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Double Clutch

Never let it be said that Aunt Toby is easily discouraged. I think it can be said that I made just about every error in the clutch trial run and ended up with something that was not what I’d hoped. Not that I won’t use it – I’ve never had a purse yet that I couldn’t find a use for. But the whole basis of this was to check off an item on my ‘Want to do in 2010’ list, which is to sew with leather. For all the sewing I’ve done over the years (and I’ve made everything from snow suits with double zippers, softsided luggage, hunting and photographer’s vests with a zillion pockets et al., I’ve always been pretty afraid of sewing with leather. Somehow I had this vision that I’d burn out the motor of my sewing machine. It’s just a Kenmore, after all.

But after analyzing the problem with the trial run, I realized that the leather I had was no thicker than the wool felt I had used. As a matter of fact, it was thinner and more pliable. I got the leather as a grab bag ‘bundle’ from Fabric Mart Fabrics. They also sell whole skins but I wanted to make a few smaller things first. I also changed the interfacing I had used to shirt collar fusible, which gave me a little bit more body but definitely left the clutch ‘slouchy’ which is as it is described. The next time I make this, I will probably go ahead and buy a smaller skin so that I will have enough leather to make the whole purse out of the same material.

I made this one basically the same way I did the other one, with one change: I’d left the top open and bound it with a two-inch strip of leather, leaving enough at the meet points on the flap to tie a bit of a bow, which I think dresses it up a bit. Then, I sewed through all the layers just underneath the leather binding to close up the top. In addition, as you can see from the picture, this is a brown and black purse, a little bit less formal than a plain black purse but was necessitated because there was not enough of any one type of leather in the buncle to make an entirely brown or black clutch. So I have sort of a ‘spectator clutch”.

The only new technique I used with this was gluing the leather where I put the zipper in the opening in the front. I centered the zipper, marked the ends and sewed the ends. Then, I folded over the seam allowances where the zipper was going to be, glued those down with Fabri-Tac Permanent Adhesive ™ and left that to dry for a couple of hours before I sewed in the zipper. I also used a leather needle in my sewing machine and regular thread.

Again, this is the Hot Patterns Plain and Simple Clutch. I do recommend a run through, even with muslin, so that you get the whole technique in terms of working with the lining.

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  1. WolfSong says:

    Looks awesome…I love the two tone look!

  2. Linda says:

    I also like the two colors and especially the jazzy little bow.

    I have an ancient Kenmore (1981) and paid a bundle to get it repaired a few years back because it has one feature I am crazy about. You can set the needle to always stop at either extreme, all the way up or down. By alternating, you can baste and reverse stitch with wonderful control.
    Gotta have control of something in life, right? 😉

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