Friday, September 23, 2011

DIY Ruffled Clutch and Printing on Fabric


Today I'm going to show you a little project I did for my daughter's teacher and teacher's assistant last spring for Teacher Appreciation Day. Yes, I'm a slacker and am just now getting around to it. Cut me some's been a rough few months.

I wanted to make them some clutches, but I couldn't find any fabric that had to do with teachers but didn't have apples or chalkboards all over it (sorry if that's you're thing...). I'd seen Joy's tutorial at Thrifty Parsonage Living on printing on fabric and thought it might be fun to design my own fabric for their clutches.

This is what I came up with. It's feminine, has a touch of red, and has words pertaining to teachers written all over it (Similar to my Teacher Appreciation Clock). I REALLY wish I could tell you that I'm going to include a printable for you, but, alas, the computer I created that on bit the dust, and the hard drive is completely unrecoverable. It may have contributed largely to my recent case of Blogging Blues (along with the other hundreds of before and after home pics and files for Fancy Nancy Bingo and other fun party favors). :(  Serious sad face.

But printing was simple.

STEP 1:  Cut out a piece of Freezer Paper (found in grocery store by ZipLoc bags and aluminum foil) to 8.5x11 paper dimension.

STEP 2:  Iron the shiny side of the freezer paper to the wrong side of your fabric. I used drop cloth, so there wasn't really a right/wrong side.

STEP 3: Trim your fabric edges, so it is exactly the 8.5"x11" piece of paper dimension.

STEP 4: Place in printer, so it will print on the actual fabric. This is the tricky part. I have a Canon all-in-one printer that has a tray down below, and printing did not work when I tried to use that tray. It kept getting sucked in wrong and writing all crooked or starting half-way down the page. Luckily it also has a top-tray feed for awkward paper like this one, and it worked beautifully.

STEP 5: Remove the freezer paper. It's like a giant sticker that doesn't leave gunk all over your fabric. Sweet.

Now for the ruffled clutch part.

I used tutorial from Skip to My Lou for the pouch part. And I'm embarrassed to tell you I didn't take ONE pic of the lining! I used a fabulous silky red material that had kind of an Asian feel to it. It was the perfect accent.

My only variation on the tutorial was to add the ruffles to the front, so I'll give a little recap of that.

STEP 1: Cut your 8.5" x 11" piece into strips. The width will depend on how many you want and how big you choose to make your clutch. As you can see in the pic above, I did 5 even strips that were 1.5" wide and the full 11" long.

STEP 2: Since I'm not very good at pinning my sewing projects, I folded the edge over slightly and ironed it to prep for sewing. This is just to keep you from having a raw edge since the drop cloth frays really bad. If you're using a different fabric and like the frayed look, by all means, skip this step. :)

STEP 3: Sew that folded edge in place and do that to all of your "ruffle" strips.

STEP 4: Ruffle each of your strips. You can do this on any old sewing machine with your standard foot. I did a tutorial for you. Instead of doing it up the center, ruffle along the top edge (not the edge  you just sewed over). Then play with the width until it matches the width of the clutch pieces you should have already cut out (again referring to the Skip to My Lou tutorial...I have not included instructions for that here since I'm lazy and see no need to reinvent the wheel. ;) ).

STEP 5: Sew each of your ruffle strips to the front piece of your pouch/clutch. I only did this to one side of mine (refer to last comment about being lazy and all).

As you can see, once I got four strips on and started thinking about seam allowance and having left a gap at top, so it wouldn't interfere with the zipper...I decided to just leave it at four ruffle strips instead of five.

STEP 6: Now follow the Skip to My Lou tutorial to finish off your clutch. You'll need to be extra cautious with your ruffles and make sure they're not getting caught in your seams or sticking out sideways. Make sure they're flat and just how you want them as you're sewing near them (they will be inside out, so it's hard to tell where they are).

STEP 7:  Embellish. Because what would a fancy ruffled clutch be without a little accessories?

Ignore the fact that the zippers don't match. I'm a use-what-you-have kind of gal, remember? ;)



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