Usually when I make something, the project starts with a pattern or the materials on hand. Say want to knit socks using a certain blue yarn. I have the recipient in mind and I know they like unfussy geometric designs. I trawl Ravelry looking for something that meets the specifications (and sometimes fits in with whatever the Sock Knitters Anonymous challenge is that months) until I find something I like. I then cast on and away I go. Likewise, with cooking, I know what I have on hand and go from there. Quilting is slightly different because I don’t (yet…) have much of a working fabric stash, but still it is based on the pattern or the project.
In other words, I’m not a particularly creative crafter in that I don’t design my own projects. And that’s just fine with me for the time being.
But for my dear friend Sarah‘s birthday, I had an idea. I wanted to make a little clutch similar to the ones I made at Christmas, only instead of having a gathered front, having an envelope on the front. Since we’ve not been roommates for several years, we’ve kept in touch mainly through the internet but also through letters. My design inspiration was from this quilt by Amy at badskirt (which was inspired in turn by Ayumi’s quilt).
I decided to make the clutch to the size specifications of the Gathered Clutch Tutorial from Noodlehead; I also used the tutorial’s instructions for assembly. I also added a wrist strap to make the clutch more functional – I have a wristlet and LOVE that it is hands-free.
And I made the paper-pieced envelope template myself! I read up on paper piecing (never having done it myself) and it seemed fairly straightforward so I drafted a pattern and went for it. At first I set my seam length too short, which just punctured the paper, not sewing the fabric neatly along the lines, but that was an easy thing to fix.
The inside has a credit card pocket sewn against one wall and is lined with the same fabric that I used to make Sarah an apron a couple years ago. And since the box bearing this giftie has arrived, I can write about it here! I hope she likes it!