by Abbey Lane Quilts
Class Description: Diaper Clutch
The Diaper Clutch is a must-have for all moms on-the-go. It is a great project and class for new sewers. Students will be not only be able to finish the clutch, but they'll also gain confidence in basic purse-making techniques. In the book, there are instructions for two Diaper Clutches (pages 60-65) - one is basic and one has an optional contrasting band for those who want to add a little something extra to the basic clutch. We suggest you make one of each and let them choose which one they want to make. Just make sure they have the right fabric requirements and cutting instructions for the clutch they choose. The book has many other fun projects that can coordinate with the clutch for additional classes or the customer can do them at home on their own. Make up samples of other projects to show in class, so students can plan future projects and purchase additional fabric and supplies.
Skill Level: Experienced Beginner
What students will learn:
- basic techniques in bag or purse construction
- how to make tabs and straps
- topstitching techniques
- how to work with purse hardware - Swivel hooks, "D" rings, and magnetic closures
Be sure the students prewash all fabrics (except the fusible fleece) before cutting out.In order to save time, pieces need to be cut out before class starts. Make sure the students cut out the correct pieces for the clutch they are sewing (Basic Diaper Clutch or Contrasting Band Clutch)
Points to cover:
Construction: Refer to the step-by-step instructions in the book for constructing the clutch. For those making the clutch with the contrasting band, have them sew the outside clutch pieces first. All of the remaining instructions are the same for both clutches. Make sure to highlight the sections on Tabs and Straps, Topstitching, and Purse Hardware so they can accomplish the objectives set out for the class.
Stabilizing: We used fusible fleece to give the clutch some body, but you could substitute canvas, foam or Shape-Flex. Explain the reasons behind choosing what you choose.
Pockets: Pockets are just 2 pieces of fabric sewn on 3 sides. They can sew down the center if they want to have smaller pockets, but it isn't really a good idea on this project, the diapers and wipes wouldn't fit. The point is - pockets are easy and can be added to almost anything.
Embellishing: We added a large decorative button on the front, which is totally optional. Give them some creative alternatives for embellishing, like decorative stitching, appliqués, or fabric flowers.
Tabs & straps: Teach students the fold and press method (page 63) for making small tabs and straps with no raw edges showing. It is much easier to fold and press to hide the raw edges than using the traditional method of sewing along 1 edge and then turning each piece right side out. Mastering this technique will give them the confidence to tackle small tabs or straps on any project.
Topstitching: There is a lot of topstitching on this project, so by the time they are finished they will feel very confident and will be able to topstitch anything. Show them how to move their needles over to get different widths of topstitching. If their machines don't have the capability of moving the needle over, have them use a piece of masking tape on the sewing machine to line up the fabric so the topstitching will be straight. We used a 1/8" topstitch, but they can use a 1/4" topstitch if they prefer.
Magnetic closures: Here is a good place for a demonstration. Follow the manufacturer's instructions for the type of closure your store carries.
- Mark location of closure
- Add fusible interfacing if there isn't a stabilizer already there.
- Line up the washer over the mark and mark the openings for the prongs.
- Snip the openings.
- From the right side of the fabric, insert the prongs through the snipped openings.
- Place the washer over the prongs and flatten each of the prongs.
- Repeat this process with the other half of the magnetic closure. Be sure the two pieces line up before snipping any holes.
Swivel Hooks and "D" rings - Another good place for a demonstration.
- Thread the tab or strap through the ring.
- Move the ring to the center of the tab and fold in half so both ends of the tab are even.
- Stitch 1/2" - 3/4" from the fold. It is a good idea to reinforce this seam.