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A zippered clutch is the go-everywhere kind of accessory that’s a snap to make and a joy to give. This version has an chic vintage look thanks to delicate cross stitch embellishment. The embroidery design is one of the hundreds of built-in options on the Janome Horizon Quilt Maker Memory Craft 15000. We reduced its size slightly for the best fit (very easy to do right on screen with the MC15000) and stitched it out in matte cotton thread against a rich black background. Coordinating quilting cottons in simple patterns complete the classic styling, adding soft color to the base of the clutch and the lining.

Our pretty pouches are so fun and turn out so cute, you may not want to stop with just one. We made three and could have just kept going! They’d be perfect for a wedding party, graduation gift, in holiday colors for the seasonal party season… or here’s a crazy thought: make one for yourself!

We matched the zipper and tiny satin ribbon zipper pull to the accent cotton, opting for a standard plastic zipper. If you’re looking for a more elegant evening bag, consider switching to a decorative metal zipper with a charm or rhinestone pull.

We always love it when we can add that just-right dash of embroidery to a project to give it a fashionable edge. If you’ve never experienced the precision of Janome’s embroidery machines, you really deserve to see one in action. Ask for a demo at your local Janome Dealer. The Quilt Maker MC15000 has the key features you need to make sewing, embroidery, and quilting better than ever. There are other Janome sewing-and-embroidery and embroidery-only models to see as well, including the Skyline S9 and the MC550E. All of them stitch with Janome’s trademark precision, power and speed. Gorgeous every time!

You’ll notice we stitched with solid colors on our green and pink clutches, but on the yellow clutch, we tried a variegated thread. This blended-color effect is lovely and actually enhances the vintage feel. All our thread choices for embroidery were Aurifil 50wt.

Though many clutches are simply thin and flat, we decided to give this one a bit of extra dimension. Small boxed corners allow larger items to fit down into the base of the bag without distorting the still sleek shape.

Our clutch finishes at approximately 6″ high x 7½” wide with 1½” boxed corners.

Sewing Tools You Need

Fabric and Other Supplies

NOTE: The ingredients shown below are for ONE zippered clutch. 

  • ⅓ yard of 44″+ wide quilting weight cotton fabric in a dark solid color for the top panels and zipper tabs
  • ¼ yard of 44″+ wide quilting weight print fabric for the bottom panels and lining
  • ½ yard of 45″ mid-weight fusible interfacing; we used Décor Bond by Pellon
  • ONE 7″ zipper; we used a Coats polyester zipper to match the print fabric
  • ¼ yard of ⅛” ribbon for the zipper pull; in a color to match the print fabric and zipper
  • All purpose thread to match fabric
  • Cotton 50 wt thread for the vintage style embroidery; we used Aurifil thread, including a variegated option for the yellow clutch
  • Bobbin thread
  • See through ruler
  • Seam gauge
  • Seam ripper
  • Fabric pencil, pen or chalk
  • Iron and ironing board
  • Scissors or rotary cutter and mat
  • Straight pins
  • Hand sewing needle

Getting Started

  1. From the fabric for the top panels and zipper tabs, cut the following:
    ONE 10″ x 12″ rectangle for the front embroidery panel
    ONE 5″ high x 8½” wide rectangle for the back panel
    NOTE: If you choose not to add embroidery, simply cut TWO 5″ high x 8½” wide rectangles.
    TWO 1¼” x 2½” strips for the zipper tabs
  2. From the fabric for the bottom panels and lining, cut the following:
    TWO 3¾” high x 8½” wide rectangles for the bottom panels
    TWO 7¾” high x 8½” wide rectangles for the lining
  3. From the fusible interfacing, cut the following:
    ONE 10″ x 12″ rectangle for the front embroidery panel
    ONE 5″ high x 8½” wide rectangle for the back panel
    NOTE: As above, if you choose not to add embroidery, simply cut TWO 5″ high x 8½” wide rectangles.
    TWO 3¾” high x 8½” wide rectangles

At Your Sewing Machine & Ironing Board

Optional embroidery

  1. Following manufacturer’s instructions, fuse the 10″ x 12″ interfacing rectangle to the 10″ x 12″ upper fabric rectangle.
  2. Download your chosen embroidery design. As mentioned above, we wanted our clutch to have a vintage style and so opted for one of the built-in cross stitch designs on our Janome Memory Craft 15000.
  3. Hoop the fabric. Because of the interfacing already fused in place there is no need to layer any additional stabilizer.
  4. Set up the machine for professional style embroidery with cotton embroidery thread in the top and bobbin thread in the bobbin.
  5. Embroider the design, changing colors as indicated.
  6. Remove the fabric from the hoop and press from the wrong side.
  7. Using a rotary cutter and a clear ruler, trim the embroidery panel to size. We wanted our design slightly off center to the left and so positioned the ruler 1″ from the lower edge of the embroidery and 1″ from the left side of the embroidery.
  8. Trim the panel down to match the finished size of the matching back panel: 5″ high x 8½” wide.

Exterior panels

  1. Following manufacturer’s instructions, fuse the remaining interfacing rectangles to the upper back rectangle and the two bottom rectangles.
  2. With right sides of fabric together, pin each top panel to a bottom panel.
  3. If you have a directional fabric, make sure everything is facing the right direction. You are pinning along the bottom edge of the top panel and the top edge of the bottom panel. Pin first, then gently open up the piece to check that everything is correct.
  4. Re-thread the machine with thread to best match the fabric in the top and bobbin. Stitch together, using a ½” seam allowance.
  5. Press the seam allowance down towards the bottom panel.
  6. On both the front and back assembled panels, topstitch along the horizontal seam. Run the stitching ¼” from the seam within the bottom panel. This adds a pretty line of accent stitching and secures the seam allowance in the down position. Re-thread the machine if necessary with thread to best match the bottom panel fabric in the top and bobbin. We used our Janome Quarter Inch Seam foot to keep a perfectly straight seam.

Insert the zipper

  1. Find the 7″ zipper and the two 1¼” x 2½” tabs.
  2. Place one tab on each end of the zipper. The tab and the zipper are right sides together. Open up the zipper about midway so you can sew right up against the tabs on either end. Pin the tabs in place.
    NOTE: We based the width of these tabs on our zipper. Cut your tabs as needed to best fit your zipper.
  3. Stitch the zipper tabs in place, running your seam just below the top and bottom zipper stops.
  4. Press the tabs away from the zipper on each end.
  5. Find the front and back exterior panels.
  6. Fold under and press the top raw edge of each panel ½”.
  7. Place the zipper right side up on your work surface.
  8. Place one panel on each side of the zipper.
  9. Pin both panels in place. The top folded edge of the panel should sit approximately ¼” away from the zipper teeth. Make sure the zipper is centered between the left and right sides of the panel. The zipper tabs will extend beyond the raw edges of the panel.
  10. If necessary, re-thread the machine with thread to best match the fabric in the top and bobbin. Slightly lengthen the stitch.
  11. Edgestitch both panels in place.
  12. Because you are not stitching right up against the zipper, you can use your regular presser foot or attach a Zipper foot.
  13. Go slowly. When you can start to feel you’re approaching the zipper pull, stop with your needle in the down position. Twist your fabric around slightly and carefully close the zipper. Re-position your fabric and finish sewing to the end. Be very careful and go slowly; you want your seam line to be super-duper straight.
  14. You now have panels stitched in place on either side of the zipper and the excess width is neatly filled in with the zipper tabs. Trim away the excess tab fabric so the side edges are flush.

Complete the exterior bag

  1. Open the zipper about half way again. Fold the two panels right sides together, aligning the raw edges along both sides and across the bottom. Be especially careful to line up the horizontal seam lines. Pin in place.
  2. Re-attach a standard presser foot if necessary. Using a ½” seam allowance, stitch along both sides and across the bottom, pivoting at the bottom corners. Use a substantial backstitch at both the beginning and end of your seam to reinforce these stress points at either end of the zipper.
  3. Clip the corners and press open the seam allowances. Leave the exterior wrong side out
  4. With the exterior bag wrong side out, the next step is to box the bottom corners.
  5. Our clutch is designed to have 1½” corners. To create this width, we figured the seam at half this width or ¾”.
  6. Pinch a small fold at the corner so the side and bottom seams align, forming a little peak.
  7. Measure ¾” in from the top of the peak and draw a line across the corner.
  8. Stitch along the drawn line. We recommend a double or triple seam for extra security.
  9. Trim away the peak to leave an approximate ¼” seam allowance.
  10. Repeat to create the opposite corner and push both corners out into place,
  11. Turn the bag right side out.
    NOTE: If you are new to boxed corners, check out our tutorial for step-by-step instructions.

Create and insert the lining

  1. Find the two 7¾” x 8½” lining pieces.
  2. Place the two lining pieces right sides together. Pin in place along both sides and across the bottom.
  3. Using a ½” seam allowance, stitch along both sides and across the bottom, pivoting at the corners.
  4. Following the same steps as above (or referring to our tutorial), create 1½” boxed corners in the lining.
  5. Fold down the top raw edge of the lining ½” all around. Pin in place.
  6. Find the exterior bag. It should be right side out.
  7. With the lining wrong side out, slip it inside the exterior bag so the two bags are now wrong sides together.
  8. Align the boxed corners and the side seams. The top folded edge of the lining should fall below the zipper teeth by about ⅛”. If it doesn’t, adjust the lining’s fold to fit and gently re-press.
  9. Pin the layers together along the edge of the zipper.
  10. Thread the hand sewing needle.
  11. Slip stitch the lining to the bag, using very small stitches. Stitch along the front and the back, but leave the lining loose where it wraps over the side seams. This allows some “give” in the lining so it folds smoothly as you zip the bag open and shut.
  12. Find the length of ⅛” ribbon. Fold it in half and slip the center fold through the hole in the zipper pull. Pass the ribbon ends through the loop and pull to tighten. This is similar to attaching a gift or price tag. Trim the ribbon ends at a diagonal, cutting them to your desired length.


Project Design: Alicia Thommas
Sample Creation and Instructional Outline: Michele Mishler

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L A Holt
L A Holt
6 years ago

Really beautiful design, I

Really beautiful design, I love the cross-stitch on black contrast with the lovely prints.

Great idea, I will be trying to make this soon. Thanks!

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