Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Tea Towel Clutch

I recently spotted this gorgeous Tea Towel in a National Trust shop at Petworth House and had to have it. 

It was way to gorgeous to dry my dishes with however, so I had different plans for it before I'd even left the shop. 

It was only £5 so a total bargain but I wanted to make a few different things from it as I love the print so much. 

The first thing I wanted to make was a little clutch bag / purse. Sometimes I don't like carrying my big bag around with me, so I love having a bigger purse that I can fit my phone in too. 

So, please bear in mind, I am not at all an experienced sewer and I don't know all the lingo yet so this is a beginners tutorial but the main thing is - if I can do it, you can too ! 

I started by cutting out the size of that I needed to create my new tote. You can see this was 'measured' using my current purse. 

I cut off the stiffer edging and you'll see why later. 

I then folded the towel in half and 'inside out' I stitched up the sides, leaving a gap at the top to 'tuck' the zip in to. 

I love my sewing machine. It used to belong to my 94 year old Grandma and she put it on finance to get it about 30 years ago, so it's really special ! I love that I can use it now. 

I then trimmed off the edges. 

Then for the tricky bit. I got a gorgeous fancy zip from The Homemakery, so this was an easier type of zip for me to do, meaning I didn't need a special zip foot as it goes on the outside, rather that being hidden inside. 

So this shows you below how I put the zip in place and folded over the fabric in to the inside and tucked the edge of the zip under. I pinned it all in place before sewing. 

Just to show you the other edge.

Then I sewed along and attached the zip in place.

See here, no fancy zip foot, make sure you don't go too fast and remove the pins !!

Now for something really snazzy ! Well I think so anyway, does anyone else not really like the look of these 'loops' sometimes on small bags ? I don't know what it is, but anyway, they are handy for carrying sometimes, so I thought I would attach one that could be used or tucked away if not needed ! 

See, I told you it was snazzy ! So to do this I took the stiff egde of the towel and tucked it inside, either side of the zip, like you see below:

Here you can see the inside of the bag. I hand stitched the zip edges together and then hand stitched the edges of the purple loop together so it wouldn't come out if pulled, BUT what this allows you to do, is pull it in and out ! 

So, there you have it, next time you see a tea towel too gorgeous for drying the dishes, think about what else you could do with it instead and get creating! 

Here it is... 

Notice the loop is out in the picture about and look below ..... it's tucked in ! Love it. 

Thank you for reading and I hope I have inspired you to get out that sewing machine and to have a go yourselves ! 


  1. Thanks so much for this, it's a fabulous idea and has given me a way to make zip placement much easier - I can add the lace or ric rac braid to a zip - you really can spark my imagination, thanks for that too :)

  2. That really is a gorgeous tea towel and it makes a fabulous clutch, I love it!! I have an ancient sewing machine up in the attic, I hid it there as I couldn't remember how to thread the darn thing and it was before I knew there is a you tube video to teach you anything you could possibly want to know! I'm really tempted to dig it out and have a play.

    1. Thank you so much Amanda, way too nice for drying dishes hey !! OOH yes get it out !!! Look forward to hearing how it goes !! It's so much fun xx

  3. Amazing Michelle!! You are so creative, and I'm so happy you got out your sewing machine! Careful.. you'll get addicted!! :) :) XX

    1. Thanks so much Amy !!! Ahhhh yes I think I might xxx