So I have been on a creative bender lately...everything I see has to become a purse! It's a ton of fun and I've got one more gem to share with you all.
A special THANK YOU to Jill at Women Who Do It All for featuring this idea in her Wednesday Project Spotlight!
I found some cheap ($1.99!) placemats at Bed Bath and Beyond this weekend and they just had to become clutches. They are some sort of waterproof fabric...feels sort of like raffia, but more shinny. Very flexible, but also very sturdy. I was worried that the sewing machine couldn't handle it...but one quick test and I was off to the races.
I began with the oblong shaped placemat because it was going to give me a bigger purse and I wanted a little more to work with. It's going to be a very simple envelope clutch.
First, begin by cutting off about 3 inches of one of the rounded edges. This is going to be the front of the bag. My placemat didn't have a good or bad side, but if yours does make sure you know which is going to be the outside of the purse and keep track of that during this process.
Here's the cut placemat
(the edge is actually straight, but the placemat was not laying down properly in this picture):
Next sew a quick binding to the unfinished edge to clean it up and keep it from unraveling. You can see in this picture that I cut my piece of fabric too short on the right side, but that will be covered up later.
For the closure on this purse I used magnets, and the only way to attach them is to sew them on with a small pocket of fabric. I've shown it below using red fabric so it's easier to see.
First you need to fold up your placemat to find the right spot to sew the magnet. A simple three way fold is how to get this envelope shape. To sew the pocket for the magnet onto the purse move the alignment of your needle to the inside of the foot, and sew the magnet inside the fabric pocket as tightly as possible. I took two passes around the magnet to make sure it's really secure.
Repeat the process for the top flap of the purse. Make sure you sew the magnets on the same side of the placemat (the 'wrong' side if you have one). Trust me, this will guarantee that one magnet is inside the purse, and the other is on the underside of the flap.
One more step and you're all done! Fold your placemat in thirds to get the shape you like. You want the flap to come about half way down the purse where the magnets are lined up.
Once you have it lined up (and double checked that the magnets are on the inside of the purse) you can do a quick stitch up each side and you're all done!
(I know it's impossible to see the stitching below, but believe me it's sewn and it was as fast as it sounds!)
I decided that I wasn't going to turn my seams inside because my placemats had great finished edges and looked good as is.
I did add a little cuteness with a quick felt flower. It also served a double purpose to cover up the stitching from the magnet under the flap.
I did a similar process with a pink circular placemat and this is what I got:
I did do the side seems on the inside for this one and it turned out just as nice. I really like how the two circle patterns are coming together right at the closure. Not on purpose, but a great surprise! A little more complicated closure...but I had this fun black button and I love pink and black.
To do the button closure just mark a rectangle on the top flap that will be big enough to go over the button, but not so big that it won't be secure. Once it's marked, stitch around it about 4 times. Using an exacto knife, cut out the piece in the middle and sew the button onto the front of the bag. I might add some flowers to this one also, but I'm not sure yet. Either way, I love it!
Both of these purse were completed in one evening after my daughter went to bed, so there is no excuse not to find the time to make yourself one! Enjoy!