Refashion Runway - Week #3 - Purse, Tote or Clutch

9:57 AM

Shirt to Clutch
It's Week #3 of ReFashion Runway hosted by The Renegade Seamstress.  This week is bags!  Clutches, totes and handbags.  The challenge is basic:  choose one and make it! I've made totes before but I really wanted to challenge myself, so I decided to make a clutch.

I'm not really a clutch girl, but lately I'm finding that I don't need to bring the whole kitchen sink if i'm just going to dinner with the girls.  And so - I made a clutch!

When I'm making purses or small bags I prefer to use children's clothes.  Because they're smaller there's less cutting and less waste.  This clutch started out as a child's size 4T shirt.

Size 4T shirt

As soon as I saw the flower detail on the front, I was hooked!

I wanted this floral detail on my clutch!
The first thing I had to do was to make sure that I would not lose too many flowers when I cut the shirt to fit the purse frame.

Measure frame against the shirt
I decided that I wanted to include as many flowers as possible so I'd have to make a few changes to the shirt.  This is what I did:

Carefully dissemble the shirt
I removed the shirt sleeves.

Remove both sleeves
Remove the back of the shirt
I cut the shirt into to pieces (front and back).

Cut to bottom from the shirt
Next I removed the lower half of the shirt.  Save the bottom half to fill in the neck line.  Save the shirt back to make the back of the purse.

Remove shirt collar
Finally I removed the shirts collar.

My goal was to turn the rounded collar portion into a square so that I could use as many flowers as possible in the clutch.

Pin the flowers out of the way
I pinned the flowers out of the way and stitched the bottom half of the shirt to the open neck portion.

Add fabric panel to make neckline square

Cut to purse size
Once the neckline was squared away, I was ready to start making the purse (and its liner).

During Week #1 of the Refashion Challenge I made a dress that I called Dusty Rose.  

Refashion Challenge Week #1 dress
I used the left over fabric from Dusty Rose to make the liner for the clutch.   

Cut liner to match clutch bag
 I enjoy a pocket, so I added a pocket to one of the liner pieces.

Cut everything to size
It's hard to tell from the pictures, but there is 2 of each panel.

- front and back purse pieces (one with flowers, one without)
- front and back of liner pieces (one with a pocket, one without)

I sewed the sides and bottom of the purse, then I sewed the sides and bottom on the liner.  

Next I put them together.

Insert liner into the purse
Stitch the liner to the purse
Using the sewing machine, stitch the liner and the purse together.

The final step is adding the purse form.  I'm new to purse forms so I decided to wing it.  Maybe there's some magical purse form thread out there.  I used what I had on hand - embroidery floss.  Slowly, slowly, I stitched the purse and liner to the purse frame.

I used Embroidery Floss for the purse frame 
I didn't use any fancy stitching.  I just took my time and used a thimble.  The thimble saved my fingers (and my sanity) on the corners!

In the end I decided that my purse was a little too long, so I squared the bottom by stitching the interior corners.

Stitching the corners squared the bottom of the bag

Square bottom!
That's IT!

The pocket was a great addition!

Make sure to see all of the fashions from the ReFashion Runway by checking out The Renegade Seamstress!

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  1. Love your clutch and the dusty rose dress, it looks great on you! Great refashions, I havent been sewing as much lately so its nice to feel a little inspiration!

    Miche from Buttons and Birdcages

  2. That clutch looks so cute and better with a square bottom! The flowered top was a good spot.

  3. Nice way of utilizing clothes. You have a great crafting hand. A clutch bag is better if it´s handmade, it makes you have an unique look.