DIY: Black and White Stripe Fold-Over Clutch Bag

By B.Nova - Wednesday, June 12, 2013

I've finally had the chance to post this DIY. I've tried to make it so it's easy to understand, but if you have questions, please feel free to leave them in the comments below and I'll be happy to answer them! And as always, be careful when you do any craft or sewing projects! 
This is a fairly long post, so get ready, get set, scroll!
 Here is what you need:

  •  Pleather Fabric cut into two squares (mine are 16" x 18" including a 1/2" seam allowance**)
  •  Zipper (make sure it is long enough for the top of your purse)
  •  Fabric Scissors or Rotary Cutter
  •  Fabric Paint, any color (you can find this in the craft section of just about any store)
  •  Paintbrush
  •  Water bowl
  •  Blue Painter's Tape
  •  Ruler (one about 18" would work best - I used my clear sewing/quilting ruler)
  •  Fabric pins
  •  Paint Palette (optional)
  •  (Not shown: Sewing machine)
Note: I used a cutting mat to help measure and cut out my fabric, but that's totally optional. A ruler does just as well by itself.
**Seam Allowance: this is where you will sew the fabric. This will not be included in the final measurement of the purse.  This makes it easier to sew your seams together.The final size of this purse will be 15" x 17" (38.1 cm x 43.18 cm), but you can adjust the size according to what you want.

Step 1: Measure and cut out your fabric to your desired size. Remember to add a 1/2" (1.27 cm) to each side - so for example, if you decide to have a purse that ends up being 10" x 10" (25.4 cm x 25.4 cm), each square should be 11" x 11" (27.94 cm x 27.94 cm) in size.

 Step 2: Determine how wide you want your stripes to be and measure across the length of the fabric squares. Here these stripes are 1 1/2" (3.81 cm) wide.  When measuring the stripes, be sure to measure the entire width of the fabric. One end will have a slightly smaller stripe and that is okay. But again you can make them bigger or smaller.


Step 3: Now on to the fun part! Take your fabric paint and test the color on a piece of scrap fabric. This will ensure that this is the color you want. See my test swatch below.

(Feel free to use any color, here I used white since black and white is a huge trend for spring. But, you can use red, lavender, green or multiple colors. Be inspired!)

Step 4: Paint the pleather with the fabric paint. It takes about 3-4 layers of paint to get the stripe completely opaque. I alternated back and forth between each square to allow for a little bit of drying time. Follow the drying instructions of the fabric paint you use. I let these dry between 3 - 4 hours just to be sure. (This is what they should look like - I did my stripes in both directions for visual appeal.)

Step 5: Next I pinned and stitched the zipper to both sides of the fabric, with the stripes facing toward each other. Since the pleather is somewhat clingy, I took a piece of square cardboard, (or you can use a sheet of paper - it works just as well), to stick in between. This is illustrated with the next two pictures. (NOTE: Normally when stitching seams you place your pins perpendicular to your fabric to keep from breaking your machine needle. So if you don't feel comfortable with pinning them like I did, it' best to do it that way. See Step 6's image to see what I mean).

Step 6: Pin and stitch each side of the purse. (I usually use a 1/2" seam allowance when I sew). Next do the same for the bottom. Once all sides are sewn, trim the fabric on the outside down by about half. Trim the corners of the bottom to ensure you get the squared shape at the bottom - if you don't, the seam will not be as defined and will appear more rounded and you don't want that!


Step 7: Turn the purse and be sure to push the corners out as far as they will go. They should look pointed. Fold it over and now you are ready to rock it! This purse will hold a few things, but for more reinforcement, you can always add a lining.

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