Today I am excited to share a tutorial with you by Daryl of Patchouli Moon Studio. Daryl has used my Pocket Supplement B to make the clutch and has created a work of art with it! Happily she is sharing her techniques on how she has achieved her masterpiece! Over to you Daryl:
Decorative Stitches Clutch Tutorial
Sometimes your fabric choices can make a bag look fabulous and other times not so much. But what if you could take any bag pattern and turn it into something Spectacular and completely one-of-a-kind? Sometimes just adding a bit of bling or a lot of bling can be just that extra something to take a simple bag to the next level and turn it into a WOW bag!
In this first of a series of tutorials that I will be sharing with you, I will be showing you how to take a bag pattern and add some extras to it to turn your bag into something unique and special. For this tutorial, I will show you how I add decorative machine stitches and other embellishments to fabric to make a Clutch using the Pocket Supplement B pattern from ChrisW Designs. You can also apply this same method to the flaps of bags, using other ChrisW Designs bag patterns such as Fiona’s Freeway, Emma, The Allure, Savannah, The Podium, Genevieve and more. It works well on pocket flaps too, such as on the Lunar Collection bags, or the front of the Bodacious Bowler bags, or front of The Epiphany bag. So let’s give it a go, shall we?
For some inspiration, here is one of the Fiona’s Freeway bag flap that I made with decorative stitches and other embellishments.
Here is the Clutch I made using Pocket Supplement B, that I will be showing you how I do the decorative stitches and add embellishments in the tutorial today.
So let’s get started.
First thing is choosing the right exterior fabric that you will be adding the stitches and other embellishments on. You do not want anything with a busy print or the stitches won’t show up. For my Clutch, I chose a hand dyed fabric. As you can see in the photo above, the stitches and embellishments show up nicely on this fabric.
The best fabric to choose so that your embellishments will show, is a solid fabric, a tone on tone print (which is a print such as a white paisley print on a white background or a pink print on a pink background, etc.), a print that reads as solid from a distance, a batik fabric or a hand dyed fabric that is not too busy.
Make sure that whatever color fabric you choose that your embellishments and thread choices will contrast so that you will see the stitches. You do not want something that blends in too much where you have to get really close to see your stitches and embellishments. So pull out some thread colors and pull a bit of the thread off the spool and bunch it on top of your fabric and stand back a bit. Can you see the thread? Or does it blend in too much? You may need to change your fabric choice or your thread choices to achieve the look you want.
- Exterior fabric
- Lining fabric
- Woven fusible interfacing such as Pellon SF 101
- Fusible Fleece, Decovil light or other depending on the bag that you are making
- Assorted colors of threads (machine embroidery thread in polyester or rayon)
- Machine embroidery needle (size 11 should be sufficient)
- Hand embroidery needle suitable to size of thread you use
- Sewing thread for construction of bag
- Embroidery floss or Perle cotton for hand stitches (Perle cotton in size 12 or thicker size 8), if desired
- Trim, lace, rickrack, if desired
- Embellishments (these are just some suggestions): buttons, beads, crystals, rivets, pre-made applique motifs, yarn scraps of any weight, charms, etc.
- Hardware and notions needed to complete the bag you are making according to the pattern instructions
- Pattern of your choosing and the template piece that you want to embellish (flap, entire bag, pocket, etc.)
- Sewing machine with a variety of decorative stitches (even utility stitches will look nice)
- Fabric scraps to test out stitches on
- Disappearing marker that can be washed away, iron away or brushed away
- Basic supplies and tools like an iron, clips, pins, cutting mat, scissors, etc.
- Elmer’s school glue stick (disappearing purple)
- Pressing cloth
Here is the hand dyed fabric that I chose:
Take the pattern piece that you want to use and the fabric that you want to do your stitching on and trace around the pattern piece onto the right side of the fabric, using a disappearing pen. If no pattern piece, then mark measurements using a ruler. Then cut out the fabric about 3/4” larger on each side all around. The stitching process will shrink your fabric a bit and you want to be sure you have extra fabric. See the outline of my pattern piece and the extra fabric around it in the photo below.
Fuse SF 101 interfacing (or similar) to the wrong side of this piece now.
If you want to draw wavy or straight lines (they can be vertical, horizontal or at angle) across your entire piece to use as a guide, then do this now using your disappearing pen. You can also just eyeball how you want your stitching to go as well. I will leave this design decision up to you.
If you want to add any trim such as rickrack, lace or other trim, then get out your school glue stick and run a light layer of glue on the wrong side of the trim you want to use, and place it where you want to on your fabric, bending gentle curves or using straight, as desired. Finger press your trim into place and then place a pressing cloth over the trim that you just glued down, and lightly press in place. This will help the glue to adhere better by pressing it. This way you won’t need any pins to hold it in place. Place and glue only one trim in place for now.
My rickrack above has been glued in place.
*Tip: if you are stitching something like a clutch that will be folded later, you should fold the piece where the fold lines will be to mark the approximate folds. This will be approximate for now as you might be adjusting where the folds go if there is a bit of shrinkage after stitching. This is just a guideline for now.
If you can see the 2 vertical fold lines in my piece above, you will notice that part of the rickrack after it is folded later will be partly showing on the back side of the clutch. If you don’t want this to happen on your piece, then place your rickrack or other trim so that it only shows on the front or the back or wherever you want it to show.
Stitch your trim in place by hand or machine stitching now. You can stitch by machine by using a straight or zigzag stitching down the center or along the sides, using a matching or contrasting thread. If you hand stitch, you can stitch it as desired using hand embroidery floss or Perle cotton. I hand stitched the rickrack in place with straight angled stitches that went from the curve to the next curve, using 2 strands of embroidery floss. See picture below. (Do not add any embellishments yet! Photo is just a close up look at the rickrack stitching).
If you want more trim on your piece, you can add it now the same way as I showed you for the rickrack. The reason I glue and sew one trim at a time, is that if you have too many trims glued all at once there is a possibility of one or more trims falling off as you manipulate your piece to stitch it in place. If not adding more trim then we will begin stitching some decorative stitches.
You can use any decorative machine stitches that you want, and even some utility stitches that have a nice decorative look to them work too. But before stitching them, I would suggest testing the stitch on a scrap of fabric for size of stitch and to make sure the tension is good too. If you need to make any adjustments, better to make them on your scrap fabric first. So if you want to stitch a satin stitch triangle shape, but it stitches out larger than you like, make adjustments to the length and width by decreasing your stitches to achieve the look you want. You might need to make tension adjustments along the way for certain stitches too.
Since you might choose different stitches than I have chosen and you might have different stitches on your machine that I have, I cannot tell you exactly how to stitch your stitches, so testing first on scrap is helpful. Make sure you have fused some interfacing under your scrap so that your stitches don’t buckle.
Before selecting all of your stitches to use, keep in mind that there are satin type stitches where the thread is stitched very close together (see the long triangle stitch in purple thread in the photo above) or lacy looking outline stitches that stitch the outline shape where more fabric is seen behind the stitch. You should choose a variety of both kinds of stitches and space them out on your piece so that not all of the satin stitches are stitched in one area, but are scattered around to give more interest to the piece. Also, be sure to leave some blank spaces here and there so you can add other embellishments after the machine stitching is finished.
If you are stitching your decorative machine stitches in a curved line, the best way to achieve even stitches is to set your machine to where it stitches one motif at a time. For example, if you want to stitch a curved row of hearts, you will have your machine set to stitch them one at a time. Stitch one heart, then when the machine stops or does a tie off stitch in between each heart, you will be able to adjust and move the presser foot a bit and then stitch the next heart. Keep adjusting the position after each motif is stitched. If you just stitch them all strung together, you won’t know when and where to make adjustments as you stitch and some stitches will look longer and become crooked and uneven. It may take a bit more time to do it this way, but the results will be so much nicer.
Now if you are stitching in a straight line, then you do not need to stitch one stitch at a time and can just stitch your decorative stitch continuously from one side to the other.
Here is my clutch piece with all the machine stitches I wanted to stitch.
You might also notice that I used a narrow variegated yarn in 3 different places. If you want to add yarn (it can be any weight or type of yarn you want to use), you will zigzag stitch over the yarn as you move the yarn in the curved or straight direction that you want. Again, test a scrap of yarn and the width of the zigzag stitch to make sure it stitches on each side of the yarn with the yarn being tacked down in the middle. See the yarn in the photo below is pink with blue zigzag stitching. (That thicker slub that you see in the yarn is because this is a Boucle yarn and that is the nature of this type of yarn to have thick and thin sections in the yarn).
Once you have all your machine stitches stitched and any trim or yarn couched in place, you will take your pressing cloth and place it over the top of your piece and gently press your piece.
Next take your template pattern piece (or ruler and cutter if there is no template), and center your template on top of your stitched piece, making sure you have a bit of fabric showing on all sides to trim. Make sure if you have a definite top or bottom to your piece, you have it oriented correctly. Trace around your template and then cut out on the lines.
Fuse your fusible fleece, foam or whatever you are using to the wrong side of the piece and take the piece to your sewing machine and zigzag stitch all around the piece to keep the decorative stitching from coming out and to prevent the fabric from unraveling too. (See photo from Step 4 above. In that photo I have trimmed the piece to size and zigzag stitched all around).
Now comes the fun part of adding any kind of embellishments that you want to add and as many or few as you want. For my piece, I made French Knots by hand, added several buttons in different shapes, sizes and colors. Fused hot-fix crystals in several sizes and colors, I also added a Handmade label.
All of this you can do by hand, using your hand embroidery floss. The floss comes 6 strands thick and I use 2 strands. Or you can use a size 12 Perle cotton, which is the same thickness as 2 strands of floss or a thicker size 8 Perle cotton if you like.
I added French knots by hand in the middle of the yellow machine stitched flowers. Buttons and crystals too.
The finished Clutch with added wrist strap.
The back side of the clutch.
I added 2 inside pockets, since I didn’t add the front outside pocket because I didn’t want to interfere with the decorative stitches.
I hope you create a gorgeous one of a kind bag for yourself.
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AWESOME tutorial Daryl! Thanks so much for sharing this with us! :) I look forward to seeing some more decorative CWD clutches, bags and wallets in the future! 😊