Thursday, May 10, 2012

No One Likes Love Handles

Who needs a handle?  Especially when in the form of an oversized, awkward envelope with no convenient place to hold onto.  I'm predicting some large envelope clutchs' to come our way for Summer and Fall 2012, you better invest or get crafty!  Of course, I decided on the latter option, knowing me, probably spending more time and effort than actually purchasing the thing in a store....but it's fun right?  Errm, I wasn't too confident about that 15 hours into this project but no regrets!  I value this clutch probably more than my future child....not kidding.

Right on trend with color blocking nudes and metallics, whohoo!



I want one of these SO bad!  It's like a bad science experiment, or something that I would have had when I was like five.  Which is precisely why it's awesome. 

Christopher Kane

I was surprised to see that this wasn't Alexander McQueen, oh Charlotte he may be dead but he ain't stupid.

Charlotte Olympia

When trying to decide on where to even start on this project I came across a great DIY blog, Swellmayde by designer, Aimee, in Los Angeles.  She includes a great project for a large and very simple envelope clutch, check it out!  I wanted my clutch to be a tad more complex with a lining and more of a design, feel free to give it a go if you're feeling ambitious....

Supplies I used:
  • Leather hides (you will need a large enough to span both pieces to be cut from the hide) $40
  • Leather or Acrylic paint (after a little research I heard it was just fine to use a Soft Body Acrylic paint for the leather but paint specifically made for leather is best.....I used acrylic) $13
  • Magnetic Purse Clasp (found at most craft stores) $4.50
  • Fabric for lining (same piece as the body of clutch) $8

Here's a diagram showing the dimensions of my clutch with 1/2 inch seam allowances, too small to fit a laptop and too large to just take to dinner, AWKWARD.  Doesn't mean I don't enjoy it :)

Pattern Piece 1

Pattern Piece 2

Alright the explaining begins now, though I don't have too many photos illustrating how I did it, guess it must be a secret...
Step 1) Cut 3 pieces of leather of pattern piece #1, and one from pattern piece #2, cut out one of each for lining

Step 2) Take one of the leather pattern piece #2's and cut into 1/4 inch strips (or whatever size you want).  Cut one pattern piece with strips going vertically (for the warp) and one that has strips going horizontally (for the weft)

Step 3) Paint the strips whatever colors you would like, I painted mine so that they gradated from dark to light on the warp and light to dark on the weft (this creates luminosity, a BIG design word)

Step 4) Set up your vertical (warp) strips on a solid surface and tape in a triangle shape to match the top of pattern piece #1

Step 5) Weave your heart away.  FOR 9 HOURS...or more.  I think I lost count as I went more and more insane.  Well, hopefully you enjoy the fruits of my labor.

Step 6) After weaving, tack it with glue to the other leather pattern piece #1 and topstitch the weaving and leather piece #1 together

Step 7) Proceed to sew together the lining and clutch separately, the the top of the clutch to the top of the lining with right sides together.  Then turn the lining into the clutch with right sides out and sew wall of clutch together.....yeah I can't really explain it so you will have to big girl/boys and figure it out for your damn selves. :)

Here is the progression of my weaving, if you think I know what I was doing, you are completely wrong.  I had absolutely no idea.  Just make sure to align each strip as you go and make the weaving as tight as possible.

And the finally product!!!! I loved it so much I wanted to sleep with it.

The Summary:

Supplies: $65.50
Labor: Around 25 hours, and if I paid myself $9.00 an hour, $225 (which is completely impractical to think about paying yourself)

Total: $290.50 
Actually lets round to $300, and then add an extra $200 because I put a lot of love into it.  So that comes to around.....$100,435,3453.  Can you afford it?

And that concludes the longest post ever about a single accessory.  What do you think? Any ideas for other styles?  What trends could be incorporated into a envelope clutch?

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