One foldover clutch two ways

February 17, 2012 § 2 Comments

Hello! It’s been a crazy week at work and an even crazier one in my sweatshop. Surprisingly enough, I did manage to finish everything on deadline in both “jobs” (just please don’t drop by unannounced because my house looks like a tornado just went through it) and now I can post this week’s finish.

For someone whose bag over the years has been a shapeless oversized carry-all, I am turning out to be quite the bag lady. (Excuse me if you catch me oggling your bag on the train or bus. I am not planning to steal it, I swear. Oh okay, at least just the design :D) I’ve been obsessed with how foldover bags are constructed, so this week’s challenge was to finally make one – actually, two. But because I am me, the best motivations are the challenge of a tight deadline, a schedule waaaaay past my bedtime, and making it special enough to give as a gift.

I like the Lee who crafts. She’s a planner, highly methodical, has a good case of OCD and likes to figure out what works and what doesn’t. I wish she stayed around for the mundane stuff, like house chores. But she’s very choosy about what she does, so I’ll leave her alone to do what she does best: making things.

First, choose your materials. I did a Peter Jackson here and did two bags at one time. Same lining material, different outer fabric and embellishments. One would be black with white lace, the other a spiral blue and purple print. Once you’ve chosen your outer fabric and lining material, cut two pieces each to 12 inches x 18 inches. Your final clutch size will be a bit large and envelope shaped, so you might want to adjust the sizes according to your preferences. Just be sure you have enough length to fold the bag over once finished.

I was very caught up making these bags that I didn’t take as many pics as I usually do for a step-by-step but I think you’ll get the idea. If not, here’s the basic foldover bag tutorial from Noodlehead. Pictured is one of the linings. I used a very flimsy sateen fabric for the lining and lightweight cotton for the outer fabric but I wanted the clutch to hold its shape well, so I used some interfacing. That’s the white stuff you see there over the red lining. I also learned to add a zippered pocket to lining this week from the lovely Lisa Lam, so these bags should be quite functional, with room for coins, keys and mobiles. I finished both linings first and set them aside. Now for the outer bags.

The bags themselves will probably take you about 2 hours to make, tops. What bogged me down was the embellishments. Did I mention that Crafty Lee is astonishingly patient? The lace on the black bag was just the beginning. I wanted to use Modge Podge (which for glue, I found out, is quite expensive at AED 56 a 236 ml bottle) but I experimented on this beforehand and found out I didn’t quite like the finish, so it was back to trusty fabric glue. You can even sew this on, but I didn’t want to risk my machine having another tantrum because of me mixing the wrong materials together.

Now for the other one. I originally planned for the blue bag to have a huge floppy, sparkly bow as its centrepiece.

Yep, there’s me putting on the sparklies one by one using fabric glue and nifty pliers. Yes, there’s an applicator that makes life much easier for noobs like me. But at AED 160 (about $35-$40), it didn’t feel too crafty for a tool I would use very rarely. But that’s not the funny part. I set it out to dry and went to bed, woke up in the morning and decided I didn’t like how it looked. So on to something different.

You could get the tutorial for the fabric flowers atΒ My Sparkle. Shireen, the very supportive guinea pig for the black clutch, told me I needed to figure out my costings now so I could start putting a price to these things. But you now see my dilemma. It’s not a matter of wasting materials and time, it’s about getting it right and being happy with the results for me at this point. We’ll figure out the practical matters once OriginaLee is ready to open its doors πŸ™‚

My newfound sparkle fetish satisfied, now it’s all business.

Sew the outer fabric and lining together. Once you’ve done the whole turning the bag inside out routine, you’ll want to iron the edges so they’re crisp and straight. Take note of the side where the zippered pouch is on. I wanted that side to be against the body when my giftee’s clutching the clutch, so you’ll know which side to foldover and iron.

For the black one I had to put on the lace embellishment before sewing it together. For this one, since the flowers would obviously make ironing the bag difficult, the detailing came later. Whenever you decide to put on your embellishments, at this point you’re about done.

I know a lint remover is invaluable in making sure your projects end up nice and neat. But my inner cheapo just couldn’t stand the idea of spending for something that’s not an actual tool, material, or has more than one use. So I McGyver-ed a lint remover using 3M tape and four oddly shaped fingers. Works perfectly well. Just make sure you don’t use tape with a sticky kind of adhesive, then you’ll be adding extra embellishments to your stuff that you didn’t plan for or want.

Finally . . .

I love it! I think I’m actually jealous and should make one of these for myself πŸ™‚ Happy weekend, mah peeps!

And here begins the madness

February 13, 2012 § Leave a comment

Two ladies, two gifts, two days; and this is where it all starts. It might look a bit pro-ey but trust me, that’s now. After learning that I did not like taking out huge bolts of fabric and putting them back in place neatly. I have finally learned the value of swatches. I really shouldn’t be posting works in progress since these are supposed to be surprise gifts but I felt like such a slacker not having posted anything today, so there – not being a lazy cow, actually doing things. Now excuse me while I get back to business. See you on the other side.

January 11, 2012 § Leave a comment

This is going to be a lame post since I’m busy catching up on my projects so I can post a new tutorial this weekend. Nevertheless, this tip could come in handy for you in the future. Call it cheating since I’m a writer by profession, but ever since I can remember I’ve always had a pen and notebook in my bag. So it came in handy today (despite the ruled pages) when I saw someone on the train with a cute clutch I wanted to make my own version of. I’m not a great sketch artist but it will remind me of what I wanted to do with the design should I have a senior moment about it in the future πŸ˜‰ Now shush while I get back to work πŸ™‚

Placemat clutch

January 4, 2012 § 2 Comments

I’m lazy. I’m bad with numbers and somehow my straight lines are never that. Disastrous for a crafter you might think, but I manage to surprise myself, if not other people πŸ™‚

So, I needed placemats since I get annoyed at having to clean my beautiful hardwood dining table after every meal. Being the cheapskate I am, I headed down to the 7dirham heavan that is Daiso and found what I wanted. But when I got home, I found it too pretty to use and kept it in the drawer. And then I found this videoΒ and the proverbial light bulb came on and I got to work. All I needed to do was sew two rectangular pieces of fabric together to form the lining and then sewed the placemat on top of that. Sewed in a scrap of lace for the button and voila!

Bear with me as my photography catches up on my projects and I can get a proper tutorial up and running. But for now I’ll just post the results. Thanks to Meagan for taking the pics πŸ™‚

Looks simple enough *crosses fingers

January 4, 2012 § Leave a comment

I know I need to learn to sew better for this blog, but to learn presentation too? What have I gotten myself into?

Because I have awesome friends, I got a sewing machine as a birthday gift. Since then I’ve been trying to find ways (ehem . . . excuses) to use it more and more often. For Christmas I made clutches for friends (pics to be added later, though in my astounding lack of foresight I didn’t do any “in progress pics”) and was quite happy with the results. Found this new project prospect hereΒ Gathered Clutch Tutorial | Skip To My Lou. and can’t wait to try this at home.

So here’s one of the clutches I made, as promised. No tutorial, sadly since I was too concerned about getting it to look right while making it that I completely forgot about taking pictures. I would say, though, that I made it from extra fabric, scrap lace and a tablecloth πŸ™‚ And here’s where I got the idea.

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