How to Add a Wrist Strap or a Removable Shoulder Strap to your Necessary Clutch Wallet - A Tutorial

4/04/2013 01:31:00 AM

NOTE:  This tutorial is now available as a PDF.  Download Here

I am so completely thrilled that my clutch wallet sewing pattern, The Necessary Clutch Wallet ePattern, has been so well received by you all! Thank you, thank you for loving this wallet as much as I do.  I can see myself making it over and over again.

Because the wallet has plenty of room for your smart phone, lipstick, and sunglasses, you don't have to lug around your handbag when you don't want to anymore.  But, in order to be an awesome clutch for busy ladies with arms full of babies and fabric, you need to have a wrist strap or a nice long shoulder strap, so I've made a little tutorial for you (because you were asking...).

I am going to show you how to make both the wrist strap and the removable shoulder strap, so you can use your Necessary Clutch Wallet all three ways:  as a wallet, as a wristlet, or as small shoulder bag.  It's actually REALLY easy, and the only hardware you will need is a few small swivel snap hooks (available here).

If you intend on doing this in conjunction with the sewing pattern, you will need to read through both this tutorial and the PDF sewing pattern first.  (I know you always read your patterns first, right? Hee, Hee)  Your first step in this tutorial will happen before you even sew one stitch in The Necessary Clutch Wallet Pattern.  Let's get started!


(1)   1/2" (12 mm) Swivel snap hook for wrist strap
(2)   1/2" (12 mm) Swivel snap hooks for shoulder strap

(1)  1" x 9" (25 mm x 23 cm) rectangle to match wallet lining (Anchor Piece)
(1)  2" x 14" (50 mm x 36 cm) rectangle to match wallet exterior (Wrist Strap)
(1)  2" x 32" (*see note below) (50 mm x 81 cm) rectangle to match wallet exterior  (Shoulder Strap)
*Please note I like my strap a bit short, but if you want one that hangs down by your hip, you are going to have to make it quite a bit longer.  I would recommend you use the full width of your fabric (44") or you can decide on your finished length and then add 3".

Interfacing:  (Optional - Use if you would like a sturdier strap.)
(1)  1.5" x 13.5" (38 mm x 35 cm) rectangle of light fusible interfacing for wrong side of wrist strap fabric
(1)  1.5" x 31.5" (or 1/2" shorter than your finished shoulder strap length) (38mm x 80 cm) rectangle of light fusible interfacing for wrong side of shoulder strap fabric.

Add Your Interfacing:  Fuse the interfacing to the wrong side of your wrist strap and shoulder strap fabric using the manufacturer's directions.

Step 1:  Make & Attach Your Anchor Piece
The anchor piece is a small strip of fabric that is stitched to the underside of your wallet front flap.  It will have loops at either end that you will be able to clip either your wrist strap or your shoulder strap to.

Make the Anchor Piece:  Grab your small strip (1" x 9")(25mm x 23 cm) and fold the wrong sides together lengthwise and press.   Open out again, and fold the outside edges in to meet the fold line, and press.   You will now have a strip that is 1/2" (12 mm) wide.

Click to Enlarge
Top stitch down long sides, 1/16" - 1/8" (2-3 mm) from folded edges.

Click to Enlarge
With the wrong side up, fold the short end to the center and press.

Click to Enlarge
Add Anchor Strip to Flap:  Grab your already interfaced Flap Lining (Piece A in The Necessary Clutch Wallet Pattern) and with chalk pencil or erasable pen, draw a line that is 1/2" (12 mm) from the long straight edge.  Also, mark the center of this line.

Click to Enlarge
Take your Anchor Piece and place it above the line on the flap, centered.  Place it so the raw edges where the ends meet are facing down.  Pin in place or use DST (Double-Side Tape) to hold in place.

Click to Enlarge
Sew your Anchor Piece to the lining by sewing a box as shown in the picture below.  You will be sewing right on top of your previous top stitching and you will leave about 1/2" (12 mm) at either end unstitched to create loops to hook your swivel hooks in.

A closer look. . . 
Your Anchor Piece is finished, you can set your lining piece aside and continue sewing your wallet according to the instructions in your wallet pattern.  You might consider adding 1/2" (12 mm) D-rings to these loops.  I carry these my shop too.  This is what it will look like when the wallet is finished:

Click to Enlarge

Step 2:  Make Your Wrist Strap 

Fold the Wrist Strap:  Grab your 2" x 14" (50 mm x 36 cm) strap and make an open ended strap.

  1. To do this, first fold in half length wise, and press.  
  2. Open out again, and then fold raw edges to centre fold line and press again.  
  3. Now fold your outside folded edges together, and press.  Excuse the picture below, I know the fabric does not match! (I forgot to take pictures while making the strap.)

Add the Swivel Hook:  Now take the strap you just made and slide a swivel hook on it.  Open out the ends of the strap and with right sides together, pin them together.  (Make sure they are not twisted!)

Using a 1/4" (6 mm) seam allowance, sew the two ends together.

Finger press the seam open.

Refold the strap, and pin together along open edge.  Topstitch along open edge, moving the swivel hook out of the way as you go, going all the way around the loop.

Repeat this on the other side, topstitching the folded edge.

Sew your loop closed, going back and forth across the strap, staying close to swivel hook.  I like to sew on or near the seam created when joining the strap ends together.

And that's it for your wrist strap.  Easy peasy!!  Here's a look of the wrist strap on the wallet:

The Necessary Clutch Wallet with Wrist Strap

Step 3:  Make Your Shoulder Strap 

Fold the Shoulder Strap:  
  1. Fold the short ends of your shoulder strap back 1/4" (6 mm) and press down. 
  2. Fold the strap in half lengthwise and press.  
  3. Open out the fold and take the outside edges and fold them to the middle, meeting at center fold line, and press.  
  4. Fold the strap in half again, and press.

Sew the Strap:  Sew the strap together by topstitching around all four sides.  Stay about 1/16" - 1/8" away from edge.  Sew the open side closed first, the move around to the short end, up the long side with the folded edge, and back across the last short end.

Add the Swivel Hook:  Add a swivel hook to one end of your strap and fold about 1.5" (38 mm) of strap over the swivel hook ring.  Pin or clip in place.  Sew a box over strap end to secure.  Make sure you back stitch to secure stitches.  Repeat for the other end of the strap.

Now all you need to do is clip them onto the loops of the anchor piece.

A nice neat strap!

This is  a Moda Fabric, Simply Color by V and Co
That's it!  Now you can safely pile you hands full of sewing notions and thread, while pondering the weight of interfacing, whilst your clutch wallet swings free on your wrist or shoulder.  It's like a dream come true. ;p !

Find the Pattern Here
Thank you for reading.  If you liked this tutorial and found it helpful, please follow my blog via GFC or Bloglovin.


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  1. Replies
    1. Thank you so much, Christine!! I LOVE it too! It's Simply Color by V & Co for Moda. I love that line!

  2. Great tutorial. Now this pattern is so over the top!! I'm really in love with it. And yes, it looks great in this fabric.

  3. Maybe I haven't really thought this through completely, but why wouldn't you make the anchor strip longer so that the loops where you hook your strap to are closer to the edge of the wallet? Did you make it shorter so that the hardware would be concealed? I love this version and can't wait to make one of my own. What fabrics did you use?

    1. Hi Veronica! You can do it that way, but I personally think this is easier because you need to topstitch your border strip onto the flap after. So you would be sewing over your anchor strip when sewing down your border strip and if someone didn’t plan that quite right, and had used small D-rings, you would be sewing over D-rings! In my eyes, this method is safest and easiest. I also toyed with the idea of sewing them to the side flaps, but when you hold the straps, it would pull the side flaps out, and I didn’t like that. This is Moda fabric, called Simply Color by V and Co. It’s got a very nice shine to it! Janelle

  4. Very nice tutorial to go with a very nice pattern. Thanks!

  5. I'm working my way through my first one. I'm not an intermediate sewer by any means, but decided I wanted the challenge. Now I see these straps can be added, and I'm really excited to make another wallet! I love wristlets. I will try and get this fabric too as that is my favorite color. BTW the pictures in the wallet pattern are SO helpful.

  6. Great tutorial. Thank you for showing how to make this wrist strap.

  7. Another fab tutorial will be trying this on my next wallet, I love how each one looks so different with different fabrics :)

  8. Hi Janelle! I used this tutorial of yours for a few clutches that I made recently. I posted about it on my blog if you want to check it out. I am so thankful for you sharing this. It was exactly what I was needing to add removable straps to the inside of things. You are wonderful! Thanks, Becky

  9. Bought the NCW in Ogos.14,being reading the tutorial.over n over again,this christmas is along holillday hope i can make one.

  10. Thank you so much! Love it...the design & fabric! Looks so professional! Excellent tutorial!

  11. Thank you for this fabulous tutorial

  12. I just bought your Necessary Clutch Wallet yesterday during a shop hop here Florida. I love this wallet and can't wait to make one for me and my daughter. Thanks for the strap tutorial. I am new to your patterns and this is the first that I have seen any of them. I will be looking forward to seeing more of your patterns after I make this one.

    1. Thank you so much, Sharon!! That is so nice of you to say!! Janelle

  13. Do you really suggest using a 1/2"swivel clip for a 1"wide strap?
    Thanks so much!

    1. Hi there! The strap is 1/2" wide. Thanks for reading!

    2. Ok
      I missed that! Thanks for the info
      Love your site

  14. Muito,muito lindo seus trabalhos fico agradecida por você compartilhar

  15. Janelle i need this bag's tutorial how can I have it


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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