Pleated Clutch with Invisible Zipper

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I made another clutch!

I’m kind of obsessed with them at the moment.

My mom asked for a clutch for her trip to Jamaica in November, and since I won that $20 gift card from Southern Fabric I figured the yellow fabric I used for my car pillow tutorial would make a great clutch!  I was a bit disappointed when the fabric came in the mail and saw how big the pattern was.  However, I was still going to try to make it work.

What I Used:

  • 1/2 yard outside fabric
  • 1 fat quarter (this will be used for the inside)
  • 1/2 yard of interfacing (I used Pellon #808)
  • Invisible zipper
  • Bias tape that matches the color of the lining fabric
  • Matching or coordinating thread

Let’s Get Started!

Start by cutting your fabric-

Cut Fabric to Size

  • Two pieces of 11 x 6 outside fabric
  • Two pieces of 10 x 6 lining
  • Two pieces of 10 x 6 interfacing
  • One piece 14 x 3 outside fabric for the clutch strap

The reason to cut the outside fabric an inch bigger than the interfacing is because you need the extra fabric for the pleats.

Mark the center of the outside fabric with a fabric pen (the center for me was 5.5 inches) and fold the fabric on each side towards the middle to make the pleats.  Iron the top of the pleat to keep it in place, then sew a small, straight line right across the top.

Iron down the pleat to keep it in place while sewing.
Iron down the pleat to keep it in place while sewing.

Sew the top of the pleat

The arrow points to a small white line of thread that is holding the pleat down.  This will help keep everything in place during the later steps.
The arrow points to a small white line of thread that is holding the pleat down. This will help keep everything in place during the later steps.

After you’ve sewn the pleat in place, attach your interfacing!  Then, attach your bias tape to the lining fabric.

I always use bias tape instead of folding the top half of the fabric over to prevent stray strings from getting caught in the zipper.  Bias tape looks more professional and is so easy to use!
I always use bias tape instead of folding the top half of the fabric over to prevent stray strings from getting caught in the zipper. Bias tape looks more professional and is so easy to use!

All Seams are 1/2 inch unless stated otherwise!

Take your fabric for the strap and fold it in half.  Press the seam with your iron.

This is what your strap fabric should look like once the seam is pressed.
This is what your strap fabric should look like once the seam is pressed.

Open up your folded fabric, then fold each side towards the middle seam you just pressed. Then sew the sides of the straps together.

Once you've pressed the seam, open the fabric up and fold the sides into the pressed seam for the second time.  Press the seams down, then sew up the side.
Once you’ve pressed the seam, open the fabric up and fold the sides into the pressed seam for the second time. Press the seams down, then sew up the side.

I’ve never sewn an invisible zipper before, so I had to reference a few other blogs for pointers.  My two favorites have been by:
By Hand London, and
Clever Nesting.

They helped me a lot!

Sewing the lining onto the invisible zipper.
Sewing the lining onto the invisible zipper.

After sewing everything onto the zipper came the easy part.  First, sew the lining together, leaving a 6 inch opening at the bottom.  Don’t forget to back-stitch!

Six inch gap

Next, sew the outside fabric up.  Then pull the outside fabric through the six-inch opening in your lining.

When getting ready to sew the outside fabric, make sure you lay your strap on top of one of the pieces with the ends sticking out.  That way, when you sew it together and flip it right side out, the strap will be on the outside of the clutch!  (I've sewn it wrong before and it's not fun having the rip the stitch out to do it over!)
When getting ready to sew the outside fabric, make sure you lay your strap on top of one of the pieces with the ends sticking out. That way, when you sew it together and flip it right side out, the strap will be on the outside of the clutch! (I’ve sewn it wrong before and it’s not fun having the rip the stitch out to do it over!)
This is how everything should look when sewing the outside fabric together!
This is how everything should look when sewing the outside fabric together!

You’re almost done!  Pull your outside fabric through the six-inch hold in your lining fabric.  Then, stitch your lining fabric up!

Pull outside fabric through the hole in your lining

Press your seams down with your iron.

And…you’ve completed your pleated clutch!

Full view of the finished clutchOf course, upon further inspection of my clutch I noticed that my zipper doesn’t work.  I have no idea what the deal is since I’ve never had this problem before, but I have a feeling it’s because I used an invisible zipper this time.

Any suggestions on what might have happened?  Remember, I’m a beginner so therefore my knowledge of all things sewing is kind of limited!

16 Comments

    1. Thank you! It’s actually really easy to make. I’m a beginner too and I thought it would be much harder than it was. If I can do it I promise you can too! 🙂

  1. This is such a great tutorial. I pinned it under my sewing board for later. I am always looking for new things to sew and this would be perfect. I bet my daughter would love it as a little purse.
    Thanks for linking up at the Blog Strut and co-hosting 🙂

    1. Thank you! It’s definitely one of my favorite sewing tutorials I’ve ever done. Thanks for hosting such a great link party and for letting me join in every week. 🙂

  2. How wonderful that you’ve detailed the steps so nicely! Thank you for sharing and for co-hosting the Peacock hop!

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