Friday, March 19, 2010

The Ruthie Clutch

One of my dear friends turned 30 this week so I thought I'd have a go at making her a bag. I've never made a bag before and never really had the desire too either, but I saw the Ruthie Clutch pattern from Anna Maria Horner and it really appealed to me.

My friend's favourite colours are purple and teal, so as soon as I saw the fabulous Alhambra II collection from Patricia Bravo I knew I wanted to use it. Choosing the main fabric was easy, the pattern and colours are gorgeous! I had a bit of trouble choosing the fabric for the top band though. In the end I bought both 'Endless Chain' in teal and 'Granada Arches' in cream - see below.

I had planned on using the cream fabric for the band and the teal as the lining. I felt the teal would be too garish against the purple. However when the fabrics arrived in the post the cream fabric just didn't look right against the purple. The colour was great, but the pattern was too large for the narrow band and just looked wrong. The teal wasn't ideal but looked a lot better than the cream. In an ideal world I would have liked the design of the teal fabric but in the cream colourway. But moving on...

The pattern was easy to follow, lots of pictures, which I always appreciate, and clear instructions. It even gave two options for finishing off the bag which was great for lazy girls like me who would much rather top stitch than blind stitch. The pattern called for heavy doubled-sided fusible interfacing, which I didn't have, but I improvised with a one-sided interfacing and some vliesofix on the other side and it worked out well.

Before I started making the bag I felt that it was way too big, so made a duplicate of the pattern reduced to 75% of the original size. As it turns out the smaller bag is a bit too small (just big enough for keys, a mobile and phone), so it's lucky I also made the full sized bag, just in case! I had more than enough fabric to make both bags, as yet again the pattern called for waaaaay more fabric than was necessary. Why do they do this??! It drives me crazy. I know I've blogged about it before and will no doubt moan about it again.

The bags were finished with a pink shell button (for the smaller one, which I am going to keep and use as an evening bag) and for the larger bag a gorgeous aqua vintage glass button, courtesy of my mum and her love of all things vintage.

All up this was a nice little project and I enjoyed working with fabrics I wouldn't normally use. I didn't find it as satisfying as making clothes for my kids though, so I don't know how much more bag making is in my future.

The finished bag.

The lining - really like this fabric, which I had intended for the band of the bag.

Finished with a vintage glass button - thanks mum!

The clutch with her little sister, I'll call her Ruthette!


  1. Great bags! I did the same thing with the AB Birdie Sling, made it smaller as it looked too big. I also like that the pattern has steps for the lazy sewer like me!

  2. oh that is beautiful, I love your fabric combinations, for a first time bag maker that is fantastic :) That pattern looks great, might have to give that one a go myself :)