I’ve been so excited to try Don Morin’s clutch pattern ever since I read his article in Threads Magazine and the related blog post. As soon as I read it, my imagination took off.
I started looking for the perfect materials. I have a stash of fabric for just such an occasion. The black exterior fabric is a little hard to describe. It has a subtle crackle texture. It looks a bit like leather from a distance, but it’s fairly thin. I decided to give it a little extra body with some fusible fleece. For the interior, I found a great leopard print remnant that was the perfect size.
The hardware was a little more challenging. All of the D-Rings I found were so large, they would be overwhelming to the bag. That was one of the things that caused me to delay starting on this little adventure. Yes, it was totally an experiment, but I wasn’t satisfied to settle for just anything. It’s funny how when I know exactly what I want, I can never find it. In this case, it was D-Rings smaller than 1”. That frustration gave way to inspiration in the aisles of Hobby Lobby. I was checking the jewelry section – just in case there was a hidden stash of D-Rings – and I happened to look down and see a chain. Not just any ordinary chain. This was a giant version of the ball chains that you use for keys or dog tags. Wow! Who needs D-Rings. I’m headed straight for the grommet section now!
This design also calls for an exposed zipper. This is a great opportunity for a fun, expressive zipper. I found several that I thought we possibilities. My favorite has rhinestones on the zipper teeth. I grabbed a few others as well – just in case.
Assembly was a bit challenging. I don’t always make choices that make life easy. I had decided to make the divider from a single layer of clear vinyl. That added some extra challenge. Also, turns out, adding the fusible fleece to the exterior made a nice sturdy bag, but it made for challenging sewing. Four layers of fabric, plus two layers of fleece plus one layer of vinyl equals something just shy of the maximum my sewing machine can handle. I ended up having to make some compromises but, over all, I’m happy with the result.
Oh yeah, the rhinestone zipper didn’t make the cut. The assembly process just wasn’t favorable for a zipper with fussy alignment issues. I got it installed, but it wouldn’t zip properly. I ripped it out and replaced it with a satiny water resistant zipper with much better results. I’ll save the sparkles for another project. I don’t really miss them on this one.
Tell me what you think!