Gathered clutch DIY

My friend has a clutch like this and I just thought it had the cutest shape! So I decided I’d try making one myself. Here is what I did so you can make one too!

You will need:

2 fabric pieces 12×5.5 inches for the outside
2 fabric pieces 12×5.5 inches for the lining (these will be for the body of the clutch)
2 fabric pieces 8×2 inches in outside print
2 fabric pieces 8×2 inches in lining print (these will make up the neck of the clutch)
1 piece of scrap fabric (either of outside fabric or a different color)
1 zipper
1 clasp

Let’s get started!

Cut your fabric! I used a light-weight muslin for the lining fabric and chose to iron on interfacing to help the finished clutch hold it’s shape.

Sew in the gathers.

To do this, take a neck piece and a body piece (same colors) and lay them on top of each other, with the right sides of the fabric touching.

Set them under your foot and sew in about an inch. (I didn’t even use pins, I’m such a lazy sewer!)

Now stop the machine! We’re going to make a gather (aka a pleat).

Pull up about half an inch of fabric

fold it down on itself

and sew over it.

Repeat this 4 times. You should have something that looks like this:

In retrospect, I should have used a darker thread so it’s easier to see what I’m doing.

Now repeat THAT 4 times so you have 4!

Sew on the zipper!

Lay a lining piece right side up. Set the zipper along the top edge, also right side up.

Lay an outside piece right side down, over top of the zipper, lining all the top edges up. Pin in place,.

Sew along that edge with your zipper foot.

Fold the fabric back, and repeat on the opposite side of the zipper.

I like to stitch over the fabric close to the zipper to help hold it in place.


Take up the scrap fabric and the clasp. Fold the scrap into a rectangle, hiding all edges in the middle. Loop this through the clasp. Set aside.


Now make it look like a butterfly! You want the two lining pieces to be touching with right sides together, and the outer pieces together with right sides together.  Start pinning on the side where the zipper is closed (aka not the part where it opens from).

Before pinning the other side, open the zipper about half way. This is important! If you don’t open the zipper, you’ll never be able to turn the clutch right side out!

Right under the zipper, on the outer fabric side, tuck your clasp in. The clasp should be in the bag and the ends will stick out.

Now pin it all down.

Sew all the way around.

Remember to leave an opening at the bottom of the lining fabric!

Cut off excess zipper, clasp fabric, and the fabric corners. Be careful not to trim your stitching! Cutting just the little extra fabric off the corners will give you a nicer corner when you turn the clutch right side out.

Turn it right side out! Push out the corners and work with the end of the zipper to push it up as much as possible. You want to have as straight a zipper as possible running along the top, instead of a zipper that then looks like it’s being sucked into the bag!

Now sew that hole in the lining shut. Tuck in the raw edged sew right over the edge.

Push the lining back in, puff it up, and voila!

You’ve got a gathered clutch.

Now go put stuff in it :)

36 Responses to “Gathered clutch DIY”

  1. 2 Jay March 3, 2012 at 6:23 pm

    These are so adorable. The shape is like that of a really cute skirt. You always have the coolest fabrics too.

  2. 4 transparentguy March 5, 2012 at 9:28 pm

    Thank god I’ll never need a purse. I would sew my fingers to the material.

  3. 8 pillowsalamode May 28, 2012 at 2:18 pm

    I love this! I’m definitely making one! :)

  4. 10 judybailey98 April 1, 2013 at 5:15 pm

    Love it. Pinned to my board. I am thinking polka dots or chevron

  5. 12 Fatimah hayat June 1, 2013 at 3:32 am

    I love this tutorial. its so easy and detailed…thank you so much for the tutorial…

  6. 14 caroline July 12, 2013 at 4:13 pm

    What size zipper?

    • 15 TheTragicWhale July 13, 2013 at 11:05 am

      The fabric you sew onto the zipper is 8 inches, so you could use an 8 inch zipper or longer. I usually use a longer zipper to make sure I don’t sew over the little metal stopper, then I just cut off the excess.

  7. 17 3chickpeas September 12, 2013 at 5:15 am

    Thanks for the tutorial!
    Do you interface the neck piece as well, or just the body piece? And do you recommend ironing on interface to the outer fabric or to the lining fabric? First time using interface on your project!

    • 18 TheTragicWhale September 12, 2013 at 8:44 pm

      Interfacing is so fun! I used iron-on interfacing for all parts of this project, so the neck pieces and the lining fabric.But play around with it and see what you come up with! :)

  8. 19 Cait February 18, 2014 at 3:14 pm

    This bag reminds me of summer which is welcome on this winter day. It is gorgeous and the design could be used for so many occasions!

  9. 21 Sarah Helene May 11, 2014 at 3:31 pm

    FAB TUTORIAL : “Gathered Clutch!” LOVE LOVE LOVE the various sizes of solid colored birds perched on a swirled line– fabric is stylish, indeed! Your directions with accompanying photos is “spot on!” BRAVO for presenting so many details. Also like the iron-on interfacing as it’s a practical addition for a professional look. Thanks for sharing. Sarah in Minneapolis

  10. 23 Grace June 26, 2014 at 9:55 pm

    This is an adorable zippered pouch. You would be better off cutting and sewing the top and bottom outer fabric pieces first and then measuring and cutting the lining fabric to match that piece. That way, with the lining as one piece without the seam and pleats, you won’t have all that bulky business going on.

  11. 25 Vero November 23, 2014 at 1:27 pm

    Hi Kerry,
    thank you very much for your tutorial. I used it to do a present for a friend. If you want to see it:
    I wrote (in Spanish) that I took the idea from you.

  12. 27 Anonymous October 28, 2017 at 3:40 am

    Nice shape but I’ll put the zip on the bottom edge of the lining top and cut in same fabric as the outer. Recessed zips look nicer.

  13. 29 Alyson Aldana August 1, 2018 at 6:08 pm

    Great tutorial, thank you!!

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Hello, I’m Kerry! Maker. Sewist. Fan of all things bright.

March 2012
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It's Fluff! Curious, master napper, likes to try new veggies.

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