Sunday, July 3, 2011

From straw mat to straw clutch tutorial

    I'm going to show you how to get from this 

to this

Ready? Ok

1. Get a straw mat. Don't worry about the quality. 
Mine costed only one euro and if I was to use it on the beach, it would be ruined in a couple of days.
If you find good quality of course, don't hesitate buying it.

2. Figure out what size and shape of a clutch you want. 
Mine is 29cm X 14cm, finished size.
So, if you would like something similar, follow this pattern

click on it to enlarge

3. Press heavy interfacing to the straw mat, actually to the area you will be using.
Draw your pattern and cut out.

4. Zig zag stitch with your sewing machine all over the pattern pieces and put some liquid paper glue to the sides that the straw goes horizontally.
I used UHU if you are familiar with the brand.

If you don't do the above securing steps, after a few minutes of handling the pieces you will end up with this

5. For making the straw more interesting, I took cotton yarn, that is mostly used for gift packaging and I added it to the woven of the straw, with a large needle, like this.

I tried doing it vertically too, but it didn't work.
You don't have to add the yarn all over the pattern piece, if you are following my pattern, cause not all the areas are showing.

6. After you've completed the above step you may prepare the lining pieces. 
You may just cut fabric pieces of the same size or prepare pockets as I did.

I have interfaced both pieces and pockets for extra stability. 
You really have to add strength to the straw mat.

As you work on the lining, spray some varnish on the straw pieces and let it dry.
It will give some gloss and prevent damage in the long run.

7. Place and install your magnetic snaps on the pattern pieces.
I forgot to do it on this step and I did it after I had placed permanently the lining...

8. If you are using my pattern, sew the two clutch pieces together now. 
Remember that the small part will be folded in two and the larger one in three, because of the flap.
They will be put back to back, so that the flap comes over both of them. Right?
Then the sides of the two pieces will be sewn together, forming two different clutches held together by those stitches between them.

 These views should help you understand what I'm bubbling about.

So you have to make two vertical stitches, that will keep together the back side of the small piece to the front side of the larger piece.

9. Now that the linings are ready, put them on the straw pieces, wrong sides together and use some double sided tape to keep them together. 
I used hemming tape. 
It will really help you handle it as one.

10. Prepare bias tape or use ready made bias tape.
To be honest with you, mine is not bias. It's straight but, since I don't have any curves in this clutch, it worked just fine. 
Here's a good tutorial on how to make your own bias tape and here's a genius tutorial on how to fold it without a bias tape maker. I've used this last tutorial with different kinds of fabric and it works miracles. 

11.  Take that long strip of straw. You can line the wrong side of it or cut it twice of straw, as I did.
Sew bias all around it and place it the back piece. 
Secure it with a couple of stitches.
Make a few more stitches, securing it the flap.

12. Sew the bias on the top and bottom of every piece. 
That's the easy part.

13. Now it takes some patience. 
Cut the extra yarn from the sides.
 Sew bias at the side of every piece, catching two layers together. 
I know it is quite thick. It barely fits under the pressing feet, but you can do it.
You just have to sew slowly. 
That's why it was important to secure the lining pieces on the straw pieces with adhesive tape.

The result should be this.

    You may ask why bother getting through all this trouble and not use a place mat? Well place mats are not as soft as straw mats and are usually woven tightly and you can not add yarn or ribbons or anything else you may think of. I am not sure if your machine and mine of course, can manage sewing over a straw place mat. The ones I've seen on the stores are pretty hard. Straw mat has more potentials.

See you around


Astria said...

Very Chic!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

loveee!!!! thanks so much!

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