Push the Envelope

This clutch is "sew" simple -- it's an open-and-shut case. All you need are three rectangles: one batting, one print for the exterior, and one print for the lining.

Materials: 12x21-1/2" rectangle of turquoise print (for clutch exterior) 12x21-1/2" rectangle of black-and-white dot (for lining) 12x21-1/2" rectangle of low-loft cotton batting Matching thread Hook-and-loop tape closure Button (optional)

Layer the turquoise print rectangle and the black-and-white dot rectangle with right sides together. Place them atop the batting rectangle with all edges aligned (Diagram 1).

Referring to Diagram 2, fold in the corners at one short end until they meet in the middle (as if you're starting to make a paper airplane). Press the folds with an iron to crease the fabrics.

Unfold the pressed corners and cut through all layers on the pressed lines (Diagram 3) to make the deconstructed envelope shape.

Referring to Diagram 4 and using a 1/2" seam allowance, sew around the deconstructed envelope leaving a 4" opening along the bottom edge. To make it easier to keep the raw edges even, you may want to pin the layers together before beginning to sew. Sew with the batting on the bottom against the machine bed to prevent layers from shifting.

 

Turn the deconstructed envelope right side out through the opening. Use a pencil eraser or chopstick to push the corner points out smoothly. Press, turning the seam allowance at the unsewn opening under 1/2" so the bottom edge is straight.

Machine-stitch across the bottom edge using a wide zigzag stitch, making sure the right-hand swing of the needle goes just off the edge of the fabric. You will be stitching through three layers at this point.

With the point at the top and the lining fabric facing up, fold the bottom edge up 7" to form an envelope pocket. Pin each side edge, making sure the top edge is straight.   Backstitching at the beginning and ending of each seam, zigzag-stitch each 7" turned-up edge (Diagram 5). Again, make sure the right-hand swing of the needle goes just off the right-hand edge of the fabric. You'll be stitching through six layers at this point.

Fold the pointed flap over to make the envelope clutch. Position the hook-and-loop tape closure in the desired position and hand-stitch in place to secure. If desired, sew a button to the outside of the flap as a faux closure.

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