Tuesday, December 13, 2011

DIY fashion: Placemat clutch

The clutch on DK Designs
- Creating Beauty
So after my thrilling success with the placemat bag (see here), I still had five yellow placemats to work with.  I decided to make a clutch in the hope that I could learn to go to formal events without piling everything into Kevin’s suit pockets (apparently, it changes the shape of the suit and he doesn’t like it it should not be encouraged). I started out looking at this clutch on the DK Designs – Creating Beauty site, but found that my placemat was making too big/ too floppy a purse. Some quick figuring later, I decided to make a smaller, firmer clutch with some fairly untidy adaptation.  What can I say?  I love my clutch, and luckily, that Thai holiday intervened, or we would have been overrun by placemat creations. Incidentally, this clutch is hand-sewn, which means anyone can do it even without a sewing machine, but since you will be sewing through three layers, make sure you’re working with a sturdy needle.

What you need
  • 1 placemat (mine was Rs 25 from the roving sellers at Crawford Market)
  • 1 set of magnetic closures (Rs 10)
  • Some sort of embellishment (my filigree leaves were each Rs 18 from Pradhans in Colaba Market)
  • Needle and thread
  • Scissors and cutter
First, fold your placemat (like in the picture below).  I wanted my cover flap to be a little shorter than the main body. Keep in mind that you are working on the wrong side of your clutch.

The photos above and below show you the orientation of the different folds.

Now neatly stitch the two sides of the clutch. (The pens indicate where the lines of sewing should be – in all my excitement, I forgot to take a pic of this.)

Now turn your clutch right side out, and fold the sides of the flap in line with the new breadth of the body.

Neatly sew the flap seams down.

I then bolstered the inside of the clutch (you will find a little pocket inside made by the folding of the cloth, so that the bolstering material will be hidden) with some thick paper to give it some body. Next time, I will be using something more elegant – like a cut-up file folder. You need not do this if your placemat clutch seems fine without it.

Now to add the magnetic closure... Each closure has four parts: two heavy magnetic rounds with protruding pins at the back, and two thin metal discs to anchor the pins.

Carefully mark the spot where you want your closure to be, after measuring with a ruler to ensure symmetry. You will need to mark where the pins will come through the fabric, and carefully cut little slits to let them through.

The magnetic closure part on the main body will be hidden in the pocket inside, but take care to be neat with the corresponding part on the clutch flap; although it will be hidden by your embellishment, you need to be very sure on your placement. Anchor both parts of the main magnetic closure with the little discs and press the pins outwards.

Sew or glue your embellishment(s) over the flap closure.

Make a few more.

Have you tried making the placemat bag? It's easy!

1 comment:

  1. Hey Prima,
    Great Arts & Craft. The cost will come to about Rs.100/- including labour (my estimate). Are there similar commercial products in Colaba or Crawford Market in the same price range? Just asking.


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