I like to follow blogs as I learn a lot and am inspired by many creative people. One of those is Rochelle at esheepdesigns. Around Thanksgiving she showed her latest design, the Diva Envelope Clutch, and said she was looking for testers. It looked simple enough for a beginner like myself so I responded and was accepted to test the pattern.
When my daughter, Gigi, saw it she thought it would make a great Christmas gift for our son-in-law, Taylor, as a document holder since at 13″ x 9 3/4″ it’s large enough to hold file folders. She offered to cut out all the pieces so we could get it done in time for our early family celebration on December 11.
We wanted Taylor’s to look manly, therefore we used cork fabric with faux leather accents for the exterior and a linen-like fabric for the lining. With those materials, no interfacing was needed. Taylor was very impressed and stated that he would never have thought it was made with a sewing machine.
I had to add a little piece on the side which you can see above – the dark brown triangle of faux leather. The pattern directs you to be careful in placing the pattern pieces B and C on the correct sides, because one needs to be on the right and the other on the left in order for the bag to turn out correctly. Well, we mixed those up and the result was the sides of our envelope dipped in somewhat at the top so I just added a sliver on each side to compensate and it turned out great.
After Christmas, Gigi decided she wanted to make another one for herself because she likes to carry her Bullet Journal around and needed something that would hold it. She chose some faux leather for the exterior and a bright floral for the lining.
It was fun to figure out ways to decorate our bag flaps with rivets. The square studs are so inexpensive on ebay and simple to attach – just push the prongs in and fold down the edges!
Gigi decided to insert a wedge at the sides so that the bag could hold more and also to accommodate a shoulder strap. She cut a piece of Essex linen 9″ long, 2 1/2″ wide at the top which tapered to 1/2″ wide at the bottom.
She fused some lightweight interfacing to the back, but the fabric still needed more strength to match the thickness of the faux leather. We decided to try waxing the linen.
We got out a little crock pot where we keep our fabric waxing mixture, plugged it in and brushed the wax solution onto the fabric. We then ironed it between sheets of paper to remove excess wax. That transformed the fabric to a deeper aqua and made it much sturdier.
Gigi made a slip pocket to hold her journal with a lined and interfaced 12″ x 14″ piece of fabric.She added a small rectangular flap for secure closure.
For the pocket flap, Gigi used two pieces of faux leather, 3.5″ x 4.5″ with velcro dots for attachment. A metal button was added for decoration.
We decided to close this one via a magnetic snap. The tassel works as sort of a pull tab for opening. We made the tassel and a handle for the top out of some scraps of black leather.
Here it is opened up and from the backside. We secured the faux leather strap on Taylor’s bag with Chicago screws, but just stitching was secure enough for the leather handle on Gigi’s.
This is a great pattern if you want something that will hold documents, a journal or perhaps an iPad. It’s easy enough for a beginner and very adaptable to modifications including a wide variety of fabrics. I’m considering making another one in waxed canvas with leather trim. 🙂
Rochelle is offering the pattern at a discounted price over the weekend. Go over to her blog to check it out and see all the test editions!