Two rows of dimensional ribbons front and back give this sleek clutch its elegant style. The gorgeous Jacquard ribbons, from Renaissance Ribbons accent the fabric of the clutch for a 3-D blend of saturated color and design. It’s a perfect eye-catching accessory to pair with everything from a little black dress on an uptown evening to dressed-up jeans for a weekend getaway.
Your ribbon selection is what creates the bag’s fashionable spirit. We originally chose the painterly style of a retired Amy Butler collection with an impressionistic tone that pulls you right in to the colors. You get to mix and match to create your own impression.
If a lavish floral isn’t quite your style, no worries. We recommend the wide range of options from which to choose at Renaissance Ribbons: go graphic with Kaffe Fassett, fanciful and fun with Tula Pink, whimsical with Mary Engelbreit, and more.
The ribbons grab your attention not only because they’re so pretty, but also because of our idea to add soft cording behind, allowing them to pop up from the surface. We show you the easy steps below, and we have a full tutorial on this dimensional ribbon embellishment.
We chose sateen for the exterior of the clutch with a quilting weight cotton for the lining. The fabric shown is from Amy Butler’s Violette collection. The heavier sateen was wonderfully crisp and smooth – perfect for the streamlined shapes of the bag’s slim body and fold-over flap.
This is a clutch, which means it needs to have enough body to grasp. We show you below how we combined foam interfacing with standard medium-weight fusible to achieve both stability and flexibility.
Our clutch finishes at approximately 12″ wide x 8″ high when closed and 12″ x 14½” when open with a 7″ handle loop.
Sewing Tools You Need
- Sewing Machine and standard presser foot
- Zipper foot
- Walking or Even Feed foot; optional but helpful for the thicker layers – you can also engage your machine’s built-in fabric feeding system, such as the AcuFeed™ Flex system we love to use on many of our Janome studio models
Fabric and Other Supplies
NOTE: We originally used two beautiful jacquard ribbons from the Amy Butler Violette collection by Renaissance Ribbons; we invite you to browse their full selection for a variety of alternatives.
- 1 yard of ⅞” wide accent ribbon
- 1½ yards of ⅝” wide accent ribbon
- ½ yard of 54″ wide cotton sateen for the exterior base
- ½ yard of 54″ wide cotton sateen for the exterior flap
- ½ yard of 44″ wide quilting weight cotton for the lining
- ½ yard or ONE package of foam interfacing or similar
- ½ yard of 20″+ wide medium-weight fusible interfacing; we used Décor Bond by Pellon
- 1 yard of ¼” soft cotton cording for the ⅞” ribbon
- 1 yard of 3/16″ soft cotton cording for the ⅝” ribbon
NOTE: If you select different ribbon widths, your cording widths may vary. You want a cording at least half the width of the ribbon, giving you ample ribbon to wrap over the cording with enough extending to either side to allow edgestitching with a Zipper foot.
- ONE ¾” magnetic purse snap; we used nickel
- ONE ¾” D-ring; we used nickel
- All purpose thread to match both fabric and ribbons and/or Invisible Thread in Clear
- See-through ruler
- Fabric pen or pencil
- Iron and ironing board
- Scissors or rotary cutter and mat
- Tape measure
- Seam gauge
- Seam ripper
- Straight pins
- Fusible seam tape; optional to adhere ribbon instead of using pins
- Seam Sealant; optional for ends of ribbon handle
NOTE: Cuts are given below for the specific ribbons we chose and we will refer to them by name throughout the instructions. All our cuts are determined based on our selected ribbons, each of which had continuous motifs. If you choose different ribbons with larger or more dominant motifs, you may need additional yardage.
- From the ⅞” Green Waterfall, cut the following
TWO 13″ lengths
ONE 9″ length
- From the ⅝” Green Forget Me Nots, cut the following:
TWO 13″ lengths
ONE 15″ length
ONE 3″ length
- From each cording, cut TWO 11½” lengths.
- From the exterior base fabric (French Twist in Ocean in our sample), fussy cut the following:
ONE 1¼” x 18″ strip, centering the strip on a plain, non-flower part of the fabric. Sub-cut this strip into ONE 15″ length and ONE 3″ length.
TWO 13″ wide x 9″ high rectangles, centering a dominant motif on each panel
- From the exterior flap fabric (Meadow Blooms in Sky in our sample), fussy cut TWO 13″ wide x 10½” high rectangles.
- From the lining fabric (Twilight Vine in Sky in our sample), cut the following:
TWO 13″ wide x 9″ high rectangles for the lining panels
ONE 9″ wide x 11″ high rectangle for the lining pocket
- From the foam style interfacing, cut TWO 12″ x 8″ rectangles.
- From the fusible interfacing, cut the following:
TWO 11″ x 9½” rectangles for the flap panels
ONE 8″ x 5″ rectangle for the lining pocket
At Your Sewing Machine & Ironing Board
Create the flap front
- Find the two 12″ x 10½” exterior flap panels and the two 11″ x 9½” interfacing panels. Center an interfacing panel on the wrong side of each fabric panel so there is ½” of fabric extending beyond the interfacing on all four sides. Following manufacturer’s instructions, fuse in place.
- Find one 13″ length of ⅝” Green Forget Me Nots, one 13″ length of ⅞” Green Waterfall, and one 11½” length of each cording width.
- Place one interfaced panel right side up on your work surface. This will be the front of the flap, so if you feel one of the panels looks better than the other, work with your favorite.
- Using a clear ruler, measure 1″ up from the bottom raw edge of the fabric panel.
- Place bottom edge of the length of ⅝” Green Forget Me Nots ribbon along the top edge of the ruler. Lightly pin in place or secure with a fusible seam tape.
NOTE: By using a clear ruler for the ribbon positioning steps rather than another measuring and marking option, you can better insure your ribbon will be exactly parallel with the bottom edge of the fabric.
- With the bottom ribbon in place, use the ruler to place the top ribbon. It should be ⅛” above the first ribbon and parallel with it. Lightly pin this ribbon in place or secure with a fusible seam tape.
- Thread the machine with thread to best match the ribbon in the top and bobbin or use an invisible thread, which is our traditional choice. We’ve found a Zipper foot works best for the dimensional ribbon stitching.
- Edgestitch along just the bottom edge of each ribbon. Their top edges remain free.
- Lift up each ribbon and place the appropriate width of cording under the ribbon. The cording should be centered so there is ¾” of free space on each end. This allows the ribbon to be sewn into the side seam of the flap without additional bulk.
- Lightly pin in place or re-secure the fusible seam tape.
- Edgestitch the top edge of each ribbon.
NOTE: For more information, take a look at our full tutorial on creating dimensional ribbon embellishment.
Create the flap lining
- Find the remaining interfaced flap panel and the magnetic snap.
- Measure to find the exact center of the flap along the top edge. Then measure 1″ down from this point and mark the position for the magnetic snap.
- Following manufacturer’s instructions, or our own step-by-step Magnetic Snap Tutorial, insert the ball half of the magnetic snap.
- As shown in our tutorial, you can add an additional square of fusible interfacing directly behind your insertion point for extra support.
- Place the front flap and the lining flap right sides together. The magnetic snap should sit against the ribbons (this is the edge that will become the bottom of the flap when all is finished). Align all the raw edges and pin in place, leaving an approximate 6″ opening along the top edge (the non-ribbon edge).
- Re-thread the machine with thread to best match the flap fabric in the top and bobbin.
- Using a ½” seam allowance, stitch around all four sides. Remember to pivot at all the corners and to lock your seam at either side of the 6″ opening.
- Clip the corners and press open the seam allowances.
- Turn right side out. Gentle push out all four corners with a long, blunt-end tool, such as a chopstick or knitting needle, so the right angles are nice and sharp. Press flat, pressing in the raw edges of the opening so they are flush with the sewn seam.
- Set aside the flap.
Create the handle strap and tab
- Find the 15″ and 3″ strips of fabric and the 15″ and 3″ lengths of ⅝” Green Forget Me Nots ribbon.
- Place each fabric strip wrong side up on your ironing board and press back the long raw sides of each strip ¼”.
- Center the corresponding length of ribbon over the fabric, concealing the raw edges and the wrong side of the fabric. Pin or adhere in place with a fusible seam tape.
- Re-thread the machine with thread to best match the ribbon in the top and bobbin or use an invisible thread.
- Edgestitch the ribbon in place along both sides on both strips. The ends remain raw.
- Set aside the two finished strips.
Create the bottom exterior section
- Find the two 13″ x 9″ exterior base panels, the two 12″ x 8″ panels of foam interfacing, the remaining 13″ length of ⅝” Green Forget Me Nots, the remaining 13″ length of ⅞” Green Waterfall, and the remaining 11½” lengths of each cording width.
- Place one fabric panel right side up on your work surface, and following the same steps as above with the flap, attach the dimensional ribbon embellishment.
- The bottom edge of the ⅝” Green Forget Me Nots ribbon is 1″ up and parallel with the bottom raw edge of the fabric. The ⅞” Green Waterfall ribbon is ⅛” above the first ribbon and parallel with it. Pin the ribbons in place or secure with a fusible seam tape.
- The machine should still be threaded with thread to best match the ribbon in the top and bobbin – or with the clear thread.
- Edgestitch the bottom of each ribbon in place.
- Center the appropriate cord under each ribbon as above in the flap steps. Pin in place or re-adhere the fusible seam tape.
- Edgestitch the top edge of the bottom ribbon.
- STOP and remove the fabric panel from the machine. Center the fabric panel over a foam panel. There should be ½” of fabric showing beyond the foam on all four sides. Lightly pin the foam to the fabric or adhere with a strip of fusible seam tape between the layers.
- Return to the machine to edgestitch the top edge of the top ribbon in place through both the fabric and the foam layers.
- This is the only seam that is running through the fabric and the foam.
NOTE: The thickness of the foam has the potential to distort the ribbon and produce a ripple effect behind the ribbons. We don’t want that! So, it’s best to stitch just one seam to secure the fabric to the foam. The foam panels are further secured between the layers of the exterior and the lining, and they are inherently stable, so little is needed to keep the foam from shifting.
- Re-thread the machine with thread to best match the fabric in the top and bobbin.
- Find the remaining fabric panel and and center it over the remaining foam panel. As above, there should be ½” of fabric showing beyond the foam on all four sides. Lightly pin the foam to the fabric or adhere with a strip of fusible seam tape between the layers.
- Flip the panel to the right side.
- Find the 3″ tab loop and the D-ring. Slip the loop through the D-ring and align the raw ends of the loop.
- Pin the loop to the non-ribbon back panel. It should sit on the left side, 1″ down from the top raw edge of the fabric. The raw ends of the ribbon should be flush with the raw edge of the fabric. Pin in place.
- Machine baste in place.
- Place the front and back base panels right sides together and pin in place along both sides and across the bottom.
- Using a ½” seam allowance, stitch along both sides and across the bottom, pivoting at the corners. You are stitching right along but not on the foam interfacing. The top remains open.
- Clip the corners of the fabric and a tiny bit of the foam and press open the seam allowances.
- Turn the base right side out and gently push out the bottom corners.
- Press flat. Fold down the top raw edge of the fabric ½” over the top raw edge of the foam. Machine baste the fold in place.
Attach the flap to the base and add the other half of the magnetic snap
- Find the flap. Fold back the top edge (the non-ribbon edge) 3″ and press lightly to set a bit of a crease.
- Find the base. Place the back of the base (the ribbon side) right side up on your work surface.
- Align the flap, right side up, on the base, which is also right side up. The pressed crease of the flap should sit across the top basted edge of the base, and the top seamed edge of the flap (the side with the opening) should be 2⅛” above the top of the ⅞” Green Waterfall ribbon. Pin the flap in place.
- If possible, switch to a Walking foot or similar or engage your machine’s built-in fabric feeding system. If necessary, re-thread the machine with thread to best match the fabric in the top and bottom. Lengthen your stitch.
- Edgestitch across the flap through all the layers. There are a lot of layers, so go slowly to keep your seam straight and even. This seam also closes the original opening left in the flap seam.
- Fold the flap down into position to mark the placement for the socket half of the magnetic snap.
- The flap should sit lightly across the top of the flap; don’t yank it down too tight or the top will crush. Your best guide is to align the flap ribbons with the back panel ribbons.
- Following manufacturer’s instructions, or our own step-by-step Magnetic Snap Tutorial, insert the socket half of the magnetic snap.
Create and insert the lining
- Find the lining panels, the lining pocket panel, the 8″ x 5″ interfacing rectangle, and the remaining 9″ length of ⅞” Green Waterfall.
- Fold the 9″ x 11″ pocket panel in half, right sides together, so it is now 9″ x 5½”. Press to set a center crease.
- Unfold wrong side up so the crease line is visible. Center the interfacing against the wrong side of the fabric. The top edge of the interfacing should be aligned with the pressed crease, and there should be ½” of fabric extending beyond the interfacing along both sides and across the bottom. Following manufacturer’s instructions, fuse the interfacing in place.
- With the pocket still unfolded, flip to the right side. Align the top 9″ edge of the ⅞” Green Waterfall ribbon along the crease. Pin in place or adhere with fusible seam tape.
- Re-thread the machine with thread to best match the ribbon in the top and bobbin or with invisible thread. Re-set the machine to a standard stitch length.
- Edgestitch the ribbon in place along both sides.
- Fold the pocket in half again, right sides together. Pin along all three sides, leaving an approximate 3″ opening along the bottom for turning.
- Re-thread the machine with thread to best match the lining fabric in the top and bobbin.
- Using a ½” seam allowance, stitch around all sides, pivoting at the corners. Lock your seam on either side of the 3″ opening. Clip the corners and press open the seam allowance.
- Turn the pocket right side out. Push out the corners so they are nice and sharp.
- Fold in the raw edges of the opening so they are flush with the sewn seam. Press well.
- Place one lining panel right side up and flat on your work surface.
- Pin the pocket in place on the right side of the lining panel. The pocket should be centered side-to-side (2½” from each side raw edge), 1¾” down from the top raw edge of the panel, and 1¼” up from the bottom raw edge of the panel. Pin the pocket in place along both sides and across the bottom
- Edgestitch the pocket in place along both sides and across the bottom, pivoting at the corners and slowing to carefully stitch across the thicker ribbon layer at each top corner. This edgestitching also closes the opening used for turning.
- Place the two lining pieces right sides together, sandwiching the pocket between the layers. Pin in place along both sides and across the bottom.
- Using a ⅝” seam allowance, stitch along both sides and across the bottom, pivoting at the corners.
NOTE: The slightly wider seam allowance makes the lining a little bit smaller so it will fit more smoothly inside the clutch.
- Clip the corners and press the seam allowance.
- Press down the top raw edge of the lining ½” all around.
- Leave the lining wrong side out. Find the exterior bag, which should be right side out.
- Slip the lining inside the exterior bag so the two layers are wrong sides together. Align the bottom and side seams. The top folded edge of the lining should sit just barely below the top folded edge of the exterior bag. Adjust the lining fold if need be. Pin the lining to the exterior.
- Switch to a Walking foot if possible. Lengthen your stitch.
- If necessary, re-thread the machine with thread to best match the exterior fabric in the top and thread to best match the lining in the bobbin.
- Starting at a side seam and using a ¼” or less seam allowance, topstitch all around the bag’s top opening, securing the lining to the exterior.
- Remove the basting thread. Press well.
Final handle strap
- Find the 15″ strap. Slip it through the D-ring, wrong side (fabric side) up and align the raw ends.
- If necessary, re-thread the machine with thread to best match the back fabric of the ribbon loop in the top and bobbin.
- Using a ¼” seam allowance, stitch the ends together. You can run a line of seam sealant across the raw edges of the seam allowance if you are concerned about fraying.
- Turn the loop right side out and rotate to place the seam up against the D-ring.
- Flatten the loop so the edges are flush and pin in place near the D-ring.
- We are still using our Walking foot.
- Stitch a short seam across the loop as close to the D-ring as possible. Stitch a second reinforcing seam ¼” from the first seam.
Project Design: Alicia Thommas
Sample Creation: Debbie Guild