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″.

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.


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  1. Hi Rose Sorry not to have commented on this before. Love this bag and will have to have a go. Such a sensible size and so attractive.

    all best Janny

    • Thanks, Janny. I’m aware that lots of quilters want to make things for charity stalls in the lead up to Christmas, so I thought that this would be a simple and quick project for them.

  2. As a handbag collector, this clutch will do nicely.Can’t wait to make it. A million thanks for all your terrific patterns. Love the beautiful house you visited too.

  3. Hi Rose – I haven’t been in touch for a while and see today that you are doing smaller projects – great – love the bag pattern – I love making bags?- looking forward to next one?

    • Hi Dianne. Glad you like the bag pattern. I’m planning on doing smaller projects every other week, with quilts in the other weeks.

  4. Thank you Rose, the clutch bag is beautiful. Also your other bag patterns! Sometimes i just want to make something small, and these are most helpful. You have given me inspiration to get sewing again. Jean

  5. Hi Rose. What a great start to my new ‘Rose’s Small Projects’ file:) Thanks to Sheila for suggesting a separate file for these smaller projects so that they don’t get lost among the quilt patterns. I keep them all, and have made lots of them. This one is a beauty. Thanks. Irene.

  6. Hi Rose, What a beautiful bag! You are such a talented lady. I’m still making the Sunbonnet Sue appliques but I’m taking my time. It’s a baby quilt so it shouldn’t take too long to put it together. You, my dear would have the entire quilt top done in one day.

    I found the chateau/hotel/ restaurant and read all there was to learn about it on Wikipedia. As usual I found it all very interesting.

    • Hi Claire. And as usual you will now know far more than I do about the chateau! I might have made the quilt top more quickly than you, but I bet your quilt is neater than mine would have been.

  7. Carole Yoxall says:

    This is beautiful Rose, love the pleats and the pink colour peeping through, and such a handy size.xx

    • Thanks, Carole. It’s always been a favourite design for me. It’s so versatile – can be used with any colours.

  8. Lovely bag. Thanks for all your efforts

  9. Sheila Lymn says:

    Hi Rose and what a start for your alternative Friday offers ,I have started a new file so I don’t get mixed up with your quilt ideas ,My friend Pat is equally delighted and thinks she will make a couple for her Church bazar in October .How much will the kit be and what is in it please ?thank you for all your ideas love and hugs Sheila xxx

  10. Carole Cunningham says:

    Loved the bag. Now to find out my grand daughters school colors.

  11. How cute is this!!!

  12. Sandra Barnett says:

    Oh Rose,
    What a unique bag Love it. Going to try it, as soon as I get my fabric room organized.
    Decided to rearrange it so right now it is messy. Putting the fabric in rows so I can see what I have easier. Finding some fabrics that got buried in bins. One or two of them would make a nice bag. Keep up the good work and the good ideas. I LOVE Fridays. Thank You.
    Love the castle.
    Have a great weekend and I guess I should say Happy Sewing.

    • Thanks, Sandra. It’s amazing when you organise your fabric – you keep finding fabrics that you’d forgotten about. At least that’s what happens to me, anyway. Glad you like the bag pattern.

  13. barbara maki says:

    Dear Rose, I love all of your ideas the purse is beautiful can’t wait to make another of your ideas thanks Barbara U.S.

    • Thanks, Barbara. I’ve always liked this design for a bag – it’s great being able to make different colours to match the bag to something.

  14. I love this bag. I think it would be fun to make and usefull also. Thanks so much for your weekly newsletter and patterns. MJ

  15. Love the clutch bag Rose,would make a super evening bag – also interested in the chateau (first glimpse thought it was in France). The gardens looked magnificent, thanks for the highlight.

    • Hi Irene. The chateau’s not far from here – not far from Droitwich. I used to drive past it when I lived in Ludlow and was driving towards the M42.

  16. Cynthia Ash says:

    I love the bag Rose, it would make a lovely Christmas or birthday present.

    • Hi Cynthia. That’s what I thought – and you could personalise the colours to the person you were giving it to.