Tara J. Curtis uses special weaving techniques and the tool she created, the WEFTY Needle, to create beautiful items with fabric. Tara showed us how to make the Woven Chevron Pillow, and now she has her original design for the Madweave Foldover Clutch featuring a classic tumbling blocks design. The weaving gives this bag such a lovely, unique look!
I first began fabric weaving for the Bound to Create the Perfect Bag Challenge by Art Gallery Fabrics in October 2015. I taught myself how to do a madweave design called tumbling blocks in order to create a foldover clutch.
Made with fat quarters from the April Rhodes Bound fabric collection and upcycled denim, the Madweave Foldover Clutch is perfect for every day. When Alison Glass’ Handcrafted2 for Andover Fabrics came out, I knew I needed to make another with some slight variations. This pattern works great with an orphan block, some fat quarters and old denim!
All seams are ½” unless otherwise indicated.
- 6 fat quarters (2 dark, 2 medium, 2 light) for the tumbling blocks weave
- 2 light colored fat quarters for the lining + (optional) pocket
- 1 fat quarter for the quilted side, or an orphan block made to measure at least 15.5” x 16.5”
- One pant leg from an old pair of jeans
- 15” x 16” piece of lightweight woven
- 16” x 17” piece of fusible fleece
- ½” foam board or large piece of cardboard
- 1” bias tape maker (optional)
- 1” Tjaye Fabric Weaving Needle (You may also try using a yarn needle– take care not to poke through the interfacing– or a safety pin.)
- 14” zipper
- (2) 1” D-rings
- 1” Slider for adjustable straps
- Sewing Machine
- Cutting Mat
- Iron + Ironing Board
Cutting for the Tumbling Blocks Weave:
First choose which color grade will be your vertical strips (light, medium, or dark), then:
– From two vertical strip fat quarters, cut widthwise to get (17) 2” x 18” strips.
– From four diagonal strip fat quarters, cut lengthwise to get (36) 2” x 18.5” strips.
Cutting for the Quilted Side:
– If using a fat quarter, cut it to 15.5” x 16.5” first.
– Cut two 15” x 16” rectangles from your light colored lining fabric.
– You can use the leftovers to cut two 6” x 7” rectangles for an optional pocket.
Prepping the Strips for Weaving:
Place the strips wrong side up on the ironing board. Using either a 1” bias tape maker or your fingers, fold the sides of the strip so that they meet in the middle and press. Repeat until all strips are folded and pressed in this way.
First pin a piece of interfacing to the foam board, bumpy side up, and pin in place.
First Layer: Pin your vertical strips in a row, ensuring they are straight. This is your first layer.
Next, begin weaving in your second layer. Start on the right, and work at a 30 degree angle. The sequence for your second layer is over one, under two. Begin this sequence on the first vertical strip on the right by weaving the diagonal strip over that first vertical strip, under the next two vertical strips, over the fourth strip, under two, repeating… Pin your strip at both ends to secure it.
With the next second diagonal strip, you will start above the first diagonal strip by weaving it under the first vertical strip, over the second vertical strip, and under the next two, over one, under two, repeating… Pin the strip at both ends.
Your third diagonal strip will go under the first two vertical strips, over the third, then under two, over one, repeating…
Double check to ensure your angle is still 30 degrees. Adjust strips as necessary.
Start the sequence over again on the first vertical strip to the right. Pin all strips to secure them.
Keep weaving until the entire first layer is covered. You will begin to see where your second layer strips can be trimmed and woven into the corners, but take care not to trim until you are certain your sequence is perfect.
Third Layer: You will weave in your third layer from left to right, by starting at the far left. Again, you will work at a 30 degree angle. This time the sequence is under one vertical strip, over two vertical strips. However, you will be weaving the third layer under the second layer.
I like to think of the first and second layers as making up a lot of little birds, with the first layer being the body of the bird, and the second layer being the bird’s wings– one wing points down and one points up. Your third layer will be woven under the first wing, under the body of the bird, and come out from under the second wing, go back under the wing of the next bird, and so on.
Follow the same advice for filling in corners as with the second layer. Keep pinning your strips to keep them secure.
Securing the Weave:
Iron over the weave, taking care not to iron over the pins. Carefully remove all the pins and iron again more firmly. Make sure all pins are removed, and then gently slide the woven panel off the foam board and onto your sewing table. Sew around all four sides of the woven panel, about 1/8” from the edges, taking care not to disturb your weave.
Carefully flip the panel over so that the interfacing is on the top side. Press again lightly. Sew another stabilizing stitch a scant 1/8” around the inside of the interfacing. Trim to 15” x 16” by cutting carefully around the interfacing.
Lay the wrong side of your trimmed fat quarter piece or orphan block on the bumpy side of the fusible fleece and press.
Quilt, using whatever design you desire. Trim to 15” x 16”.
Sew your pocket pieces right sides together, leaving a small opening for turning. After turning right side out, press so the open seams fold under and are hidden. Position the pocket onto a lining piece, at least 1.5” from the bottom (15” side) and pin. Sew 1/8” around three outer edges, making sure to backstitch to reinforce the side that will be your pocket opening.
Purse Strap + D-ring Tabs:
Remove the seams and cuffs from the jeans. Use a rotary cutter to cut (2) 4” x 31” strips from both sides of the pant legs.
Lay one strip atop the other, right sides together to form an upside down “L.” Sew together at a 45 angle just as you would quilt binding, and trim a ¼” seam allowance.
Press the seam open.
Lay the strip wrong side up on the ironing board and press the sides together so they meet in the middle. Fold lengthwise and press.
Sew 1/8” along both edges with a matching thread.
Cut off (2) 4.5” pieces. Insert these pieces into your D-rings and set aside.
Attaching the Zipper:
Install your zipper foot. I like to use a small stabilizing stitch on the end of the zipper near the pull so it stays together while sewing.
Optional Step: You may use zipper tabs as I did by using (2) 2” squares. Fold them in half and press, then unfold. Fold the sides into the middle crease and press. Fold again, and slip the tabs over either end of the zipper. Sew along the folded edges of the tabs a generous 1/8”.
Lay your quilted piece face up. Take your zipper and center it across the top of the quilted piece, zipper pull down (facing the quilted piece). Position a lining piece on top and line up the edges of your zipper sandwich. Pin or clip in place. (I use Wonder Clips.)
Sew as close to the zipper as possible, stopping and backstitching when you get close to the zipper pull. At this point you will need to stop sewing and open the zipper, allowing you to continue sewing. You cannot sew next to the zipper pull, so you absolutely must move it out of the way first!
Unfold your zipper sandwich, close your zipper, and press the quilted side and lining piece away from the zipper. Sew a 3.0 length stitch near the edge. I used a contrasting hot pink thread for mine.
Switch your stitch length back to a smaller stitch length.
Now you’re going to make a zipper club sandwich… Or a zipper Big Mac!
Lay your second lining piece down face up. Position the zipper sandwich you just made on top of this lining piece, lining side down (the back of the zipper pull should be touch the second lining piece). Line up the edge of the zipper and the edge of the second lining piece.
Now lay your woven piece down on top, face down. The right side of your woven piece and the right side of your quilted piece should face, and you will want to line up the edge of the woven side with the edge of the zipper. Clip or pin in place.
Sew just as you did before, as close to the zipper as possible and opening it midway to avoid that zipper pull as you sew. Press the woven and second lining pieces away from the zipper, switch your machine stitch length to 3.0 and sew another stitch near the edge.
Sewing the Bag Together:
Lay the woven and quilted sides facing, pin and sew along the bottom edge.
Lay the lining pieces facing, pin and sew along the bottom edge.
Flip the lining right side out over the quilted/woven side. Unzip the zipper.
Position your D-ring tabs 6” down from the finishing seam as shown in the photo. Pin.
Use clips or pins to stabilize the sides of the bag, ensuring you have all layers lined up on both sides. Trim if necessary.
Sew slowly along both sides, reinforcing the D-ring tabs with extra stitches. Turn your bag right side out and make sure everything looks okay before continuing. If it looks good, turn it back inside out and continue.
Trim the tabs. Use a zig zag stitch to clean up the edges of both sides. Turn the bag right side out and press.
Sew a small zig-zag stitch at both ends of your bag handle strap. Insert one end into the slider, fold back and sew a rectangle.
I also added an “X” in the middle of my rectangle for aesthetics. Lay your bag quilted side up.
Insert the unsewn end up through the D-ring and pull it through, but make sure the fold is facing up on your strap.
Ensure the strap isn’t twisted, then run the unsewn edge the side of the slider, then run it through the other side of the slider.
Run the unsewn edge of the strap through the other D-ring. Make sure the strap isn’t twisted. You may want to fold the strap and pin, then test out the strap to make sure it looks good. If it looks okay, sew a rectangle with an “X” in the middle.
Adjust your strap and enjoy your new bag! If you make this clutch and you’re on Instagram, use the tag me @t_jaye and use the hashtag #madweavefoldover. I would love to see your creation, and will probably ask your permission to repost!