Monday, 20 June 2016

A Chevron Clutch Bag


This is my crocheted clutch bag.

I'm really happy with how it came out. I love the starkness of the monochrome stripes and the simplicity of the chevron pattern. I like how it goes with lots of things in my wardrobe. 


I took care with this, thinking about the construction, adding a zip and even lining it and I'm so glad I made the effort.


You could just hold it in your hand or under your arm, or use the handle to wrap it around your wrist where is can be clutched in your fingers...


...or hang from your elbow. 


Thank you to my sister Katy for modelling it in the above two photos, and also for doing my pretty blue nails and lending me curling tongs, heels and half her wardrobe.

(We went Out-Out, my bag and I, a couple of weeks ago with a group of friends from school and we had a lot of fun. I think that mums with young children, when they get a chance to get dressed up and go out and go dancing...well, it's like we've all been let off the leash a bit. Or maybe that's just me.)

Anyway, below I have put together a tutorial explaining how I made it.


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Make your length of crocheted fabric. You could create any pattern but I chose a zigzag/chevron design with stripes of equal thickness, using this tutorial. I chose cotton DK yarn as it's strong, durable, washable and has great depth of colour. I also used a 3 mm hook rather than the 4 mm suggested, to create a very tight pattern. It was quite hard work to crochet but makes for a more substantial-feeling end product. 

My piece of crochet was around 50 cm long by 30 cm wide. Darn in the ends.


Fold over and stitch down the zigzag points on the two shorter ends, so that you have flat edges on all four sides.


With right sides together, fold the fabric in half and stitch the sides together, using white cotton yarn for the white stripes and black for the black stripes.


Try to match the stripes as closely as possible while sewing together. Any threads carried up or down along the inside of the work can be hidden inside the bag. 


It should look something like this, a bit sack-like but definitely starting to resemble a bag.


Pin the zip in place just under the opening at the top of your bag. I chose pink for the contrast, but you could use black or white. Securely hand stitch the zip into place with strong cotton thread, taking care to really stitch into place the top and bottom of the zip, so that when you pull it open and closed you don't see threads pulling underneath.


I wanted to be able to fold down the top half of my bag and so I needed a magnetic bag fastener. Decide where you want to place this and then insert it into the fabric.


Next, add the handle. I bought a cheap fake leather thin belt for £2.99 and cut it up with a pair of scissors, using a hammer and nail to add holes to stitch it to the bag. Where on the bag you position your handle is up to you, but I chose the point at which the bag would fold downwards when closed.


Using cotton yarn and a tapestry needle, firmly stitch the handle into place.


Now for the lining. Take a piece of lightweight fabric a little larger than the total area of your bag. (I chose plain black cotton.) 


Hem the two short ends, then fold it in half right sides together and sew together along the sides. Turn it the right way out and insert it into your bag. Hand stitch it into place along the bottom of the zip.


This sounds a lot more fiddly than it actually is, trust me. You don't have to line the bag but I think it makes a massive difference to the overall look and finish. The finished bag is around 17 cm tall by 30 cm wide when folded and fastened. 

And there you have it, one handmade clutch bag.






25 comments:

Amy at love made my home said...

It is lovely!! Glad you got to go out and use it too!

Anonymous said...

hi gillian...a lovely clutch...you put much thought into its construction...i like the pink zipper against the black/white crocheted fabric...also, in the first photos, i like your nail polish color choice...thank you for sharing the tutorial...this is definitely a project i will tackle...take care...sally

sandra gilbert said...

I love your bag, it is definatley an out-out bag, I hope it gets lots of outings

Librarian said...

It's a great bag, but most of all I love your light blue nails!!! That is so much MY colour... but I don't paint my nails, because I do not like my hands and fingers very much and try not to draw attention to them.

VeggieMummy said...

Thank you for the tutorial. Your bag is gorgeous and I hope it gets many more outings. Great nails too! xx

Jo@awholeplotoflove said...

It's fab and a great tutorial and yes I quite agree about 'being let off the leash' xx

KirstenLN said...

Beautiful! I agree - the details are so important!

Shami Immanuel said...

Nice bag. Thanks for the tutorial.

CJ said...

Clever you, it's lovely, and so beautifully finished. Glad you got the chance to take it out and show it a good time. CJ xx

Anonymous said...

Lovely bag! Thanks for the inspiration. Irune

Claudia said...

It´s lovely! Thanks for sharing!;)

Claudia said...

It´s lovely! Thanks for sharing!;)

AnnieOBTextiles said...

A beautiful bag and I love the contrasting pink zip. So attractive but practical.

Mereknits said...

It is a wonderful bag, I love the black and white together.
Hugs,
Meredith

Susan Smith said...

Beautiful. It's a one off, so you'll always know which bag is yours. You are very clever. Thanks for sharing. Take care.

Cyndy Regeling said...

What brilliance! You did a terrific job explaining the steps. Makes total sense to me! I think that bag is going to join you on many outings! Enjoy!

Julie said...

So lovely and stylish. Loving all the coloured nail varnish too! X

Sandra (Cherry Heart) said...

It's wonderful, I especially like the pink zipper it makes a great pop of colour!

S x

Jacqueline said...

That is truly wonderful. Thanks for letting us know how to make it, my bug bear would have to be putting in the zip in, not my best element of crafting.

mrsrobinson said...

Gorgeous bag. Jus the thing for going out out. I love that... and totally know what you mean!

Alison said...

It's great Gillian, I'm sure it drew lots of admiring comments. I know what you mean about being off the leash, it's nice to be out and not be in Mum Mode! Love the nail varnish colour too xx

Charloheslop said...

What a night and what a bag! My clever, lovely friend xxxx

Jo said...

Out, out?? really? I did that a few weeks ago with some women from work and we went a bit bonkers too. Wish I had a bag like that to take with me, so cool. (I thought it was your bottom by the way) Jo x

susan q said...

thanks for sharing this bag pattern! love the chevron! so classic and versatile:)

Katie said...

It looks fabulous Gillian, what a great design xx