HP Plain & Simple Envelope Clutch

I’ve been busy this week finishing up my exterior lights and working on my wardrobe basics. I woke up today and just felt like making a purse so I pulled out the Hot Patterns’ Envelope Clutch pattern and got to work. I knew that an 11″ x 17″ bag would be way too big for me so I scaled the pattern down to 9″ x 13″. I also scaled down the inside zipper pocket but left the small pocket/cell phone pocket as it was. Since I made the bag so much smaller, I didn’t feel the need for the back strap.


When I first read through the directions I just couldn’t wrap my head around them. Then I remembered that Ann made the bag last year. Her blog post really helped. Once I understood how the bag was constructed, it all made sense to me.

I had this orange faux suede left from another project. I rarely make fabric bags but thought this color would be fun since it’s very out of the ordinary for me. I used thin cotton batting and quilted the pieces first, then backed them with canvas for more stiffness. I bought this quilting set for my industrial machine awhile ago. I usually don’t buy attachments until I need them but was so happy I had this on hand!


I added piping as well because it gives a nice crisp edge that I wouldn’t have been able to get otherwise with these bulky layers. I didn’t have any cording on hand so I used some black drawcord instead (which I have many, many yards of!).

The zip was a bit of a problem. I didn’t want to use a dress zipper so I went to JoAnn’s this morning to see if I could find something more suitable. Of course, I had forgotten how dire the zipper situation is there. I then remembered a couple of Riri zippers with multi-colored teeth that I’d purchased awhile ago. They turned out to be separating zippers but that’s what I ended up using anyway. I had intended to stitch through the plastic piece at the bottom but ended up stitching between the teeth instead. I’m really happy with the way that turned out as this zipper lends an air of quality to the bag.

I know the stitching looks a bit crooked but I swear it looks straight on the right side of the bag!


The flap of the bag is held closed with two magnetic snaps. Because my bag is pretty stiff, I changed the placement a little to allow for the bulk. I also had to shorten the inside layer (where the zipper is) by 5/8″ to allow for turn of the cloth.


I chose a grape-colored Ultrasuede from my stash for the lining. I like the surprise of an unusually colored lining!


It still needs a little pressing but I’m really happy with the way it turned out.


UPDATE 12/10/09: Freshly pressed with the Iron Maiden (thanks for the name, Mary Beth!). Gosh, I love this color, it’s so juicy!



Filed under Accessories, Hot Patterns

23 responses to “HP Plain & Simple Envelope Clutch

  1. Your bag turned out great! I love the quilting. Glad I was able to help with the instructions.

  2. Wow – this is terrific. Excellent job…

  3. The bag is great, but that zipper is amazing!! I have never seen a zipper like that!! I have no idea where I would ever use one, but it is just so cool!
    I’m sorry, I have been sidetracked!

  4. Mel.J

    Gigi that zipper is the perfect accent to the fabric combination. I love the orange!

  5. This turned out anything BUT “Plain & Simple”! Love it!

  6. Theresa in Tucson

    Nice bag Gigi and the color is so Floridian. I’m following your lead on the Marrakesh pants, my pattern arrived in the mail last week. Now I shall have to consider a bag to go with. Thanks for the nudge.

  7. great bag! Don’t you just love Riri zippers? The quality and look of them are just so high end.

  8. I love it! Make sure you use it next time we get together so I can see it in person!

  9. Sharon

    One word, “Wow!”

  10. That is wonderful. I love that bag and you did it such justice.

  11. I love it! Thanks for sharing.

  12. Els

    Your bag looks FAB.

  13. Dang Gigi that bag looks like it came out of Saks! Love, love, love it!!!

  14. Summerset

    The whole thing is stunning – unusual colors and the fab zipper!

  15. katharinec

    W-o-w. You made that all today? It’s stunning! The diagonal quilting, grape lining–wow. Incredible! Gigi, you’re an inspiration as ever.

  16. Oh that bag is great and the zipper – out-of-this-world great! Know what you mean about the zipper supply. I’m about to start buying white zippers and dye them.

  17. Stunning! I love the zipper!

  18. vernonfashionstudio

    Great bag and the zipper is perfect. And the lining is so playful! Great job and thanks for sharing with us.

    Linda T

  19. Cynth

    Do you have a recommendation for the batting you used for the quilting? I’m inspired!

    • Cynth, I used plain old Dream Cotton batting left over from a quilt. If you wanted your bag to have more body you could use Fusible Fleece (I use it for placemats). I was worried it would be too stiff but, in retrospect, it would have worked out just fine and eliminated the need for a canvas backing.

  20. This is fantastic. What a great clutch for a New Year’s party!

  21. Ashya

    WOW…You did a wonderful job…I love it, and the zipper nice!!!