Sunday, January 9, 2011

Zippered Clutch Tutorial

Over this winter break I decided I wanted to show whoever is reading this how to do a little project that I think is a simple way to start sewing. This tutorial has definitely been done before, but I hope my version will help make this project seem easier to someone! This is the first tutorial I have written so please let me know if there is anything that is unclear and I will try my best to help clarify!

First what you need:
  • 4 pieces of fabric 5'' X 6.25''(12.5cm X 16cm) - 2 of the outside fabric, and 2 of the lining fabric
  • 1 piece of fabric (for the strap) 13'' X 2.5'' (35cm X 6cm) 
  • 1 Zipper (the one shown is a 7inch zipper, but I cut 1.5'' off the end, don't worry, ill show you below!)
  • Thread (this will show on the outside of the clutch, so pick a colour you like)

Because I had a zipper that was too long, I had to shorten it a bit. To do this start by sewing over the zipper about half a centimeter in from where you will be cutting it. The simply cut off the end you don;t need, in this case about 1.5 inches (or 3.5 cm).  Hopefully you can see this in the second picture below. 

Once your zipper is the right size, you will want to sew a little piece of fabric on to each end of the zipper. This will help to make the edges of the zipper look nice and clean once it is all sewed together.

Now that you have a good looking zipper, you want to start sewing the sides of the clutch onto the zipper. First place the liner fabric (right side UP), then place the zipper on top of the liner fabric with the top zipper edge aligned with the top of the liner fabric. Finally place the outer fabric on top of the zipper (right side DOWN) covering the zipper, and aligning the top edges together. Now just pin along the top edge and sew the three layers together. (Remember to use your zipper foot!)

Now flip the pieces of fabric you sewed down to the other side of the zipper, so you can see the bare side of the zipper. Again place the liner under the zipper (right side UP) with the top edge of the zipper aligning with the top edge of the liner fabric. Place the outside fabric (right side DOWN) covering the zipper, the same way you did with the previous side. Now pin the three layers together and sew along the top edge.

Look at how great it is so far! ....Now, flip the fabric you just sewed so the right side is out and the zipper can be seen on the top and the bottom. Once you have done this, pin down the fabric around the zipper, you will be pinning through the outer fabric, the zipper and the lining fabric.

Sew around the edge of the zipper. Make sure you use a colour of thread you like, because this will show (also keep using that zipper foot!).

 Now the clutch is almost ready, but we have to make the strap first. This part is nice and easy. Take your long piece of fabric and fold it in half (right sides TOGETHER) and sew along the edge, creating a tube. Now, turn that tube inside out and iron flat with the seam in the middle.

For this next part make sure you leave the zipper OPEN!!

Pin the pieces of fabric so that the outside fabrics are touching (right sides together), and the lining pieces of fabric are together. Fold the strap in half (with the seam inside the fold) and then slide the strap into the side of the outside fabric section. (the next picutre shows this in more detail). Once it is all pinned together sew around the rectangle you have created, BUT make sure you leave an area open in the lining. The area I left open is marked with the two tall pins. It is also important to make sure you sew over the strap a few times so that it is nice and secure.

This is just a more detailed picture showing how to slide the strap into the outer fabric section.

We are almost done! Now that you have this rectangle all sewed, trim the edges, cut your threads, and flip it inside out through the hole you left in the bottom. You will see you almost have a clutch, but there is still that hole in the bottom.

Pin the whole in the bottom closed so no raw edges show, and then sew it closed! (again, this stitching will show, so pick a colour of thread you like).

Push the lining into the clutch, push out the corners, and sit back and admire your lovely clutch!!

And add a label if you wish :)

I hope that this is helpful! Please comment and let me know if anything is unclear. Good luck sewing :)


  1. I haven't gotten around to doing a zippered clutch yet. Your tutorial makes it seem easy to do. I can't wait to give it a try! Thanks for taking the time to write up the tutorial!

  2. Hey thanks for the tutorial! I am sewing four bridesmaid clutches and one for myself this week for my wedding hopefully using your wonderful tutorial.. it looks simple enough! :)

  3. Excellent tutorial! I've done a few of these and have run into zipper issues. Great tips. Thank you!

  4. A friend had made me one of these a few years back and it finally gave out. I've been looking for a tutorial to make a new one for myself and came across yours. Can't wait to make this in the next day or two! Thanks for sharing!

  5. Your tabs are the best ones I've tried yet --- just one question - when you sew the 'rectangle', right sides together, how do you position the tab area? Some suggest sandwiching it toward the exterior fabric. I didn't see any mention of it in your tutorial and was wondering how you did it. Thanks!

    1. I try and fold it in half, kind of pinching it together. (But i'll be honest, I never quite feel like I get that part of it just right.) Thanks for reading!

    2. I realize this was posted a few years ago but I’m just seeing your post today. M trying to perfect the ends of the zipper without too much bulk. I have made several pouches that are ok but not like the ready makes are in the store. I have read so many sets of directions on Pinterest but most directions don’t address the bulk and how to have the corners square. I’m wondering if the solution might be to shorten the zipper a bit more so the zipper tape is not included in the seam when sewing the rectangle. I’m going to try tonight.

  6. Great tips there. Thanks for sharing.

  7. I have made many small zippered pouches. Your video is good. I am sure it will help many beginners get started.

  8. I am so glad i stumbled upon your tutorial. I always had issues with the zippers before but you helped so much. Thanks for sharing!

  9. Muito obrigada pela demonstração.

  10. Thank you so much. It was so elaborate no corners cut

  11. how can I make an unlined clutch? I have quilted fabric that is printed on both sides to use for making the clutch. Thanks for any help you can offer.

  12. Thanks for the information. I really like the way you express complex topics in lucid way. It really helps me understand it much better way. long zipper clutch

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