I finished up my Perfectly Pleated Clutch from the Amy Butler Style Stitches book, and am very pleased with the end result! Bree from My Crafty Crap is hosting a 12 month sew along working our way through the Style Stitches book. You can check out the awesome flickr pool with everyone's finishes to date. This is the fifth bag in the book, and I love it. I haven't exactly been following along each and every month, but this bag was a "must sew" from the time I bought the book.
For the main panel print I used one of the floral prints with the birds from Kitty Yoshida's Prospect Park line and the accent fabric is Bead Chain by Riley Blake. I had seen a few others adding a little broach or flower for a little added interest, and thought I'd follow suit. I've had this green broach for some time now, and thought it would work well.
I just love the interest the pleating adds to this bag. I will have to remember pleating as an option for projects in the future. I made the medium sized bag and it is a really nice size for clutch. Certainly can hold quite a bit, but not overly large.
Here are the back of the clutch and the lining detail. The pattern called for making the handle out of the accent fabric, but I wasn't sure how much it will actually get used, and I wanted it to blend a little better, so I used the main panel fabric.
While as a whole I do really love this clutch, I do have a few gripes and mini adjustments to the pattern.
1. For starters, you absolutely do not need nearly two yards of fabric she calls for in the fabric requirements. I'm glad I read Bree's post about this before beginning. I cut my fabric the necessary 9 inches wide, but instead of one continuous cut, I cut 9 inches x WOF and then pieced a second 9 inches x 20 or so inches for the necessary 65ish inches necessary for the pleating. This meant that instead of needing 1 7/8 yards of fabric, you really only need about 3/4 yard. Much Better.
2. Instead of installing the zipper like the instructions call for, I used the same method I used when making all those little pouches. I made the little zipper tabs using Kelly's tutorial again, and as usual, had a very nice result.
3. I wish this clutch were a tad sturdier. I guess I should have figured that only using the mid weight interfacing called for in the pattern would not result in a super stiff clutch. I don't know, I guess I was thinking that all those pleats would add something extra as well. If (and I'm sure I will) make this again, I would use either a stiffer layer of interfacing in between the outer and lining fabric, or consider using some fusible fleece to give it some extra weight. It's not a major issue, sew and learn I suppose.
All in all this pattern was quite easy to follow, by far getting the hang of the pleats was the most challenging and time consuming part, the rest of the bag went together quite easily and quickly.
The more I was looking at this clutch, the more I realized that unfortunately because it was so flimsy I likely wasn't going to use it in a purse like capacity. After thinking about it, I realized it wouldn't be very difficult to take out the seam in opening of the lining, turn the bag inside out, and cut some fusible fleece and iron it on to the interfaced back side of the outer fabric.
I did just that, now I know its not super secure as the fleece is just ironed on and not sewn into the seams, but for the purposes I'll be using it for, it'll be ok. After returning the bag and resewing the opening closed, I was so much more pleased and feel a lot better about it. It's not super stiff or anything, but has a little more sturdiness and holds its shape much much better. If and when I make this bag again, I will 100% add the fleece, and possibly some slightly stiffer interfacing.
I will be linking this post up to Sew Modern Monday hosted by Megan of Canoe Ridge Creations, be sure to pop over and say hi!