Hint of Colour Clutch Bag Pattern

Hint of colour clutch bag

Hint of colour clutch bag

I’ve made the Hint of Colour clutch bag using a technique that I think gives a gorgeous bag.  I’ve made it in various different styles before, but the clutch bag is probably the easiest of bag designs to show you the technique.  This purse measures approximately 8.1/2″ by 6.1/2″ and you can buy it as a kit here.

I’ve used 3/4 yard of pink fabric and 1/2 yard of black.  The pink is an Ebor fabric going by the delightful name of Sangria.  For the black I have used cotton canvas, slightly stronger than normal quilting cotton but just as easy to use.




Cutting requirements for the hint of colour clutch bag

It is actually best to make two of these at a time to save fabric wastage.

1.1/2″ strips:  nine pink, ten black

9″ by 20″ rectangles:  one pink and one wadding for each bag

One button and about 6″ of ribbon for each bag.

Sew the strips together

Sew the strips together

Make the striped panel

Sew the strips of black and pink fabric together along the length, beginning and ending with black.  Press the seam allowances all in one direction.

This is not only the easiest way to press them, but also makes the sewing much easier as well.

Cut this panel into two 20″ lengths.  You actually only need one of these 20″ lengths for one hint of colour clutch bag, but if you make a second purse at the same time then you can use up all the fabric strips.  The instructions following are for one bag only from now on.

Form the pleats

Form the pleats

Form the pleats

Place the panel with the stripes running vertically.  Working from right to left, grip the pink/black seam and pull it across to the next black stripe.

Pull the black across the pink

Pull the black across the pink

With your left hand, gently push the pink to make sure that it is lying flat.  Pin the pleat in place.  Continue down each stripe.

Pleat across all the pink stripes

Pleat across all the pink stripes

Basically you are folding the black stripes across the pink stripes so that only black shows on the top side of the panel.

You will need to form nine pleats, one to cover each pink stripe.

Sew a zigzag stitch just inside the top and the bottom edges to hold the pleats in place.  You need to sew from the right edge to the left edge so that you are following the folds of the pleats.  Otherwise you might find your sewing machine foot pushing against the pleats as you sew.

Zigzag lines across the middle

Zigzag line across the middle

Zigzag line across the middle

Here I have a slight problem because I had started out planning a larger bag.  For this I had planned one fold in the pleated panel, with a pink square added at the bottom to form the third section of the clutch bag.

However this gave me a bag that was too deep and didn’t look right.  I decided to fold the pleated panel twice and forget about the extra pink square.  Unfortunately the video and my photos had already been taken with a line of zigzag stitching across the middle.

What I should have done is added a line of zigzag 7″ from the bottom and a further line 14″ from the bottom.  This holds the pleats in place along the lines where the panel will be folded.  You will then have two sections of 7″ for the pouch of the bag and one of 6″ for the flap.

Press the pleats with a steam iron, removing the pins as you go.

Layer the bag sections

Layer the bag sections

Add the lining and wadding

Measure the width of your pleated panel.  In theory it should be 10.1/2″, but in fact mine was 9″.  This is because you lose a little width with all the folds in the pleating.  Cut a rectangle of wadding and pink fabric to your final measurements – 9″ by 20″ in my case.

Lay the wadding down first with the pink rectangle on top of it, right side up.  Place the pleated panel on top with right side down, so that the pink and the pleats are right sides together.

Leave a gap in the seam

Leave a gap in the seam

Sew around three and a half sides, leaving a gap to turn the bag right side out.  I have left the gap in the middle of one of the long edges.  It is easier to slipstitch the gap closed along a black strip rather than across the pleats in the short ends.

Trim the seam allowances and clip across the corners to reduce bulk in the corners.

Slipstitch across the gap

Slipstitch across the gap

Push the bag through the gap to turn it right side out.  Turn under a small hem across the gap and slipstitch in place.  Press.

Slipstitch the two edges

Slipstitch the two edges

Fold the sections

Fold the bag across the 7″ line to create the pouch of the hint of colour clutch bag.

Sew the two edges together on each side.  I tried to use my machine but there was too much bulk so I hand stitched the seam.

Fold the flap down

Fold the flap down

Fold the flap down over the pouch of the bag.  It should finish about 1″ above the bottom of the bag.  This is intentional so that there is room for a fastener.  I have used a button on the flap with a ribbon loop beneath it on the pouch.

The beauty of this bag is that it’s simple to make and just hints of colour show through the black, particularly when you have something in the bag.  You can use any colour combinations to match an outfit, but I think that you do need to have a good contrast between the fabrics for it to be effective.

You might be interested in other bag patterns on my free bag patterns page.

Here’s the video:

Thank you so much for all the comments and emails that I received with regard to my addition of small projects to the weekly emails.  I hope that this pattern has proved to be helpful to you.  It certainly could be made for a Christmas gift, which I know many of you are looking for.

Chateau Impney

Chateau Impney

And I haven’t forsaken the travel section!  The photo this week is of a hotel called Chateau Impney.  The building has a fairytale castle look to it and it is set in beautiful parkland.

I have admired it from afar for many years so I was delighted when a friend offered to take me there to have a look around.  We thought that we would have a coffee and then a walk in the parkland.  Unfortunately nobody seemed interested in serving us coffee so we had to make do with just the walk in the park bit – but it was lovely to have seen the chateau from close up after all these years of admiring it from a distance.

 

Tote Bag with Gusset – Free Pattern

Tote bag with gusset

Tote bag with gusset

For this tote bag with gusset I have created the gusset through folding rather than by sewing an extra panel into the bag.  It is quick and easy to make and the gusset is perfectly adequate for making the bottom of the bag that bit flatter, so that a bottle would stand upright more easily in it.

Cutting requirements for the tote bag with gusset

Closer view of the bottom corner

Closer view of the bottom corner

Outer bag:  two 18″ squares.  I have used two different fabrics for this

Bag lining:  two 18″ squares.  Again, I have used two different fabrics here

Straps:  two 2.1/2″ strips cut across the width of fabric.  I have used one strip each of the two outer bag fabrics

Facing:  one 2.1/2″ strip. This shows at the top of the bag so it needs to be in a co ordinating fabric.




Mark a line on the bottom corner

Mark a line on the bottom corner

Making the outer bag

With right sides together, sew the two squares together on three sides – these will be the sides and the bottom of the tote bag.

On one side seam, mark a line 1″ from the bottom seam and extending 1″ from the side seam.  Do this to both sides of the bag.  Note that the two squares are still right sides together at this stage.

Form a triangle with the marked line as the base

Form a triangle with the marked line as the base

Pull the two squares apart from each other at the bottom corner.  You need to form a triangle with the marked line running along the base of the triangle and the seam line running up the middle of the triangle.  The corner of the bag will be the top of the triangle.  One half of the triangle will be the back fabric of the bag (black in the photo) and the other half will be the front (hot air balloon fabric).  Sew a seam along the base of the triangle.

Fold the triangle along the bottom seam line

Fold the triangle along the bottom seam line

Fold the triangle down so that the triangle runs along the bottom seam of the bag.  Slipstitch the top of the triangle to the seam allowance.  This is only to hold it in place – it doesn’t need to be strong. Do this to both bottom corners of the tote bag.

Now you can turn the outer bag right side out.

Make a gusset in the lining

Make a gusset in the lining

Making the bag lining

This is basically the same as making the outer bag.  Once again I have used two different fabrics in the hope that the photos will be more clear.  Sew the two squares together on three sides, mark a line for the gusset, sew along the line and slipstitch the top of the triangle in place.  The lining fabrics are still right sides together at this stage.

Make the bag straps

Make the bag straps

Making the tote bag straps

With right sides together, sew the two 2.1/2″ strips together on each side to form a tube.  Cut the tube in half so that you have two tubes about 20″ long.  Fold the top of the strap back along the strap so that you can turn it right side out.  Press and then sew a seam 1/4″ from either side to hold the fabrics in place.

Assembling the tote bag with gusset

Pin the straps to the outer bag

Pin the straps to the outer bag

Now you just have to put it all together!

Turn the outer bag so that it’s right side out.  Leave the lining so that it’s right sides together.  Tuck the lining into the outer bag and line up the two fabrics around the top of the bag.

Pin one strap to the front of the bag and one to the back of the bag, making sure that you only catch the two layers of fabric with each strap.  Sew all round the top of the bag to secure the outer bag, lining and straps in place.

Add the facing

Add the facing

Add the facing to the bag

Measure the length around the top of the bag.  In my case it was 35″.  Take the facing strip and cut a length 1/2″ longer (35.1/2″ for my bag).  Sew the two ends together to make a loop.

Place this loop around the top of the bag (on the outside) so that the top edge is in line with the top of the bag.  Sew in place.

Finally, flip the facing inside towards the lining.  Turn under a small hem and slipstitch in place just inside the seam line.  This means that you have enclosed all the seam allowance and have a neat finish to the top of the tote bag with gusset.

It takes slightly longer to make a bag this way, but it does give a very professional looking bag – and it will help your bottles to stand upright more easily.

Here’s the video:

Tote Bag Pattern With Pockets

 

Tote bag pattern with pockets

Tote bag pattern with pockets

Concealed pocket in the lining

Concealed pocket in the lining

This tote bag pattern with pockets is made in pretty much the same way that I usually make tote bags, but I have added a pocket in the lining before I sew it all together.  I have used the Buckeye Beauty quilt block for the front panel because I happened to have it lying around, but you could use any 16.1/2″ panel for your bag.  Adding a pocket can be as simple as sewing a patch to the lining of the bag, but for this pattern I decided to add a hidden pocket which sits between the outer bag and the lining.

Cutting requirements for the tote bag pattern with pockets

For the outside of the bag:  two 16.1/2″ squares

For the lining:  one 16.1/2″ square, one rectangle 16.1/2″ by 4.1/4″, one rectangle 16.1/2″ by 14.1/4″

For the pocket: one rectangle 6.1/4″ by 5″, one rectangle 7″ by 5″

For the handles:  two 2.1/2″ strips of fabric cut across the width of fabric – I have cut one in lining fabric and one in the fabric that I used for the back panel of the bag.

Sew the outer bag sections together

Sew the outer bag sections together

Fold down a 1" section on both sections

Fold down a 1″ section on both sections

Making the outer part of the bag

With right sides together, sew together the two panels for the outside of the bag on both sides and across the bottom, creating a pouch.

Making the lining

Fold down a 1″ section on the 16.1/2″ length of both of the smaller sections of the lining.  Press to make a fold line.

The pocket will be inserted between these two rectangles.

Sew the pocket sections together

Sew the pocket sections together

Turn under and sew a small double hem on the top of the smaller pocket rectangle.  After I’d added the pocket I realised that this wasn’t strictly necessary, but I’d already taken the photos by this time and I felt that it did help when sewing everything together.

Line up the bottom edge of the two pocket sections and with right sides together sew two sides and across the bottom.  The larger rectangle is the back of the pocket and the smaller one the front.

Sew the back of the pocket to the small lining rectangle

Sew the back of the pocket to the small lining rectangle

Lay the pocket with front section down and line up the top of the back pocket section with the folded section of the small lining rectangle – about half way across the lining.

Sew the back of the pocket to the lining along the fold line.

Line up the two fold lines

Line up the two fold lines

Sew the front of the pocket to the lining

Sew the front of the pocket to the lining

Turn over so that the right sides of the lining are facing up and line up the two fold lines of the lining.  The pocket will lie behind the lining.  Sew the front of the pocket to the larger lining rectangle.  This is a bit fiddly, but definitely doable.  My intention had been for the top of the pocket front to lie along the fold line of the lining, but in fact it ended up a little below the fold – that doesn’t matter.  The important thing is for the two lining rectangles to match along their fold lines.  Sew the two lining sections together on either side of the pocket along the fold lines.

Lay this section of the lining together with the 16.1/2″ square of lining fabric and sew down two sides to create a tube.

Sew the bag strap sections in a tube

Sew the bag strap sections in a tube

Making the tote bag straps

Cut the two lining strips in half and sew one of each colour together along each side to form two tubes.  Pull the end of the tube down over the tube and gently tug it all through to turn the tubes right side out.  Press and sew a line of top stitching about 1/4″ in from each edge to make sure that the straps keep their shape.

Pin the straps to the outer bag

Pin the straps to the outer bag

Assembling the tote bag

Pin the straps to the front and back of the outer bag section.  Note that the right side of the strap is pinned to the right side of the bag section.  It’s worth holding the strap up after you’ve pinned it so that you can be sure that the strap doesn’t have a twist in it.

Pull the lining over the outer bag

Pull the lining over the outer bag

With right sides together, pull the tube of lining down over the outer bag.  Check that you have the pocket at the top as you do this.

Line up the tops of the outer bag and the lining.  Sew these two sections together, making sure that you catch the bag straps in the seam.

Sew a seam along the bottom of the lining

Sew a seam along the bottom of the lining

Pull the lining out away from the rest of the bag.  As it was a pouch, you now have an open end at the bottom of the lining.  Turn under a small seam, pin the two edges of the lining together and sew them together to close off the bottom of the lining.

Now you can push the lining back inside the bag again, taking care to push out the corners.  Pin around the top of the tote bag and top stitch it to keep the layers in place.

That completes the tote bag pattern with pockets.  It obviously takes longer to make this hidden pocket rather than a straightforward patch sewn on top of the lining, but I quite like the idea of having a hidden pocket.

Here’s the video:

Thanks for visiting my blog.

I hope to see you again soon.

Rose

COMPARTMENT BAG


 

Compartment bag

Compartment bag

I’m sure that most quilters have far more bags than they need because they are so easy to make, but occasionally one particular bag stands out as being incredibly useful.  This bag is one that I use when travelling for passport and tickets, when going somewhere by train for scissors and hand sewing bits and pieces – in fact any time when I need to keep things safely zipped up so that I know they won’t fall out.

The bag itself is tied with ribbon and inside there are two zipped compartments.  As the zips are towards the middle they would not be easy for a pickpocket to open when the bag was tied shut.

Fabric requirements

15″ by 10″ rectangle in top fabric, wadding and lining fabric

two 10″ by 6″ rectangles for the zipped compartments and two 10″ zips

about 30″ of ribbon for the fastening

Making the compartment bag

Layer the bag rectangles

Layer the bag rectangles

Sew the lining to the zip

Sew the lining to the zip

Lay the top fabric with right side down, then the wadding and then the lining with right side up.  Put to one side while you make the zipped compartments.

Place the zips on the table with right side up.  For the left hand compartment place the blue fabric on top with right side down and the left hand edges of the zip and the fabric lined up.  Using the zipper foot on your sewing machine sew the zip to the fabric and then fold the fabric back over the fold so that the raw edges are hidden.  For the right hand compartment do the same but with the raw edges of the zip and the fabric to the right.

 

Place zips and lining on main bag

Place zips and lining on main bag

Lines of stitching down the spine

Lines of stitching down the spine

Place both the blue rectangles on the three 15″ by 10″ rectangles with the zips towards the middle and the edges of the blue fabric lined up with the edges of the rectangles.

Sew the free side of each zip to the three rectangles and sew straight lines at about 1/2″ intervals to cover the area between the two zips.  This strengthens the spine of the bag, holds all three layers together and is extremely useful for storing needles if you think you are going to need them.

 

View of spine on the outside of the bag

View of spine on the outside of the bag

Bind as for a quilt

Bind as for a quilt

Here you can see the stitching as it shows through on the outside of the bag.

Add binding as for a quilt.  I find it best to sew this to the inside of the bag and then flip it to the outside of the bag because then you can be sure that you don’t sew over the ends of the zips.

 

 

 

Use ribbon for the fastening

Use ribbon for the fastening

Passport in one of the compartments

Passport in one of the compartments

Use about 30″ of ribbon for the fastening.  I find that it is only necessary to sew it to the two edges and around the spine of the bag.

You can see my passport peering out from one of the compartments – I feel really secure when I’m travelling with all my documents tucked away safely in this compartment bag.

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