Monday, June 4, 2012

DIY tutorial: How to make an envelope clutch

Finally! Here's the DIY tutorial of the envelope clutch bag I showed you in my last outfit. This is a project I did some time ago, when I wasn't even thinking of making my own DIY blog. As you can see, it's not so perfect or so professional, but this is one of my very first DIYs with the sewing machine. What can I say? When I see these awful rookie stitches, I can't help feeling some kind of affection for this bag.

I should say this is probably one of the most difficult tutorials I've ever done. Mostly because it requires making our own patterns and using the sewing machine. However, if you have the least bit of sewing skills, it' won't be difficult for you to follow up the steps. If you can't sew, don't worry: I'm working on a simplified version of a clutch that doesn't require sewing machine.

I don't have pictures of the process so I had to illustrate all the steps. However, I think this way it's easier to understand.

When it comes to supplies, I think it's better to use leather. These kinds of projects require some time and effort, so it's never worth it to work with faux leather. We can easily find very inexpensive remnants. Nevertheless, I do not recommend using thick or patent leathers, unless you are a sewing master. I found it so difficult to work with this metallic leather because I don't have a professional sewing machine.

The first thing you have to do is to decide the measurements you want for your bag, and make the patterns. It's not so different from the technical drawing we all did at school. Around every piece you should leave 1 cm for the sewing margin. Also, it is very important to mark the centers. 

BEFORE YOU START: I recommend doing a first trial on paper or cardboard, sticking all the pieces together with glue. This helps to see if everything fits or if it's necessary to correct the patterns. One you've done this, if it's your first time working with leather or making a bag, do a second trial on fabric. Yes, I know it might be exhausting, but it's better to try than to ruin your leather.

Transfer your patterns to the leather and don't forget to mark the centers with a small tiny cut. As leather can't be tacked or pined, we should use double sided tape.

Start by sewing the two pieces of the front. To achieve a more professional result you can make a parallel stitch to every joint and border. Next, sew the sides to the front. For the back, start sewing the facing of the flap, and then sew that piece to the sides.
Sewing the base is one of the most difficult steps. First, you'll obviously have to turn your bag inside out. It is so important to make the center marks of the base match to the center marks of the body.

Now it's time to sew the facing. This piece helps to connect the body of the bag to the lining. Sew the sides and attach it to the body of your bag. The process is quite similar to sewing the base, but this time you'll have to pay attention to the marks of the corners (not only the centers). Put the magnetic closure before you start with your lining.

The last step is to sew the lining to the facing. To do so, you'll have to put your bag inside your lining (as the illustration above shows). Unfold the facing and sew it by the green lines. Now you have to take your bag out by the hole of the lining, and put everything in its place. Finally, close the hole.

Now you might be scared with so many steps, but with a modicum of sewing skills you are perfectly capable of doing this. My sewing skills are so little (I've never attended to a pattern making, sewing or fashion design class) and I could design and do this bag just a few days after buying my sewing machine.

If you have never made a project like this, I recommend you doing it without base and sides. The process will be easier and faster.

I hope you guys liked this. If you have any doubt, of course you can leave a comment or send me an email to If you finally Dare to Do It Yourself, please send me some pictures. That would make me sooo happy.




  1. OMG! I am so impressed with your clutch tutorial! The clutch itself is amazing, as are your visual 'drawings' of the steps themselves! If they gave awards for tutorials, you would win every time. :)

  2. Aw this is Good!! i like this clear tutorial!! :)


  3. I am impressed with your clutch all the visual steps that's quite easy...I wish to use these steps in Gift Card envelopes.

  4. What measurements did you use? I want to make the bag but am not sure if: the inside flap is the same size as the back flap and what length and height to make the facing.

    1. The measurements are really up to you. The facing has to measure de same as your bag (the contour including front, back and sides). The width of the facing could be 2 inches or a little bit more if you want. The inside flap should be the same as the outer. I recommend you building your bag in paper first, so you can see if your patterns fit ;)

  5. Can yo add a zipper to the top of the bag?

  6. Excellent tutorial, however can you please tell me the approximate 'finish' size of 'your' bag as it would assist as a starting point when creating a pattern. THANK YOU!

  7. I was really searching for such a nice post and got here...Thanks for sharing such a nice information, its beneficial for me...Keep sharing more dureviewworld


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...