We love Jennifer Ladd’s beautiful handmade bags and purses. As she notes, they’re “modern and elegant, simple and sleek, cute and quirky too!” Jennifer has been a Sew,Mama,Sew! board member, and you probably remember the gorgeous bags in her Fat Quarter Handbag tutorial from our last Fat Quarter Month several years ago. We have weeks of new, fun Fat Quarter projects ready to go, and we’re kicking it all off with a new fat quarter tutorial from Jennifer for today’s beautiful Ric Rac Clutch!
Jennifer has some really pretty versions of the Ric Rac Clutch in her Jennifer Ladd shop, so if you love the look but don’t have the time to make a clutch for yourself you can purchase one (plus Jennifer’s craftsmanship is impeccable). You can find more from Jennifer at jenniferladd.com and on Facebook.
This adorable little clutch is one of my favorites, and it’s super simple to make!
You can make a couple of them in just a few hours, so it makes a great gift. Perfect for teachers, bridesmaids, best friends… Or just for yourself! I love how versatile it is too. With a simple change of fabric you can have a sweet little everyday bag to go with jeans or an elegant clutch perfect for a fancy night out!
- 3 fat quarters
- Ric rac
- Button (at least 1” wide)
- Fusible interfacing
- Magnetic snap
- Coordinating thread
- Ric Rac Clutch PDF Pattern
Download the Ric Rac Clutch PDF Pattern. Enlarge the purse panel (page 1) 153%. When you enlarge it, it will fit nicely on a 11”X17” sheet of paper. Page 2 does not need to be enlarged.
Starting the Clutch:
Cut out your purse panel pieces: one of your main fabric, one of your lining fabric, and two of your fusible interfacing.
Iron the interfacing onto the back of each purse panel piece.
Applying the Ric Rac:
There are many different ways to apply ric rac, but this is the way I found that works best for me:
On your main purse panel, use pins to mark the starting and ending points for your ric rac. Using a long basting stitch, sew a line from the start point to the end point, using a 5/8” seam allowance. This line will be your guide for applying your ric rac. NOTE: You should use a thread that matches your purse. I used a contrasting thread on mine to make it easier for you to see.
Now for the trickiest part: Starting at the starting point, carefully pin your ric rac to the right side of your main panel so that just the bottom bumps of the ric rac come below the basting line. The rest of the ric rac should be above your basting line, in your seam allowance area. When you sew your purse together, only the part that is below your basting line will show, and since you only want the bumps of your ric rac to show, that is the only part that should be below your basting line. Note: Try to pin this as evenly as possible so that your ric rac looks even on your finished bag.
Be extra careful at the start and end points that you cut your ric rac so that all the raw edges will be in your seam allowance area. You do not want those ugly raw edges showing up in your finished bag.
Again using a basting stitch, sew this ric rac down from starting point to ending point, being sure to keep your stitch above your original basting stitch, in your seam allowance area. You are basically just tacking down your ric rac, so it is fine if you just catch the tops of the bumps… You just need to keep it in place while you sew the rest of your bag.
Set your purse panels aside while you work on your flower.
Sewing the Flower:
Fold your fabric for your flower in half, right sides together. Cut six pairs of petals from this fabric. Pin each pair together in the middle so they don’t shift while you sew them.
Using a 1/4” seam allowance, stitch around the edge of each of the 6 petals, leaving the bottom open.
Trim your seam allowance to reduce bulk and clip your edges to your sewing line to help with turning.
Turn each petal so it is now right side out. It sometimes helps to use a crochet hook or some other kind of stick to help with turning.
Press each petal flat with your iron.
Using a long basting stitch and a 1/4” seam allowance, make a long line of the six petals by sewing them together, one after the other, along their bottom edge. Do not trim your threads! You need to leave them a few inches long on both sides.
Take hold of the top thread on one side of the petals (just leave the bottom thread alone) and pull it gently while slowly pushing the fabric in the opposite direction. Your petals will start to gather at the bottom and you will see your flower form. Work from both sides so that it is easier to keep your gathers even. Be sure to work slowly and carefully… If your thread breaks, you will have to start over again.
When you have your petals looking the way that you want, you will form them into the flower. I use a small piece of scrap felt to act as a base to keep my petals in place. Position your petals into a circle and pin them to the felt. Sew a circle along the bottom edge of the petals to tack them into place. Trim off your extra felt in the back so that it doesn’t show through.
Pin your flower into place on the right side of your main purse panel, following the guide on the pattern. Sew another circle around the bottom edge of the petals to attach your flower securely to your purse. Since you don’t want your flower to fall off, you might want to sew this part several times to make your bond extra secure.
Hand sew your button onto the center of your flower. Be sure that you choose a button that is large enough to cover up your stitching. I added a cute felt flower to mine because my button was a little too small to cover all the stitching. I like the contrast that the felt created, too!
Finishing Your Clutch:
Attach one side of your magnetic snap to your main fabric and the other side of the magnetic snap to your lining fabric (using the placement guide on the pattern).
With right sides together, pin your lining and your main fabric purse panels together, with the main fabric panel on top of your lining. You should be able to see the back of the stitches you made when you were attaching your ric rac.
Using a 5/8” seam allowance, sew around the edge of your panels. Important: When you get to the ric rac area, be sure to sew directly on top of your basting stitch you used as your ric rac guide. That way all the work you put into lining up your ric rac will pay off, and you will have an even seam with even ric rac. If you stray off of this line, your ric rac will not be even and your basting stitch may show through-– Not a good look!
*Remember to leave an opening of about 4” on one side so that you can turn your purse right side out.
Trim your seam allowances to reduce bulk, and clip the edges in the curved area at the top to help with turning.
Turn your purse right side out using the hole you left in the side. Poke out the corners using a sharp tool.
Iron your purse flat.
Hand sew the opening in the side of the clutch to close it neatly.
Using the fold lines on the pattern as a guide, fold your purse into thirds. Make sure your snap lines up correctly. When you have your clutch looking the way you want it, press those folds flat.
Open the flap back up and pin the bottom, folded section into place so that it doesn’t move while you are sewing.
Starting at the top of this folded section, sew around the edges of your purse until you reach the end at the other side of your folded section. Be sure to backstitch a few times at the starting and ending points since these will be major stress points of your bag and you don’t want them to rip.
You’re finished! You have a lovely bag that will definitely make you smile!
The possibilities for this bag are endless! I hope you enjoy making them as much as I do! I have some of them listed in my shop, as well as many other bags and handbags. I would love if you took a look!