, unzipping and unclipping as necessary. Open, fold over, and iron down. Sew a top stitch close to the zipper teeth to keep it nice and secure. Repeat this whole step with the other side of your zipper using the remaining interior and exterior pieces.
- The picture below shows the progress up to this point. DO NOT keep the right sides up as the picture displays. Turn so right sides are together and sew around the entire edge, keeping a 6 inch gap on the interior end of the bag. IMPORTANT: Before you start sewing, keep the zipper halfway unzipped to allow for turning. Sew using a 1/4 inch seam allowance, trim the excess (including the zipper), and turn. Using a turning tool, chopstick, or pen for the corners.
- Fold in and sew the 6 inch gap in the interior closed, stitching as close to the edge as possible. Iron everything smooth and then push the interior inside. Fold down about 3.5 inches and press. You’re all done!
Optional: Add a snap before you sew the perimeter of the bag so it can fold more securely.
All in all, I am SO excited about this clutch and am proud of myself for tackling it. It ended up being really easy (except when I accidentally measured a little too short with my interior pieces and when I sewed the zipper incorrectly at first–easy fixes!), started and finished it in an afternoon, and I would definitely make it again. I’d say this is an intermediate beginner pattern.
And now…to style and use!
What would YOU create with a yard of fabric or less?
Create by the Yard is generously offering a 30% discount to all readers with the code: bloghop0914! Even if you’re not ready to create now, stock up on fabric for all of your holiday crafting and gifting now at a great price.
Be sure to stop by the rest of the blogs this week to see their tutorials!
Lastly, enter to win a $30 giftcard to Create by the Yard! It’s open to ALL because she will ship internationally! We’ll be announcing the winner on Tuesday, September 30th. Good luck :)
*Disclaimer: I received fabric in exchange for a review, but I will certainly be purchasing from Create by the Yard and I wholeheartedly support this fantastic business! Thank you for supporting the businesses that make The Modern Austen possible.