Wednesday, March 9, 2011

How To : Sew a Vinyl Zippered Clutch

 My latest and greatest creation!
Good morning! I hope your week is going well? Mine has been motoring right along. Between my tumblr blog Storage Geek taking off (447 followers yay!), my sewing space finally being workable, my handmade goods shop looking more and more like a reality, blogger relations (Think sew alongs, read alongs and giveaways!)on the rise oh yeah, and you know, family life I have been kept very busy. And loving it. I forgot how much I thrive in a packced schedule. That old adage "I do my best work under pressure." well that is me in a nutshell. My adage is "If I can't put it off until the night before than it is not worth doing!" (Kind of.) But, during my lull that was December through February I had been saving ideas on my computer, scratching out rudimetary designs in my notebook(s) and gathering my supplies.

Photo Credit: Honestly...WTF
Inspired by this fabulous electric blue zippered leather clutch back in February I have been dying to make one but my leather stash was lost in the move. (No joke, I had a giant soft red leather coat I bought at a thrift shop just vanish in the move it made me very sad.) One day I remembered the faux croc skin vinyl place mat I bought at a dollar store. I had one of those a-ha! moments and now you can share in my joy.

And this is what I made. I made the black and red one last week and used it all weekend as my purse. I made the brown and teal one for the tutorial. Now, making a clutch from a place mat is not necessarily tutorial material, but sewing with vinyl is and also my clutches have no bottom seam, I folded it over which made the zipper sewing a bit tricky. So when you come back looking for the tutorial it will be listed under the techniques section on my tutorial page.

Ok, I think I said the word tutorial enough, lets get on with it!

Vinyl place mat (Or leather piece)
Zipper (A little longer than the short end of your place mat)
Matching thread
Painter's masking tape (Super low tack)

Modus Operandi

Line tape up with short edge of place mat.I would tell you to do this to both ends now but with the low tack tape it will come off before you get to the second side.

Now it is time to sew the place mat to the zipper wrong side of mat to top side of zipper. Using a straight stitch foot line up tape edge with inside edge of foot. keep them as close as possible while sewing. 


See? Nice clean (approx) 1/8" seam.

When you remove the tape, tear it in half and slowly tear up from the bottom. This makes the seam act like a perforated seam so that you do not rip out your stitching. Same goes with the top half piece of tape, slowly tear downwards to remove it.

MMm, nice clean edge. No fancy zipper foot needed here!


Now you are going to repeat steps 1 - 3. Because we did not cut the place mat in half we were not able to sew down both sides of the zipper with ease. So when you go to sew the second side, make your zipper is open to the end and the watch the tails.

It is fairly easy until you get to the end of the mat/zipper and you notice that last inch is going to be super tricky, stop there. (Sorry for the blurry photo, I was trying to show how it gets bunched up.)

Pull the mat out and turn it around so that it looks like the picture above. Now you can finish that last inch without wrecking your (very unforgiving) vinyl or serious frustration.

Turn inside out. If you have a label to attach, now is a good time to add it in. I opened up an inch of the seam and sewed it closed before sewing the side seams.


Open zipper a couple inches. Now, line up the sides so that they are even at the zipper. You need to sew from the bottom up. Oh yes, I forgot to add tape the sides again, this time top and bottom because now there will be vinyl along the plate too. (I guess you could just tape the metal plate, that didn't occur to me until just now.)

 When you have sewn your side seams and you are happy, trim off zipper pieces.

Tadaa! Your newly fashioned oversized zippered clutch! What I really want is to make one of these with TWO place mats so that it is just huge. Unfortunately, the dollar store I bought the mats at was out of stock so I have to do some shopping around to find more.

And that is all she wrote folks. It has been a long time since I wrote and photographed a tutorial and it is not like riding a bike lol. Anyway, please feel free to ask me any questions I am more than happy to answer them. If they are tutorial related I'll respond here so that others can benefit from the answer.

I will definitely be linking!

 Made By You Mondays @ Skip to My Lou
Inspire Me Mondays @ Singing Three Little Birds
 Motivate Me Monday @ Keeping it Simple 
Making The World Cuter Monday @ Making The World Cuter
Tutorial Tuesday @ Hope Studios
Creative Share Wednesday @ The Trendy Treehouse
Idea Sharin' Wednesday @ Women Who Do It All
Whatever Goes Wednesday @ Someday Crafts
 We Did It Wednesday @ Sew Much Ado
Strut Your Stuff @ Somewhat Simple
Make It & Wear It @ The Train To Crazy
Weekend Wrap-Up Party @ Tatertots & Jello

Wednesday on Wednesday

This weekend Wednesday was invited to a birthday party at Misuraca's Karate Academy. It was really really cool. There was a mini zip-line for the kids, wall climbing and some foam swords and shields play. And at 15 dollars per child (minimum ten kids) (plus an extra fifty for a bouncy castle)it is well worth it. It had a mezanine upstairs for smaller kids with hamster tunnels to rival the local McDonald's (which we don't go to because they smell). But I digress. Although Wednesday did not want ot try the zip line, she did participate in the rest of the activities.

Watching the girls climb the walls.

All harnessed up and ready to climb.

This one if for the showing-the-future-date photo album.

Wednesday was the last one to climb and so she had a case of the I-changed-my-minds "I'm not a big girl." (The other girls were mostly 7-8years old.) And when they wandered off she didn't want to anymore.

We managed to convince her to swing for a bit though. She had fun with her daddy and cousin Alli. I was proud of her. (I have a debilitating fear of heights.)

After cake came the sword fights! This was so cool for the girls. Wednesday loves herself some swordplay.
But mostly, she loves to be dramatic.