Love Letter Clutch Tutorial and Pattern!

Happy day, the Love Letter Clutch pattern and tutorial is finally here!

This purse/clutch pattern is kicking off my new Love Letter Collection: a series of four sewing patterns for accessories and Valentine’s Day gifts. I’m so excited about this, you guys!

It gets even more exciting because I’m celebrating with a giveaway. Two lovely readers will win the fun clutches below. Read to the bottom for instructions on how to enter!

Metal frame purses or clutches are the perfect project for the beginning sewist. You can see the others I’ve made here and here. In this tutorial you will learn about constructing the basic shape of a bag or clutch, creating boxed corners, and securing fabric to a metal frame. Let’s get started!

About the hardware
A lot of people have been asking me where to find the hardware for metal frame purses. Some are available at local craft supply stores such as Joanne’s and Michaels, but my favorite place to shop for hardware is on Etsy.com. The two frames you see above were purchased here and here.

You will also need a strong craft glue to secure the fabric to your metal frame. I purchased mine here. You may also be able to find strong adhesives at local craft stores, but in my research I found that most people who make these professionally suggest a glue such as the Gutermann Creatv HT2 Textile Glue.

About the pattern
To receive this FREE pattern, you need to be a follower of CailaMade. I appreciate each one of you so much, and like to think of us as a community sharing together. I feel like those who support me by officially following by email, RSS, or Google Friend Connect, deserve some perks, don’t you? If you are a follower of this blog by the three ways listed above, or through Facebook, send me an email, and I’ll send you the pattern within 24 hours. Honestly, I’ll probably send it to you within a few minutes if I’m at home because I’ll be so happy you want it!

For various ways to follow CailaMade, check my right sidebar. Thank you for following! 

Once you receive the pattern, please make sure you print at 100%, with NO SCALING.

For instructions on how to create your own pattern from any frame, see this post

About the fabric
You can use any woven fabric for these clutches. I prefer to make mine with a strong linen or linen/cotton blend on the outside, and a cotton for the lining. This gives the purse some body and strength. If you decide to use a quilting cotton on the outside, I suggest using canvas for the lining, or something similarly strong. Did I mention this is a great scrap busting project?

 INSTRUCTIONS

1. First, print your pattern piece and cut it out. Now cut 2 from your main fabric and two from your lining.

2. Make sure you transfer the markings from the pattern (dots) to your fabric pieces.

3. Put your lining and main fabric pieces together, with their right sides facing. This means that the front sides of the fabric are facing each other, and the back sides of the fabric are facing out). Pin these together if you wish.

Using a 3/8″ seam allowance, sew along the curved edge from marking to marking on both sets. Now you will have a back piece and a front piece (they should look the same).

4. Open your front and back pieces up and put them together, with right sides facing each other. You should see the back sides of the fabric facing out, as in the picture below. Sew them together with a 3/8″ seam allowance, using the markings you transferred as beginning and ending points. Make sure you secure the stitches at the beginning and end by backstitching. (See the black line below for reference).

5.  Now repeat this process on the lining fabric. HOWEVER, this time you need to leave a 3″ space so you can turn your pieces right side out. Use the back lines int he picture below as a reference. Be sure to use a 3/8″ seam allowance and backstitch at the beginning and end of each line of stitching.

6. Now you will begin boxing the corners. Repeat this step for all four corners–2 corners on the main fabric, and two corners on the lining.

First, pinch the corner together so that it looks like the picture below. To make sure your corner isn’t wonky, do your best to pinch it with an equal amount of fabric on each side. Press the corner so it’s nice and flat.

7. Using a ruler, mark a line 3/4″ from the corner point. Sew along this line, making sure to backstitch at the beginning and end.

8. Trim the corner off. Repeat this for all four corners of your clutch.

9. Trim the seam allowance to 1/4″ on your curved seams only, and then clip the seam like in the picture below. This ensures that your seam will lay flat when turned right side out.

10. Turn your clutch right side out through the opening in the lining.

11. Take it over to your ironing board and press it well.

At this point, you should stitch the lining closed. You can do this either by hand, or at your machine. To close the opening on your machine, pin the opening closed and sew as close to the edge as possible.

12. This is how your clutch should look at this point. Yay! As an optional step, you can go around the opening with an edge stitch. Edge-stitching simply means that you sew as close to the edge as possible. As you can tell, I didn’t edge stitch mine because it’s not necessary, only cosmetic. Once the hardware is on your clutch, only the edge-stitching on the very corners will be visible.

Now it’s time to add the hardware to your clutch! This part is easy-peasy and only takes a few minutes. Letting the glue dry is the longest (and hardest!) part.

1. Make sure you have all the supplies: clutch, metal frame, and glue.

 2. Fold down the side you are not gluing so it doesn’t get in the way.

3. Squeeze the tube until some glue starts coming out. Apply a liberal amount of glue to the inside of the frame. Look carefully to make sure there is plenty of glue the full length of the frame. Wait about 30 seconds for the glue to become tacky.

4. Sip your fabric edge into the frame, making sure that the center of your clutch is lined up with the center of the frame. You can pull the fabric from side to side to make sure it’s centered properly. Make sure the fabric is pushed all the way in along the full length of the frame.

If necessary, you can use a small pointed object, like a pair of craft scissors or a dull pencil to push your fabric in. Honestly, this pattern fit so well for me that I just slipped it in with my fingers and, presto!

Leave it to dry for 10-15 minutes. Resist the urge to pick it up before it’s fully dry! If some of the glue oozes out onto the frame, you can pick it off with your fingers. It should come off easily. If glue gets on the fabric, I’ve heard you can use fingernail polish to gently remove it. I would test the polish remover on a spare scrap of fabric first, just to be safe.

Once the first side is dry, repeat the steps to glue your remaining side to the frame. Allow this side to dry 10-15 minutes and YOU’RE DONE!

Now, go fill your clutch with all kinds of good things: business cards, change, iphones, or makeup!

Sometime over the next few days I’ll share a tutorial with you on how to make your own pattern for any metal frame, especially the one below. Isn’t it adorable? Yay!


 TO ENTER THE GIVEAWAY:

To enter the giveaway you must be a follower of this blog. If you follow (as a subscriber by email, with Google connect, or however), please leave me a comment below and tell me if you like to sew accessories, and if so, what kind. This is my favorite part of any giveaway! You can enter an additional time if you follow CailaMade on Facebook. You can follow by liking the page here. If you are both a follower and a Facebook fan, leave 2 comments.

Please be sure to leave your email address so I can contact you if you win. Leave it like this: cailamade (at) gmail (dot) com, if you don’t want the spam bots to pick it up.

Thank you again for your support, and for visiting CailaMade! 


Comments

  1. says

    I love these! For some reason I don’t sew many accessories, but I do enjoy making bags. You can never have too many.

    U2bonogirl @ gmail.com

  2. says

    Darling little clutches. Thanks for the great tutorial. I am a new follower to your blog, but I love to sew and look forward to your posts. I have made a few tote gift bags, some quilts, and am currently making doll clothes for 18 inch dolls. I recently made some Supergirl capes with sewn headbands that spell out POW! for the grandkids. Thanks for the opportunity to win your well crafted and cute clutches.
    Pharmgirl1973 (at) aol (dot) com.

  3. says

    Well, these are just adorbs! I was meaning to comment, but now I just have to! When I first saw them, they looked so tricky. But you made it look so easy :) I wanna make some now!
    As far as accessories, I love to make fabric flowers for hair, etc…..I’ve also made some totes & a zippered pouch for my sis :) But I think your hardware beats the zipper for sure….awesome cute!

  4. says

    I follow you through GFC, i really like everything you make. I haven’t sewn any accessories, but I am inspired to start.

  5. says

    So very very cute – I’d be intimidated by the whole glue it in part but it looks like it goes in like a charm! And of COURSE I follow you, friend! :)

  6. says

    I follow via email! Lovely tutorial – I can’t wait to try it. I’ve had a frame for over a year now. Maybe I’ll finally give it a try. :)

  7. says

    I like to sew purses, and I would love to try smaller accessories like these frame purses, which would make fun gifts. They’ve seemed a little intimidating, but your tutorial is great – I think I can do this. Many thanks! (I follow by email!)
    ellen(at)myerly(dot)net

  8. says

    I like you on Facebook. Thanks for the chance at these adorable purses (and for the tutorial)!
    ellen(at)myerly(dot)net

  9. says

    And forgot, I’m TERRIBLE at sewing! Yet love fabric about as much as I love scrapbook paper! So I collect it all and make creative ways to use it!

  10. says

    I love to sew accessories — they always “fit” and are appropriate for all ages. The small clutch/purses/wallets/cell phone things are my favorite — from my granddaughter to me (and all in between) we love them!!

  11. says

    Just subscribed to your blog! Lately I’ve been making pillows for my couch and I want to make a simple shoulder bag for my daughters dance instructor.

  12. says

    Just liked you on Facebook, very cute clutches you completed. I like making leather clutches, haven’t attempted clasps yet.
    lisa.edmisson(at)gmail(dot)com

  13. says

    Adorable purse! With 3 kiddos, I rarely have the time to sew for fun, but I love to sew zippered pouches. They’re so useful, and great gifts.

  14. says

    I am going to give this a try. I have tried it once before with “no luck” But, maybe with your pattern I can make it work. thank you.

  15. says

    I just saw your fabulous prize-winning shorts! Congratulations!! I’ve started following through Bloglovin’ and love, love, love this clutch design too!

  16. says

    I have a tiny two inch wide frame sitting right in front of me that needs a bag! I love clutch bags and use them forever. I have one as a cosmetic bag in my purse, and the other is an eyeglass case with two compartments in it for my sunglasses & reading glasses! I’m going to make that little coin purse; you can just bet that I will! I’ll be following you through Bloglovin’! Thanks!

  17. Lisa Dunphy says

    Hi love this clutch. I am new to sewing and would love to try and make this. Thank you for sharing the pattern. I have signed up for your newsletter.

  18. Rosa Delgado says

    Wow! This clutch looks awesome! Would love to try to make this. Thank you for the tutorial.

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