My Leather Project – Leather Clutch DIY Tutorial (Almost)

by xin on March 31, 2015

As some of you might know, DIY is my kind of thing recently and I have always wanted a basic leather clutch, as a good basic clutch is versatile, long lasting, and almost never goes out of style.

With the need to have my own clutch without having to pay for the exorbitant price, I finally got around to DIY my own clutch.

I had 2 ideas of doing it:

  • Sew the clutch
  • Glue the clutch

Since I can’t operate a sewing machine, I depended my life on my mom!

Leather Clutch Tools

Choosing the leather:

There are a few points in mind when I was choosing my piece of leather:

  1. What’s the maximum thickness your sewing machine can handle?
  2. Cow skin tends to be thinner than buffalo hence it might be easier to work with.
  3. If you could only choose a color, what’s the best color to match your wardrobe?
  4. The size of the leather.

After considering the above factors, I got myself a piece of buffalo leather at about 4 sq ft, you will need about 2 sq ft for a basic size of leather clutch. The thickness of the leather is about 1.2mm.

I spent hours looking for a suitable zipper at 35cm,   but the best I could find was a 30cm. This also means that my clutch has to smaller than 30cm in length to accommodate the zipper.

Measuring leather clutch

The size of my designed clutch was  34cmx22cm. You will need to buffer about 2cm of extra width for the seam.

Cutting through leather

I forgot to take a picture of the cutter, but I am using a rotary cutter to cut through the leather. I bought a good quality one in hope to last me for a long time, and the blade is replaceable. And you will have to be SUPER careful working with a rotary cutter, as it can cut through almost anything, which can include your finger!

I also bought a professional acrylic ruler, which cost me almost RM30 to go with the cutter. If your rotary cutter cuts through wooden ruler/metal ruler, it can chip the blade, which is not advisable. Plus, with this huge ruler, I don’t have to worry about my finger as it’s very easy to hold it against the cutter.

Leather Clutch Cut Out

Measure carefully and cut out 2 pieces of leather of the same size.

As you can see, I didn’t know better than the zipper was actually still too short for the length, hence the best length of the leather I should cut was 30 instead of 34cm.

Double Clip to Hold Leather

Before you sew the seam, you can make hold the fold first by using double clips. In fact, if you are thinking to glue the leather, clips are the best tools to hold your pieces together!

After my mom helping me to sew the leather, we ran into a major problem – the feet of the sewing machine couldn’t be lift higher/exchanged to sew the zipper!

We had to stop to consider the alternatives, which included gluing the zipper, my last resort.

Singer Sewing Machine

Here’s our home sewing machine, it’s a basic one, and we don’t have the suitable needle to sew through the thick leather.

And here’s my practicing.  My Christmas wishlist would be having this sewing machine 😀

After putting our project on hold for a few days, we finally found a neighbor who was able to, and kind enough to help me complete my project!

Leather Clutch Completed

My gorgeous perfect piece. It’s not the best out there, but it’s perfect for me! And the satisfaction? It’s priceless 😀

Apparently, I will need thicker thread for leather, and I will need to oil the leather when sewing the zipper so it will not slip and crumple.

There you go – my first bag project!

I actually have a couple of ideas more in mind, but I am not sure about it now as our sewing machine is unable to take up the challenge if the leather is too thick 🙁

As we are welcoming the implementation of GST tomorrow, I might just have to pick up one or more DIY ideas to save some of the moolah for my ‘wants’!

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

plue April 7, 2015 at 1:49 pm

oh my not bad leh! looking forward to see more DIY stuff from you *hugs*
plue recently posted..Happy Chinese New Year & Huat Ahhhh!My Profile

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