Monday, March 19, 2012

DIY Tutorial: Large Faux Leather Clutch/Laptop Case

DIY Clutch/Laptop Case

So, it's been a while since I've been able to get a blog post up! I've been busy with school and then was on Spring Break, and just never got around to getting this one up, although I've had the actual clutch done for weeks. The inspiration for this idea came from Pinterest (of course), I had seen SwellMayde's DIY envelope clutch and started looking around for other DIY clutch ideas.  I came across a video on YouTube called: DIY Clutch American Apparel Leather Pouch, and I decided I loved the idea and was going to try and do it myself.  Overall, this was not a difficult project, although I made a couple mistakes that made it a little more annoying, luckily you all will not make those same mistakes if you attempt this at home since you all have a warning from me!

1/3 of a yard of vinyl or faux leather material (I got mine from Hancock in the scrap fabric section so it was like $1.60 for all of it!)
A 16 inch zipper (I did a separating zipper only because I liked the chunky gold look of it, you can pick any one you like.  It was $5, but they were 50% off that day, so $2.50!)
A sewing machine, with a durable needle (vinyl is a thick fabric to sew through)
Super glue

I got the dimensions from the YouTube video, but it wasn't extremely helpful on much else. Hopefully this tutorial is a bit more clear. So, to start off, you want to cut two rectangles of 16 by 12 inches from the vinyl.  I really didn't measure very carefully, all I had laying around was a tape measurer and I didn't mark it or anything.  I just did the best I could with what I had and tried to make the edges straight (it really doesn't have to be perfect).

I chose a tan vinyl with a tan and gold zipper.
The next thing you have to do it pin and sew the zipper on correctly.  I haven't sewn a zipper in a longgggg time, so this took me a minute to figure out. Basically, you have to pin the zipper in a way that would seem upside down.  You pin it downward, on the right side of the fabric.  It's hard to explain, but hopefully the pictures help. Also, I did not have a zipper foot to sew this on, it would be easier to do with one, but I didn't have one available to me, so I used the basic one on any sewing machine.

Pin the zipper downward, so when it's facing the
correct way, it is somewhat hidden

When you pull the zipper up after it is sewn,
 it should look like this. When both sides
are connected it then sits correctly!
When both sides are sewn they should lay like this
next to each other.  You then are able to zip them
back together to make sure it looks correct.

The zipper is honestly the hardest part of this whole project just because it takes some figuring out to get it right.  I hope those pictures help, if not- just play around with it until you get it the way you want it to look when the clutch is closed.

Next you have to sew up the other three sides when the clutch is inside out.  This is really simple and you want to leave about half an inch of space between where the zipper is and where you stop sewing.  I would sew about half an inch in on the sides as well, I may have done a little bit more than this and cut off the excess because I had actually measured it a little bit bigger than 16" by 12".

I had to cut off the excess on the bottom after I sewed
the pieces together.
Next you just want to clip the corners so when it turns right-side out, the corners are able to push through and create an L shape.

Cut as close to the stitches as possible.
At this point you can turn the clutch inside out and make sure the zipper is closing correctly.  When I turned mine out I was unhappy with how the zipper was sitting.  I guess I left too big of a gap from the side seams to the actual zipper, so it looked unfinished to me.  I thought this would be easy to fix with some fabric glue, so I put a lot in the cracks and ghetto-rigged some pins to make it stay in place overnight.  It looked like this when I went to bed:

What a disaster! haha
Anyway, needless to say- this did not work in any way.  Turns out the fabric glue was not good for vinyl so when I took the pins out the next day, it pulled right apart.  I was stuck peeling out all the rubbery glue.  I found a bottle of Krazy glue super glue, and read on the back that it works well on vinyl.  I finally found a solution.  I put the super glue where the fabric glue had been and it sealed it really well.  It's been weeks, and it still is holding up!

At this point, you're ready to use your clutch!  I wanted to use it and have it kind of fold over to create a slouchy look, but the vinyl I had purchased was almost too thick for that (if you want to be able to do that get something that is meant to be a faux leather).  I then realized this pouch was the perfect size for my MacBook pro.  I am able to fit my computer and charger and other things in this case perfectly.  I have been using it constantly, and I think it looks so sleek. The best part is, I spent like $4 on the whole project, and it really does look 'expensive'.  Here are some pictures of how it turned out, sorry they're not that great, I just felt so goofy modeling it :)

The 'slouchy' clutch look, with just my
keys, phone and other things from
 my purse inside.
More structured looking with my
laptop in it.

Fits my MacBook Pro and charger perfectly :)
Hope that you like this and are will to give it a try! I love it and now carry this with me to class and when I go out of town instead of my bulkier Betsey Johnson case. I also used what was left of the vinyl and tried to make a quick envelope clutch as well, and I am in the process of painting that now.  If it turns out cute, be on the lookout for another clutch tutorial.  If not, I just won't mention it again, haha. I hope to get another blog up in the next week to week and a half, so stay tuned!



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