If you want a foldover leather clutch, you could buy a designer one for a pretty penny. Or you could easily make your own. Mine is made with leather from a mini-skirt I bought at one of my favorite San Francisco thrift stores for $1. It was perfect for this restyling project. Combing the skirt and jacket aisles at your local thrift store, especially on sale days, should eventually yield an inexpensive source of reusable leather, but you could always use new faux leather from a fabric store instead.
Metal zipper (12 inches)
Bulldog clips and pins
1. Cut out the following:
Two 12 by 12 inch pieces of leather
Two 2.5 by 1.5 pieces of leather
One 10 by 3/8 inch piece of leather (optional)
Two 12 by 12 inch pieces of lining fabric
2. Fold under the short edges of one of the small leather pieces by about 3/8 of an inch. Place over one end of the zipper, encasing it, and clip in place. Repeat with the other leather piece and other end of the zipper.
3. Sew the small leather pieces to the ends of the zipper, then trim the edges of the leather where it’s wider than the zipper.
4. Place one of the 12 by 12 pieces of leather face-up, and line up the zipper face down along one edge. Place a piece of lining fabric face-down on top of the zipper. Clip the three layers together. Make sure you have it right: Leather right side up, zipper right side down, lining right side down.
5. With your zipper foot on your machine, sew along the top edge of your layers. When you open it up it should look like this:
6. With the sewn pieces open as above, place the zipper face down on the unsewn piece of leather. Place your other lining piece face down on top of these layers. Hold the layers together with clips, and sew along the edge as in the last step.
7. It should look like the picture below on the left when you turn everything right-side-out. Topstitch around the zipper opening.
8. Bring the two pieces of leather right-sides together, and hold together with clips. Pin the two lining pieces right-sides together. Make sure the zipper seams and ends are folded so they point into the lining side. Open the zipper at least half-way and leave it open.
9. With a 3/8-inch seam allowance, stitch around the edges of the leather and lining fabric. Leave an opening in the bottom of the lining of about 5 inches. Clip the corners of the leather and lining.
10. Reach through the lining opening you left, and pull the leather through it, turning everything right-side-out. Slip-stitch the lining closed.
11. Optional: Add a zipper pull. With scissors, notch the ends of the 3/8 by 10 inch piece of leather and tie it through the zipper tab.
Load it up with your stuff, and you’re ready to go!
Although I lined my clutch, you could easily leave yours unlined, making this an even simpler project. Just follow steps 1-3 as written, sew the zipper to the large leather pieces, open the zipper, sew the leather right sides together, and turn right-side-out. Done!
Looking for more DIY projects? Check out my DIY Projects and Tutorials page!
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