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Purse contest entry #5

This makes the end of the series on the construction of bags or purses as entries into a contest. By the time I was ready to sew this entry I didn't have very much of the inspiration fabric left. I needed to find a type of bag that didn't need much fabric.

Now, I'm a person who likes to wear her purses, so I usually don't consider a clutch for myself. I had never sewn a clutch before. After looking a while I found a clutch pattern that I thought would work. The pattern used some techniques that I had not used before, but, all in all,

looked easy enough.

Anyone who knows me is aware that I seldom use a pattern as it "comes out of the box". There were a couple of things that I wanted to change. The shape of the flap looked like a pain to sew, so I changed it to a more simplified shape. I also wanted the purse to be washable, so I omitted the decoration.

The internal construction required heavy interfacing to be sewn to a layer of cotton duck that would not be visible in the final product. I ended up fusing those together because of the materials that I had on hand.

I had three design strips of the inspiration fabric. I sewed two of the strips together very carefully, trying to make the join as invisible as possible. The joined strips would form part of the back. The remaining strip would show on the flap.

Pulling some fabric out of my stash that coordinated with the inspiration fabric, I cut out the interior. That was easy. On to the exterior. The main piece for the front was easy - no inspiration fabric.

Cutting the rest of the fabric was a little more difficult, though. For the back and flap I needed to attach pieces of the coordinating fabric to the inspiration fabric. The front flap needed extensions on either side of the inspiration strip before I could sew it. I carefully lined up the center of the flap and back inspiration strips. I tested the layout several times before sewing to ensure it would all align like I wanted it to do. Then I sewed a total of three more strips to create enough fabric for the pattern piece. After sewing the strips together I then top stitched both sides of the seams with the inspiration fabric.

Assembling the clutch started with machine basting the internal layers to the visible outer layer (in the seam allowance). Then I sewed the external front and back together, as well as the internal back and front. A hook and loop tape closure came next.

Placing the lining inside out over the outer assembly, I sewed most of the remaining edge together. I left enough fabric that I was able to turn it all right side out (with a few struggles). I hand stitched the opening closed. Finally, I top stitched the outer edge of the clutch. Ta Da! A brand-new clutch!

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