I have been seeing so many cute pouches with a bow motif on the sewing blogs over the past year! Whether they have bows attached or the pouch becomes a bow itself, it’s really common theme and I just love all of them. I thought I would add my own version to the dialogue with this little pouch here. I made a few versions but the ones I liked best were out of satin, which seemed fitting because it looks like these babies would make good bridesmaid or prom clutches – at least something cute to bring to a special occasion. Whatever fabric you decide to use, I would definitely recommend it be solid or from a small print. I tried these with a large print and the motifs just get lost in the folds of the bow, so you can’t really tell what’s going on.
The step-by-step photos I think make the clutch look harder than it really is, and it’s easy to get disoriented and forget what goes where. I would suggest using labels that point which side is up and which side is the right side if you get confused after glancing through instructions before getting started.
It’s easy to get disoriented with what goes where on this one. It helps to label your pieces and get a feeling for the instructions before you start sewing everything up.
Makes one 8” x 5” pouch.
Materials & Tools:
• 1/2 yd. of light to medium weight fabric for outer pouch
• 1/4 yd. of lightweight fabric for lining (I used polyester lining fabric, but quilting cotton would be good too)
• 8” long zipper (at least)
• 1/4 yd. of light to medium-weight fusible interfacing
• Matching sewing thread
• Basic sewing tools (sewing machine, scissors, iron, needles, pins, fabric marker, seam ripper)
Before you begin:
1. Print out the project pattern here
2. Assemble the pattern pieces, see the page here for more help
3. Lay out the pattern pieces on your fabric and interfacing and cut them out (be sure to follow the grain lines, as you’ll see the bows are cut on the bias; crucial in making the bows appear ‘fluffy’ or ‘full’ if you will).
4. Mark the fabric pieces with the markings from the pattern
1. First up we’re going to construct the bows. For that, fold the bow piece in half width wise and sew the short edges together. When complete, press the bow in half with the seam in the center. The side with the seam will be the wrong side of your bow.
2. To create the bow-like look from this tube, next up is to add some pleats along the short raw edges. Use the guidelines found on the pattern to bring together the two markings. Fold the fabric with right sides together and sew along these markings about 1/2” down to create these tucks as you see in the photo.
3. To make this piece easier to work with, we need to baste those pleats in place. Flatten the tucks (as shown on the right side of the photo) so they’re centered over the pleat seam you created and baste them so they’re anchored. That completes the bow; you’ll see from the other side (the “correct” side of the fabric) the edges look much more like a real bow now.
4. Before we attach the bow to the rest of the clutch, I added some interfacing to my clutch pieces. Satin can be very flimsy and while I wanted the bow to look loose and fluid, the rest of the clutch needed to be sturdy. Fuse the interfacing within the seam allowances of your clutch pieces so no matter how much the satin shifts, you know the part that’s been fused will remain stable. You’ll see there’s a side with a shorter seam allowance; this is the side our zipper gets installed on and is the top of the clutch. Keep that in mind for further steps.
5. The first place we attach the bow is at the center of the clutch. Line up the raw edge of the bow between the pattern guidelines of one center piece and baste it in place with right sides facing. Do the same thing with the other side of the bow and the remaining center piece. Make sure that the top edges of the center pieces are both pointing in the same direction.
6. Now add the clutch sides over the seam you just basted. Layer the side piece (again, top side pointing the same direction as the center piece) over the bow and center piece so you now have three layers. Sew through these three layers; you may want to use the interfacing as a guide instead of measuring your seam allowance if your satin has frayed a bit. Again, repeat this with the other side of the bow.
8. Now it’s time to add the other bow side. Things will get a little tricky now because the first bow side will get in your way, but it’s sewn the same way. Line up the bow edges (right sides facing) with the other side of the center piece in between the pattern guidelines. Baste the edges in place.
10. When finished, press the seam toward the center piece and edge stitch the seam just like in step 7. When it’s all done, the pieces should look something like this when set upright. Kinda looks like a Tie Fighter! Ha!
11. Now we can finally add the zipper. But before we can do that, add some tabs to each end to make the zipper easier to work with. Trim the zipper to 8” long, then sandwich each short end between two zipper tabs, lining up the edges. Sew through all 3 layers, trim the seam allowance to 1/4”, then press the tab away from the zipper.
12. To install the zipper, sandwich it between a lining piece and one top edge of the clutch piece (right side of the zipper facing the clutch). Sew the three layers together with a 1/4” seam allowance. It’s a bit of a pain because you have to keep the other side of the clutch out of the way, but if you take it a little at a time you’ll get there. Repeat this with the other side of the zipper, the remaining lining piece, and the other top side of the clutch to finish the zipper. Press the fabrics away from the zipper.
13. This part is a bit of a pain, so you might want to skip it. But to give the clutch a bit more of a professional touch and manage bulk, I edge stitched the previous seam next to the zipper. Be sure the lining and clutch fabric are pressed away before you do this. The reason it’s a pain is because the bow sides get in the way and you can only sew halfway down one side before you have to switch and finish from the remaining side.
14. We’re in the home stretch! All that’s left to do is sew the sides of the clutch and finish up the lining. First, be sure that the zipper is at least halfway open. Then, align the clutch and lining so the lining pieces face each other and the clutch pieces face each other, matching up all the raw edges. Sew around the perimeter of this shape, leaving an opening in the lining as the pattern indicates for turning right side out.
15. Clip the excess seam allowance in the corners of both the clutch and the lining and turn the whole thing right side out. Gently poke out the corners, then turn under the seam allowances in the lining and sew the opening closed. A hand-sewn slip stitch looks invisible, or you could just do a machine-sewn straight stitch for ease.
And it’s all done! I can see doing this in a larger size to make more of a real purse, or perhaps adding a wrist strap if the clutch style doesn’t suit you.
If you do try making the project, I’d love to see it! Send me a photo and I’ll send you exclusive free patterns as a reward!