It's one of the hottest trends out there right now: matching clutches for the wedding party. Just the right size to carry a few important items to the wedding and reception, many brides are also using these little purses to hold special wedding day gifts for their girlfriends. We even saw some chatter out there about brides who've skipped traditional bridesmaid bouquets, choosing instead to put real or silk flowers on coordinated clutches and have the girls carry these down the aisle. The pictures we saw of wedding parties going with this new tradition were just adorable. A Google search on 'Bridesmaid Clutches' will bring up hundreds and hundreds of hits. We chose a simple envelope clutch design we've used before here on S4H. The "bling" is an embroidered initial outlined in crystals on the outside of each clutch, using the Artistic integrated system of crystals, software, cutters and presses. In this way, all the purses can match the bride's color scheme, yet each one will be easily identifiable by its owner.
All of our DIY Wedding Sparkle projects are structured to provide inspiration rather than act as full sewing and software tutorials. Each article will describe the basics of how to make the base project, but not in the step-by-step detail you may be used to if you're a regular S4H visitor. However, as we mentioned above, this particular project is based on an existing tutorial, so no working without a net on this one!
Once you're hooked on the idea of crystals, and have your very own Artistic System, you'll be able to visit the Artistic website, where detailed step-by-step crystal design and application tutorials will be available as free downloads for our project ideas, including exactly how to set up an initial in the software then outline it with crystals. These free .PDF files will be posted to the Artistic website soon after the conclusion of our S4H series.
We chose two home décor weight fabrics for our clutches: a pale aqua for the exterior, to match our series color scheme, and a coordinating aqua and white medallion print, which we used for the interior and fussy cut for the exterior accent band.
The construction follows our original tutorial: ScrapBusters: Clean and Simple Clutch. The only change is our addition of the embroidered initial with its crystal outline. This is applied after the three exterior bands (the two solids and the fussy cut print) have been seamed, but while the exterior panel is still flat.
Our initial was positioned right side up in the bottom right corner of the middle section, which means, when the clutch is folded closed, the initial shows on the back. It could also be positioned upside down in the upper left corner of the top section. In this scenario, when folded closed, the initial will finish right side up in the corner of the front flap.
The width of our wedding clutch is approximately 14", about the same as our Clean and Simple Clutch, but the height finishes nearly 2" taller (6¾") when folded closed. This size was determined by the fussy cut of our medallion print. We wanted two full medallions to show on both the front and back and so adjusted our section heights accordingly.
Embroidery and crystals
Our previous DIY Wedding Sparkle projects have focused on the use of only crystals. We're now moving up the creativity food chain by combining embroidery with crystals! To do this, we used the Artistic Suite V6.0 software option.
The initial on the bridesmaid's clutch is the same font, Wendy, that we used for our Dazzle Tees. We created the embroidery, and saved it as the appropriate embroidery file for our machine (a .JEF file for our Janome Horizon Memory Craft 12000). The software generates perfect lettering; it was a treat to work with.
We then applied the crystal line and created the crystal shadow.