Wednesday, March 23, 2011

it's a royal blue craving pt.2

forget about the fact that it's snowing in NYC. again. 
where is the highly needed spring? wtf??
this is why craving for bright, bold, spring-like colors is getting increasingly high. 

we all have seen in the streets, in magazines, in so many fashion blogs that this season the #1 must is: the bright color clutch.
what will one do? buy one? ...eventually... or not.
I decided to go my way and DIY mine.
as many of my projects, my starting point is the never ending treasure hunt on ebay, the 'isla bonita' where I found this vintage leather skirt, in bright, bold, spring-like much needed royal blue.
price tag: $16, including shipping. 
needless to say: no guilt in case of disaster.

the initial idea was to make a clutch with a zipper on the top, plain and simple. 
...but I kind of liked the stitching details of the panels of the skirt, so (first) change of plan: including the stitching details in the front, I cut two pieces 12"x8" the first one plain, the second one including the stitching in diagonal.
I used the lining of the skirt as lining for my bag, so again, cut a 12"x16" rectangular which will be fold in half and sewn on both sides.
(second) change of plan: unfortunately, I realized about this later in the process, so some things ended up being a little messier than expected... I decided I wanted a flap. part of the clutch was already sewn, and with leather means that if you undo a seam, will leave a line of holes from the needle, not good.
I ended up cutting the flap in a trapezoid shape, using the back bottom panel of the skirt with the slit and sew it in the back.

TIP #1: sewing leather with your sewing machine can be tricky.
use a thin needle or a leather needle helps.
TIP #2: instead of pinning the parts together, use a tiny drop of glue (like tacky glue, that you can remove with a dump cloth later) to hold the two parts together. this add a little time to the process, but it's worth it.

the zipper: i found a royal blue zipper that was much too long and off in color, but sometimes you just have to go with it.
using pliers, I removed the extra teeth of the zipper from the bottom part, glue and sew two pieces of leather around the last 1" of the zipper, and sew the top part of the zipper onto my flap.

...enough with the easy part.

to cover the exposed, off color, bottom part of the zipper, I ended up making a fringe.
cut a piece of leather of the length of my zipper x 1 1/2" and marked on the wrong side lines 1/8" apart, and cut not all the way up (left about 1/4").
again, few drops of glue and sewn onto the zipper.

because of the change of plans, i ended up having to sew the bottom part of the zipper BY HAND (not fun having bleeding fingers) onto the clutch, with the result that the inner lining has been sewn together. oh well, next time I'll know better. (because it's mine, and because I didn't want start over, it's just fine)
last: removed the regular looking zipper pull, insert in the carriage of the zipper a double split ring (key chain like, only a little smaller) and made a little tassel. voilà:


xox, d.
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