Friday, March 16, 2012

Fabulous Free Pattern Friday

We're going in circles today.
We're making a clutch bag from a placemat!
Now this is not your everyday placemat, by no means, but it is a placemat nonetheless. I found it in a specialty shop, not as expensive as you might think. I believe it was around $12.00. You can make this bag out of any placemat though. 
The backing is felt, so it gives me a nice foundation to attach my interior bag.
For the interior bag, you will need a fabric that has some body or you will need to interface the fabric. I used a fairly weighty jacquard.
To begin, measure across your placemat. Let's say your placemat measures 15" across. Cut a circle from your fabric that is exactly the same size as your placemat. When you sew the interior bag together, use 1/2" seam allowances. This will make the interior bag 1/2" smaller on either side than your placemat. This is important because you need some room to sew the bag to the placemat.
Now we need to determine the width and length of the strips that the zipper is sewn to. (By the way, Margy from www.fool4fabric.blogspot.com posted a great link for zippers. You can find it here. Studio Kat has two-way separator purse zippers. The price isn't bad, $5.00 for an 18" zipper). The width of our center strip, 2" seems to be a good width. It gives enough room for all the things we like to put in our bag and keeps the bag nice and straight on the sides once it is zipped up. To determine the length of your strips, fold your circle in half and measure from one side to the other as I have in the picture below.
 When the placemat is folded, it automatically will have a curve in the bottom.
I wanted my bag to be squared at the bottom and it is as you see below.
As you see in the picture above, the zipper stops at a certain point. There is a small strip on either end that measures approximately 6" high by 3" wide. Both of these measurements include seam allowance. The finished measurements would be 5" by 2". If your folded bag measures 25" from one side to the other, then you will subtract 10" from the 25 which will leave 15". Remember, you will want the small strips on both sides of the bag. For the zipper pieces, you will need 2 strips that are 16" long by 2" wide. The 2" will give you a 1/2" seam allowance to sew the strip to your zipper and a 1/2" seam allowance to sew the strip to the bag. Remember to cut a second set of pieces for your lining.
Once all of your pieces are cut, assemble the bag.
To sew the interior bag to the placemat, find the center of the placemat and center your bag over this point. Put in a few pins to hold the interior bag in place for hand sewing.

Hand sew all the way around.
 A side view of the finished bag.
The piece that is on the front of the bag is a pin.
It's made from felt and has a beaded center with feathers all around. The pin is sewn to the back.
As you can see, really simple, but it gives the bag a little added flair.
The bag is nice with out the pin,
but a little more spectacular with it.
As I said, you can make a bag from just about any placemat.
This bag was made from a placemat I found at Target. No one believes me when I tell them that it is a placemat. 
 The interior bag is made from the napkins that were sold to go with the placemat.
So I hope I have opened a whole new world of possibilities. May you never look at a placemat the same way ever again!!
Happy Friday Everyone!

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  1. Rhonda, you are so clever! These place-mats and bags are gorgeous.

  2. Beautiful clutch and bag. Your tutorial is so timely, in that I've wanted to make a clutch from tablemats for some time.

  3. Love the wooden bead bag, fabulous!

    I'm not sure I could eat on a bird feather placemat. Just sort of grosses me out. Your bag is a great refashion,

  4. Love them both, but the feather one is spectacular! I'll have to look at placemats more closely.

  5. I have made placemat bags off and on for years. The easiest way to get a little bang for your buck. The flower is great. Can use this idea for my felted wool work. Rhonda, you are so good!.........Lydia (This will post as anonymous.)