June's stashbusting theme is containment, i.e. "sewing things to put other things in." While I could do something sensible, like make a reusable grocery bag, let's be honest -- Mr. Cation has gotten so many free bags from business school job fairs, we're probably set for life (and don't even talk to me about pens, notepads, and water bottles with random company names on them!). I'm a two-purse kind of girl (one nice professional one, and one casual messenger bag), so I don't need any more purses. I do, however, need a new clutch for dress-up events, when my giant teacher purse (the professional-looking one) doesn't cut it. My current clutch was a free gift from a Black Friday sale in college, so I think it's about time I replaced it!
While I was in Italy, I stopped by a Euro Village, which I guess is the equivalent of a dollar store. I picked up a bunch of sewing notions for a euro each, as well as this gold placemat for two euros. It was so nice and weighty, I figured it would make for a good clutch. "Oho, but that means you're not stashbusting!" you say accusingly...well, I used stash fabric for the lining! I got this home-dec sample in London on our first anniversary trip, and it was the perfect size and color scheme for this simple clutch.
|Step 1: To make the lining, cut out a piece of sturdy fabric a little bigger than your placemat. Fold over and press the edges (and sew mitered corners if you want super neat corners!) to make a rectangle with finished edges. Pin or clip the lining to your placemat and sew all the way around the edge, leaving a little gap in the middle of one short side so that you can insert an elastic later.|
|I used clips instead of pins because the punctures show on my vinyl placemat. I wasn't sewing too neatly and veered off at one point and had to unpick; fortunately, the shininess of the placemat distracts from the needle holes!|
|Make sure that the inserted elastic is big enough to go over the button.|
|Stitching done on both the button and elastic! I chose this black button with a gold rim to break up all of the gold.|
|Step 4: Sew up the side seams, backstitching at the top of the pocket for extra security.|
Fabric: 12"x18" gold vinyl placemat, similar size 100% cotton canvas. This project is perfect for showcasing a cool fabric that you only have a bit of! Of course, if you were going to make it from a non-placemat, you might need to add in some stiff interfacing to keep your clutch from being too floppy.
Notions: 1 hair elastic leftover from when my hair was still long enough to require such things, 1 shank button from the stash
Hours: 1.5...a nice quick project!
Will you make it again? Considering how few purses I use, probably not for myself, although I might make more for friends if I come across cool placemats.
Total cost: I don't remember how much the home dec fabric was, but the whole project was definitely less than $5. Not as good as free, but at least I didn't have to wake up at 5 AM and fight a bunch of other people at Express before the limited supply ran out!
Final thoughts: It's funny, in high school and college, all my accessories were silver/stainless steel and cooler toned, but recently I realized that gold/brass and warmer tones suit my coloring better; this clutch reflects this discovery (and all the light in the room). Also, I like that this clutch is actually big enough to put things in! Which, as you know, was the whole point of June's theme.
|Experimenting with how much I can fit: my iPhone, my even smaller clutch with my credit cards and ID and cash, and a little makeup thing that I use about twice a year. I bought it when I got engaged four years ago, and I still haven't used it up...|