The Secret Christmas Presents Were…Leather Clutches!


The secret Christmas presents I have been working on for my two friends were safely delivered last weekend and, I think, well-received.  I can FINALLY show you.  I made each of them a leather clutch.

My take on my friend Audrey’s style is that she likes modern and slightly funky clothes, so I tried to echo that as I pieced the leather.  Here is the final product:

Leather clutches by Pattern and Branch

Front view

Leather clutches by Pattern and Branch

Front view with the flap open to reveal the zipper and zipper pull

Leather clutches by Pattern and Branch

Back view

In order to get this arrangement, I moved leather scraps around until I liked the look and then taped them together with Scotch tape until I could sew them.  When I was ready to sew, I sewed right over the tape and removed it after I had sewn everything.  I had to use tweezers to get the remaining tape out in a few spots, but it didn’t take too long.

My other friend Trisha has, in my mind, a clean and classic style.  Here is what I made for her:

Leather clutches by Pattern and Branch

Front view

Leather clutches by Pattern and Branch

Front view with flap open to reveal zipper and zipper pull

Leather clutches by Pattern and Branch

Back view

Audrey’s clutch is larger and the leather is thinner, making it more flexible.  Hers is my favorite, and I had a hard time parting with it.  ;0)  Trisha’s clutch uses thicker layers that are doubled in some areas, which is why it needed the magnetic snap on the flap.  I was afraid the flap wouldn’t stay closed without it.

Both clutches were made on my home sewing machine (an Elna 3005).  The only special equipment I used was a leather needle.  This is my first real attempt sewing leather (unless you count my awesome leather and double knit pants).  I was inspired to try after doing a little bit of work for Elizabeth Berthoud of sacAmain.  Her bags are amazing and super professional.  She donated her leather scraps to me and made herself available if I had questions.  I also discovered Arthur Porter on youtube, who has numerous videos about working with leather.

These projects were really fun and, since I’m the worst at shipping things out on time (yes, even when they are finished months in advance), I was glad to deliver them early.  I could definitely see sewing more with leather in the future.  Have you tried it?  Do you plan to?

Have a happy Reformation Day!  Oh, and I guess there’s Halloween, too.  😉 I’m going to be the Mad Hatter from Alice in Wonderland.  I’ll try to get some pictures for you.


About Lisa Poblenz (patternandbranch)

I love sewing and taking pictures! Pattern and Branch is my sewing blog with periodic photography posts (and occasional other side wanderings). It's a journal of my creative practice that I hope will add to the wider community and serve as a personal record to help me remember the details of my projects (because sometimes I need help with that). Welcome to this space! Join in the conversation!

8 responses »

  1. I love how you personalized the clutches to match your friends’ personalities. What special gifts! Glad to hear they were well received. 🙂

    I haven’t worked with leather and don’t have any immediate plans to, but I’d like to try it someday, just to say I’ve done it!


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