Sewing Leftovers: Ida Clutch Bag

Wednesday, May 09, 2018

Thanks to everyone who's embraced Sewing Leftovers so far! The inspiration pool is growing rapidly and as a result, I think I have more ideas than leftovers at the minute (if only I had more time)! My personal leftover sewing has been coming along very slowly, but mindfully, making only the things I need, slotted in between other projects. My last few big projects didn't even generate any leftovers and part of me wonders if I'm making a subconscious transition into the world of buying the correct yardage... we'll see how that goes.

Ida Clutch
In the first in a series of inspiration posts, I looked at some ideas for using leftover pleather, particularly with bag making in mind. I always say I'm not much of a bag maker, but I have made a fair few Retro Rucksacks and I have a box full of hardware from a slightly too enthusiastic leap into leather work - an ambition/dream that I never quite fulfilled - so it makes sense to incorporate these bits into sewing projects where possible.

Minimal fabric requirements for the Ida

Fabric: Deep red textured faux-leather from Samuel Taylors, Leeds (though this in 'wine' from Minerva looks v similar), plus leftover printed cotton for the lining.

Original garment made: Ready to Sew Juliette Skirt

Leftover fabric amount: Not lots, but a decent chunk actually, considering the Juliette Skirt can be made from just 1m (a fine Leftovers project in itself)!

Sewing Leftovers make: A slightly modified Ida Clutch (FREE pattern by Kylie and the Machine)

Leftovers-wise what did I learn? You can get away with some weird and wonderful pattern placement on most pleathers. I could have definitely scaled up the pattern with the amount of fabric I had and might even be able to squeeze another Ida out of my leftovers' leftovers, or failing that, at least a micro version. I'm going to have a play with the printer scaling...

About the make:

I made 4 Ida Clutch bags for gifts at Christmas, but still hadn't got around to making one for myself. The pattern really is a quick and hugely satisfying make. The instructions are all online and heavy with photographs to guide you through each step, which helps the maker to feel super comfortable with bag sewing - even if it's not really their 'bag'.

Strap hack
I made a slightly hacked version so my Ida could be converted to a super wearable cross-body bag, and I'm really pleased with the outcome. I skipped the press stud fastening and basted tabs with small D rings to my outer (positioning shown on the picture above) before sewing the whole clutch together. I had some offcut strips of suede that were the perfect width and weight for a bag strap, so I riveted these to bag clips to make my detachable handle.

Strap/rivet detail
I left a little extra room for seam allowance at the top and bottom of the zip, meaning it was easier for my machine foot to pass along side the zip when stitching the bag together. I'd definitely do this again as this version (and particularly the zip) has turned out to be my best yet!

What else does it go with?

Out in Berlin on May Day!
Can you believe my giant purse fits in it?!
Whilst this Ida obviously matches my Juliette Skirt, I think it goes with pretty much anything. It accompanied me on a trip to Berlin and round a festival last week, and is the perfect size for fitting all of my essentials (including my monster-size purse)! Also, I NEVER thought I'd say this, but after the trip to Berlin, I think I need a bum bag in my life - literally all the cool kids had one. The Fennel Fanny Pack is  high up on my #sewingleftovers radar.

Whenever I have the leftovers and hardware spare, I'll be making more Ida's - whether they're gifted or kept for myself is another question...!

Speaking of gifting! Have you seen that @cottonreelstudio and @jenlegg4 are running the #ogdenidaswap? The True Bias Ogden Cami and the Kylie and the Machine Ida Clutch are two perfectly suited patterns for #sewingleftovers and the exchange is a great way to try them both out whilst giving/receiving a beautiful gift at the same time! For full details, a discount code for the Ogden and to sign up, head here!

Happy #sewingleftovers everyone! Be sure to use and check the hashtag for inspiration!

Stay in touch!

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  1. Your bag looks so professional! Where did you buy your hardware from? I'd love to have a go at making a bag, do you have any suggestions for hardware?

    1. Thanks Cora! There's a website called that does really cheap/decent hardware, or Minerva Crafts have everything you'd need and are particularly good for the zips! x

  2. Loving your bag! I made one for my sister, and wish I'd thought to add the rings to the sides for a shoulder strap. And I agree that the instructions are brilliant.

    1. Thanks Lynne - so glad I finally got to make one for myself :) I might add both the snap fastening and a strap next time so I have the option to use it both ways!

  3. Love the crossbody hack! I personally don't use bags that I can't hold onto by a strap, so if I ever try this pattern out I will 100% have to copy you. ;-)


    1. Thanks Abbey! Yeah I didn't fancy the inconvenience of always having it in my hand, so the strap makes it loads more usable/wearable :) x

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