Back in the saddle again.
OK, so as you can see, I’ve actually completed something — woo hoo!! Today I bring to you my contribution to this month’s InStitches Sew Along: The Clutch.
I’ll start with the end of the story by telling you that, overall, I like this project. It turned out to be a pretty straightforward pattern, not nearly as complicated as I’d feared, and the bag has a really nice shape and is quite roomy for a clutch. Well, you could probably surmise that last part just by looking at the photo in the book. A couple of years ago, I made my sister-in-law a clutch using a different Amy Butler pattern that had been included in a sewing magazine. It was so cute, with this strap that attached to the back, but man was it large! My husband’s initial response when looking at the finished product: “Is it for her important evening files?” Funny guy! But, really…. Anyway, back to this one. The finished size isn’t nearly as long as I’d thought it would be, but it’s still just a little too much. It’s kind of a good/bad thing: You can stuff more into it – huge wallet, keys, makeup, small notebook – but then it becomes pretty hard to “clutch”. I don’t know, just my opinion.
The instructions were thorough and logical. My only issue was with the basting stitches in step 2e. If you use the 1/2 inch stitch as advised, it may still be visible along the top of the divider after you’ve sewn it into the lining. Next time I would make it a scant 1/2 inch, which would still allow for easily trimming out the interfacing.
Ah yes, the interfacing. As has been my custom, this was another “use what you have” project. The exterior was a remnant I picked up a few months ago, the lining and interfacings were drawn from stock on hand. That means that, once again, I substituted craft-weight Pellon for the Timtex. I don’t know if it made a difference or not; I’ve never used Timtex. Also, I didn’t have enough cotton batting so I used thin poly-bat. I meant to use the needle-punched variety, which I consider the next best thing, but made a mistake and used the wrong remnant. That may just be why my bag is slightly puffy, but not ridiculously so.
In the interest of full disclosure, I’ll show you the inside view. (Kelli, you may want to avert your eyes.)
Um, yeah…. I had a few issues with the top-stitching. I was having a hard time guiding the bag around the arm of the machine, and little did I know that the lining was starting to bunch up on the inside. I tried to rip it out and run it through again. Who knew it was so hard to rip out top-stitching? Yeah, forget it. Oh, and the brown bobbin thread? Well, I’d convinced myself that it was kind of a nice design element and not just laziness on my part (because bobbin winding, as you know, is so hard and all), and it actually would have been were it not for the whole crapped up lining-bunching thing. Hmpf.
The little silver armadillo pin attached to the tab may seem like kind of an odd choice, but it’s been rattling around in my jewelry box for 17 years and needed a purpose. Besides, I like that little bit of extra polish that it adds.
Speaking of polish, did you know that you can use plain old toothpaste to shine up tarnished silver? Yep. Dabbed a little bit on this guy, rubbed it around, wiped it off with a tissue and rinsed off the residue. Sparkly and minty fresh. I didn’t get this tip from the official silver council or anything, so you might want to try it on something other than your grandmother’s silver.
Hey, when you started reading this post, did you ever imagine that it would go on this long? Neither did I….