Sewing a Handmade Leather Clutch Instead of Seat Covers.

6/08/2013 02:22:00 PM

Today I had plans to go the Edmonton Quilt Festival with a good friend, but we have to postpone it until tomorrow, so instead I'm doing some sewing. I'm should be sewing seat covers for my husband's truck.... but I just can't get into it! Instead.... I made a handmade leather clutch!

Tandy Leather has assorted lambskins with a wide assortment of colors and finishes on sale this month and I couldn't resist getting.... umm.... 9 of them. Oops! They were a good deal at 19.99 each. You can't blame me. (BTW, that does not count as fabric purchasing, although I did blow my vow to not purchase fabric last night because Pink Chalk Fabrics got their yarn died linen back in stock and I've been waiting for that for ages.)

Back on subject.  I decided I would like to give a clutch pattern away with a certain purse lock that I have ordered to be made, and that shipment should be here in a couple of weeks.  I drew up a pattern, made a mock up and then bravely cut into a nice brown piece of leather.  It's very thin, and embossed with a sort of snake skin pattern. The snake skin kind of creeps me out, because I hate snakes, but I also think it's kind of cool at the same time. I find it ironic that a lambskin would have a snake print... A lamb in snakes clothing? Is this a juxtaposition, or a paradox, or an oxymoron? Regardless, I think this leather was initially doomed to be an Italian shoe, but because of flaws or size, it can now be a little clutch with an adorable little lock!!  (This is not the lock I'm getting in stock, I really wish I had more of these little guys.)

This clutch sort of looks like the popular envelope clutches at first glance, but is actually quite different. The leather sewed together very easily with my Pfaff on the main seams and my heavy duty machine on the top stitching. It was easy to turn the leather right side out and do regular seams, because it is so thin. You could not do it with a thicker leather. I lined with some nice quilting cotton that was backed with fusible fleece (that was cut 1/2" smaller around all edges to make sure it didn't get in the seams).

I'm also playing with quilting cottons with this pattern as I know that not many can, or will want, to use leather.  I used by Annie's Soft and stable on this and it was not ideal because of wrinkles created in the exterior fabric.  Quilting it before assembly would have fixed this problem.

I am going to try it with a few other interfacing options and tweak the pattern a bit before it is released.  As of now though, I do like it because the 2 exterior pieces will fit nicely on a fat quarter and you line it with another FQ. If I went any bigger, you would have to buy more yardage and that wouldn't be ideal.

So now... I must put this aside and either clean the house, shop for flowers for my pots, walk to the park with my son and neighbourhood kids, or work on DH's seat covers. Which do you think I will do? Park!!

Thank you for reading.  Please leave a comment, I LOVE to hear from you.


This post shared at:

Better Off Thread
The DIY Dreamer

You Might Also Like


  1. Janelle,

    Love it - both of them. I love the blue one most ( my favorite color) that lock on the leather one is really cute!!!!


    1. Thank you, Carin! I will have to hop over and check out your blog. I know, it's just a tiny lock, but I do love it!

      Thank you for reading.

  2. Chuck the hubby's seat and do the park and more leather clutches!!! That is adorable and I love how they turned out. Have you tried the Pellon SF101 on the blue fabric then Annie's? Would that help the wrinkling?

    Great job and enjoy the park :)


    1. Thank you so much! Yes, that's exactly what I'm considering - using the SF101 and back it with either byAnnies or even fusible thermolam. I don't have thermolam right now, only the 987F fusible fleece but the effect would be similar.

      The park was windy and the kids were crazy but it was great for them to burn off energy.


  3. Very nice! Both clutches look beautiful!
    Enjoy the park! :) It is usually too hot and humid to think about going outside 'round here, but we just had a big rain storm.
    My MIL gave me some leather scraps. I'm afraid to use them. I also can't handle the smell. LOL!

    1. Thank you!
      It was like that in the summer when we lived in Australia. We just stayed inside with the air-conditioning until it cooled down a bit! It was hot as soon as you woke up, but if we went to the beach it was so nice because of the sea breeze.

      Really! I like the smell of leather, I just can't think about it though. If I think about it too much I don't like leather! I know it offends some people and I don't want to do that.

      You might use the scraps as snap tabs or piping. That is what I'm going to use mine for.


  4. I like both clutches, but since I have a couple of leather coats in various colours hanging in the closet, I would make a leather one first.

  5. I love the star pods! I have an extra yard left over from the quilt I just finished. I haven't ever worked with leather because it scares me! I'd love to try a quilted clutch wink wink if you need a tester ;) (PS I made your Necessary clutch quilted with the navy Honey Honey fabric and I am making another for a friend!)

  6. This clutch is very elegant! The leather one looks very professional and the twist lock is so cute! You always manage to create gorgeous bags!!

  7. Love both of them!
    Next week I will attempt to make my first real leather bag...cannot wait!

  8. Love this clutch pattern! I have a dark purple leather that would be perfect for this pattern!

  9. Hi Janelle,
    So I made my Necessary clutch wallet today after buying the pattern last week and I loved it.
    Here is the link to how it turned out.....

    I am definitely making another with a sling too.

  10. These are adorable!!! smh, seat covers...I girls gotta do what a girls gotta do. LOL.

  11. They are both adorable. I would be terrified of sewing with leather! You make it look so easy.

    Following from Sew Cute Tuesday by Better off Thread (although already follow your blog through my Feedly reader!)

  12. Your clutches are FANTASTIC, I love them. You are such a talented lady. Keep up the awesome work.

  13. Fab seat covers - oops, I mean purses! Great job!
    Lisa McManus Lange

  14. LOVE them both Janelle!!! Soooo pretty!!! xoxo

    Thanks so much for sharing this at The DIY Dreamer!! See you tomorrow evening!

  15. I can't wait for the pattern for these Janelle, they are the only reason I'd take out my sewing machine right now, In fact let me check out the rest of your site first coz I think I definitely will get back on the pedal now. I'm inspired.

  16. That little lock looks perfect against the leather! This would be the perfect size for me to try on the leather I have and my granddaughter would love it. She has me learning the computer and I'm learning how to much to learn I might not ever have time to sleep


I LOVE your comments! I like to reply via email, so please make sure your email address is set up in your Blogger preferences. However, if you are a '' commenter, check back here for your reply, Thank you!! Janelle

Shop our hardware!

A Note

The contents of this blog, including text, original photos and ideas are the sole property of the author. If you intend to use my text or images, please link back to this blog and give credit to Emmaline Bags & Patterns. A notification email would be greatly appreciated too! Please do not ever republish an entire post, any tutorials, or post photos of my family. Thank you, Janelle

Craftsy Classes Unlimited!

Craftsy Unlimited FREE 7 day trial at