Posted by: mick | November 14, 2012

Gifties: Part 2

One of my favorite people on this earth, my cousin D, is getting married in January.  While I’m happy to grab something off of a registry and give people what they really want or need, I wanted to get something a little more personal for D since she was in my wedding and has always been made of 100% awesome.  I got the crazy idea of making her a cute clutch in her wedding colors that she could use on her day to hold little things she might need.  I picked out a pattern, took my tightly-clutched coupons to the fabric store, came home with enough to make this adorable bow clutch, and sat down for a few hours to knock this out.

While it turned out cute, I had a few problems.  They were entirely of my own doing, which I’m sure will shock you.  First, my cousin’s colors are eggplant and champagne.  After a maddening twenty minutes of grabbing every shade of off-white fabric and harassing the staff at the store with my incessant and increasingly frantic insistence of “Is this champagne?  IS THIS?!” I spotted this crinkly mystery fabric in the remnants pile.  It’s dark purple, which is eggplant to me, and it’s fancy shmancy.  (This is from a girl who thinks jeans and a sweater is dressy.  Give me a break.)  I bought it up, snatched some paisley with eggplant, off-white, and blue (Something blue! Score!), and went home before considering something really important.  The pattern calls for fusible interfacing, which will make my crinkly fabric decidedly uncrinkly.  Womp womp.

Undeterred, I thought on it a bit, and came up with a plan.  First, I cut some scrap fabric in the same shape as my interfacing, but left about a half inch allowance on all sides (in other words, I cut it one inch smaller on width and length).  Then, I centered the scrap fabric on my interfacing and fused the interfacing to it, being careful not to get the sticky stuff on my iron.  This left a half inch of exposed  interfacing sticky side on each edge of the scrap fabric.  Next, I carefully put this fabric with sticky edges down onto my crinkly fabric and ironed just around the edges, thereby attaching the interfacing by fusing the edges that wouldn’t be seen anyway and leaving the middle satisfyingly crinkled.  Huzzah!

The other problem is that I’m an idiot, and the pattern assumes basic sewing skills.  I turned everything right side out, only to find the super cute handle on the inside.  A better cousin would have started from scratch, but the sun had gone down and the store was over 40 minutes away, so I hacked the handle off and called it a clutch (and a day).

I must say that I’m really pleased with the results.  Despite my very meager sewing skills, this turned out super cute.  For the rest of the gift, I went to Target and got sample sizes of random things like deodorant, a sewing kit, band aids, hairspray, clear nail polish, etc. and filled the bag with them.  Instant wedding day emergency kit!  All in all, it was really fun and quick to make, and I’m proud of my ability to improvise a solution to a self-imposed sewing problem.  My cousin seemed to really like it, too.  Win/win!



  1. What an awesome present! You say you don’t have skills, but look how neatly that zipper is sewn in. I think you underestimate yourself! Also please tell us more about this tufted yellow velvet lovely that is in all your pictures.

  2. Oh, that’s really cute and very thoughtful! I’m impressed at how you improvised with the crinkled/textured fabric and made it work.

    I second the curiosity about the lovely tufted yellow upholstery in the background! It reminds me of a lovely chair (and settee) from West Elm that I’ve been lusting after for a year.

  3. So cute, and so thoughtful! I don’t know about you, but I find with sewing … I just don’t have the improvisation skills I have with knitting. So this is very impressive!

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