Building the Perfect Purse

Yesterday, I shared my plan to turn an ordinary shower curtain into the perfect purse. My first adventure was a checkbook clutch. Here’s how I made it.

First, cut out a rectangle of fabric large enough to fold in thirds that will ultimately hold your checkbook and register.


I tend to be pretty lazy about measuring. There’s no need for a perfect measurement here, so I compared the new clutch size to a clutch I made previously that was the right size.

After you have the right measurement, cut the fabric with just a little room for 1/4″ seams.

Since this fabric had an edge to it, I cut that from the main piece of fabric and set it aside for use as trim later.

Next, fold the fabric with the wrong side out to a size that will hold the checkbook. Here I used my checkbook register to verify the size again. Measure twice, sew once, right?


Once you have the fabric cut to the right size, iron it so it has good creases at the flap and at the bottom of the wallet. Check your creases and folds by folding into the tri-fold that will soon be a clutch. Like so…


Sew the sides of the clutch with strong, reinforced stitches. I usually run a couple of passes to make a strong seam.


Next, cut a complimentary fabric for the lining, just the same way you cut the fabric and tri-folded it for the clutch fabric. Here, I used a plaid flannel left over from a quilt I made for my mother in 1997. (I always save scraps!)

Again, I just estimated the measurements.


Sew the lining just like the clutch itself. If you have a fabric with an obvious right-side, sew with the right-sides on the inside, so that they will show on the inside of the clutch.

I didn’t have to worry about right-sides with my lining since the flannel is the same on both sides, and both sides are nice.

Carefully cut all seam edges off of the lining as close to the edge as possible.


Iron the clutch so that you will have seam edges to sew the lining to.

Here, I created an envelope look. 020

Place the lining inside the clutch, and fold the lining so that it can be sewn into the clutch.




Here, I chose to hand sew the pieces together with a simple whip stitch, but you could easily sew with your machine, and make all kinds of neat stitches to embellish the clutch. Have fun with it!

When you’re done sewing everything together, figure out how you want your latch to be made. I took the band of edge fabric that I saved previously, and sewed it so that it laps from the back of the clutch to the front. Velcro underneath keeps it closed and allows for easy opening.

The little band created by this type of closure allows you to tuck a piece of paper to the back of the clutch, or place a small pad with a to-do list back there. So, the clutch can double to hold a pad as well as your checkbook.

039 040 036

Honestly, it took me longer to write these directions than it did to make the clutch. I love such simple designs. And, this one will be used over and over again to make pouches and clutches for my perfect purse.

I hope you have fun making yours!

All photos and content © 2013, Craftinlightenment.


3 thoughts on “Building the Perfect Purse

  1. Pingback: Space, the Final Accessory | craftinlightenment

  2. Pingback: Suiter and Suiter | craftinlightenment

  3. Pingback: This is a test. | craftinlightenment

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