A Simple Clutch


Hey there!  It’s Stef from Girl. Inspired.!  Today I have a super easy, yet stylish clutch that you can sew up in a snap.

clutch sewing tutorial

Wouldn’t it make the perfect gift for your mom or sister for Mother’s Day?  This simple clutch is compact enough that you can use it for make-up inside a larger bag OR it will fit the essentials for a quick dash out of the house!  Would you like to make one or a few?  Let’s get to it!

clutch sewing tutorial


For this simple clutch, you will need:


2 – 7″ x 11″ pieces of main fabric (upholstery weight fabric is best, but not necessary)

2 – 7″ x 11″ pieces of lining fabric

2 – 7″ x 11″ pieces of fusible interfacing (optional for lightweight main fabric)

12″ zipper

piping, lace trim, fabric ruffle (optional)

thread, pins, zipper foot for sewing machine, and sewing machine

clutch sewing tutorial

Step 1: Follow package instructions to iron fusible interfacing onto the wrong side of main fabric pieces.  Now, we’ll prepare the main fabric pieces with trims or piping if desired.  Place piping or trim along the top long edge of your main fabric piece – the raw edges should match.  Baste into place using no more than 1/4″ inch seam.  For piping, you should use a zipper foot and baste the piping to the bag edge close to the piping.

clutch sewing tutorial

Step 2: Place lining fabric right side up on your work surface.  Center the zipper, right side up, on top of the lining fabric – be sure that the stop when the zipper is closed is 1/2″ in from the side edge of the fabric – trim excess off of the opposite end of the zipper so that it aligns with the other edge (follow zipper package instructions to shorten zipper).  Place your main fabric piece on top of the lining/zipper, right side down.  So, you’ll have lining face up, zipper face up, main face down.

clutch sewing tutorial

Step 3:  Using a zipper foot on the sewing machine, stitch along the edge of the zipper.  You will probably need to stop and adjust the placement of the zipper pull so that you can sew right along the zipper edge along the entire length of the bag edge.

clutch sewing tutorial

Step 4: Fold back and press the main fabric and the lining to expose the finished edges along the zipper – if your fabric does not press away from the zipper enough and the zipper is going to catch on the fabric, you can topstitch the fabric at this point to hold it away.

clutch sewing tutorial

Step 5: Now, we’re going to get the other side of the bag attached to the zipper in the same way.  Making sure that the first side is out of the way, align raw edges of lining (face up), zipper (face up), and main fabric (face down) – pin in place.  Sew.

clutch sewing tutorial

clutch sewing tutorial

Step 6:  Press open the other side of the zipper.  Your bag will look like this:

clutch sewing tutorial

Step 7:  Now we’re ready to sew the bag into one piece.  Separate the main piece and lining piece on each side of the bag and fold the “flaps” so that you are matching the main fabrics right sides together, and the lining fabrics right sides together.  Pin in place to form one large rectangle with main pieces to one side and lining pieces to the other side.  The black line in the picture below shows your stitching line.

clutch sewing tutorial

Step 8:  Stitch, using a 1/2″ seam allowance, all the way around the perimeter of the bag, leaving a 4-5 inch opening in the LINING side of the bag for turning.  Also, be sure that the seams from steps 3 and 5 are all turned toward the main fabric side – this will help the lining to stay tucked inside the bag once it is sewn.

clutch sewing tutorial

Step 9:  Clip the excess fabric from the corners.  Turn the bag right side out through the hole in the lining.

clutch sewing tutorial

Step 10:  Stitch the opening closed by hand.  Press the whole thing really well.

clutch sewing tutorial

Step 11:  Tuck the lining into the bag, press the whole thing again.  Tie a ribbon or some elastic string with beads onto the zipper pull if you’d like – and YOU’RE DONE!!

clutch sewing tutorial

clutch sewing tutorial

Wasn’t that easy?  I love that these require so little fabric and stitch up so quickly – you could make so many different variations!!  I especially love the look of the metal zipper on this bird clutch!

Happy sewing, friends!  I’d love for you to stop by Girl. Inspired. for more Sewing Inspiration or this Smoothie Recipe that your kids will love!  See you next time!


more by Stefanie »


Stefanie Knaus blogs over at Girl. Inspired. where she shares sewing projects and tutorials, her latest adventures in cake decorating and sugar consumption, and any sort of DIY crafty thing she can squeeze into her day. She loves throwing parties and decorating her home with a little vintage and a lot of homemade.Stef and her husband are raising three little girls on their “farm” in Northern California. She loves dance parties with her girls, laughing with her husband, hoarding fabric, photography, and, of course, coffee! Stop by Girl. Inspired. and say hi!

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  1. Melissa@TheHappierHomemaker posted on April 30, 2013 at 4:26 am (#

    Wow! That is so cute, I love the fabrics you chose. Thanks so much for the detailed tutorial, it actually makes me think I can pull this off with my, ahem, mediocre sewing skills! Have a great day!

  2. Leanne Leeper posted on April 30, 2013 at 5:49 am (#

    These are adorable! I’m a new sewer and have been working up the courage to try a zipper. This looks like a good place to start!

  3. Gloria @ Simply Gloria posted on May 1, 2013 at 8:00 am (#

    What a gorgeous project to have my 10 yr old niece sew…I’ve been teaching her like my Aunt taught me. So pretty and simple for her (and any one, in that matter) to sew. Thank you for sharing! (Pinning!)

  4. Crystal posted on May 1, 2013 at 1:17 pm (#

    Super cute!! Love the fabric!! Thanks for the tutorial!!

  5. Lou posted on June 26, 2013 at 2:24 am (#

    Thanks for the tutorial! I used this on the weekend to make a pencil case for my friend’s birthday. Really helped me as it was only my second zipper!

  6. Nicely posted on July 29, 2013 at 11:06 pm (#

    This is very helpful. I’m going to bookmark this.

  7. amanda rose posted on August 1, 2013 at 11:43 pm (#

    Wow! I want to try this tomorrow!

  8. Katie posted on September 7, 2013 at 4:23 pm (#

    Hi! I love these! Can you show how you made the ruffle tote?

  9. Andrea posted on January 6, 2014 at 6:14 pm (#

    Great tutorial. I’ve been wanting to make small bags like this but don’t know how to install zippers. You made it look doable.

  10. janet posted on February 12, 2014 at 7:26 pm (#

    realy nice zip bag easily done.

  11. julie pearson posted on July 31, 2014 at 9:35 am (#

    simple is always the best! thanks so much!!

  12. Monica posted on August 31, 2014 at 5:09 am (#

    This look great – Thank you for the nice tut!

  13. Katelyn posted on November 1, 2014 at 3:21 pm (#

    a video would be awesome

  14. isabel canet posted on January 7, 2015 at 11:17 pm (#

    I love this tutorial!!!  congratulations from Chili

    • Jamielyn posted on January 13, 2015 at 7:43 pm (#

      Thanks for stopping by! :)

  15. Hazel Maidment posted on February 10, 2015 at 5:36 am (#

    Fab tutorial, really easy to follow! 

  16. Ashley posted on March 30, 2015 at 1:16 pm (#

    where did you get the cute bird fabric? 

  17. Nandini posted on April 25, 2015 at 2:48 pm (#

    Hey Jamielyn…this simple clutch is simply beautiful & so easy to make…i 
    love stitching….and would like to make one.Thanks for the tutorial.Can you
    pls show a tutorial for stitching a japanese purse?

  18. Marilyn posted on May 15, 2015 at 12:42 pm (#

    I’m going to take this idea & add a 1″ adjustable strap along the top back edge and make a small cell phone case to wear around my waist with all my pocket-less pants.  Thanks for the idea & instructions.

  19. Marsha Ebersole posted on February 17, 2016 at 9:42 pm (#

    Love your tutorials.