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PatternReview Blog > How to Make a Leather Clutch with Exposed Zipper
How to Make a Leather Clutch with Exposed Zipper By AlexisW on 12/19/13 12:01 PM

Looking for a last-minute holiday gift? This detailed tutorial will show you how to create a simple leather clutch in under an hour! Stylish and easy to make, this clutch is the perfect stocking stuffer for your loved ones! In this video, you will learn how to successfully sew leather and use an exposed zipper.

Materials Needed:

1) Leather or Vinyl

2) Decorative Zipper (10-12” Long)

3) Leather Sewing Machine Needles

4) Rotary Cutter

5) Wonder Tape

6) Teflon Foot

7) Binder Clips


Step 1:  Make the Pattern

We simply rounded the bottom corners of a rectangle and used that as our clutch shape. Cut out two identical pieces from leather or vinyl.


Step 2: Arranging Leather

Place the clutch pieces on the zipper to decide how much of the zipper you would like exposed. Attach the wonder tape onto both sides of the zipper. Place the leather on the zipper and press down.


Step 3: Inserting Ends

Using two small rectangular pieces from the leather, insert tabs on both ends of the zipper. The tabs should be inserted over the zipper but under the leather. This will create a window for the exposed zipper application.


Tips for Sewing Leather:

1) Use a leather needle.

2) Your stitch length should be 2.8 or 3 to avoid perforating the leather. Too many tiny stitches will create holes and break the leather.

3) A Teflon foot will glide smoothly over slippery and sticky fabrics such as vinyl and leather.

4) Use binder clips instead of pins to hold leather as you sew.


Step 4: Sew Zipper

Sew as close to the edge of the zipper as possible. When nearing the zipper pull, move the slider out of the way.

Stop before the end tab to check that the zipper teeth are lined up. Put the slider back into place.

Sew carefully over the teeth to avoid breaking the needle.

Manually tie off the thread ends.

Cut off the excess zipper.


Step 5: Finishing Your Clutch

Use binder clips to attach wrong sides together and avoid perforating the leather.

Sew wrong sides together beginning from the top tab.

Manually tie off the thread ends to finish bag.


Enjoy your new leather clutch!




Want to sew more with leather? Register for Leather 101 with Kenneth D. King and make a fabulous peplum top in suede. Also learn darts and seams in leather. 

12 Comments      Login to Add a Comment    
psychonurse said... (1/2/14 10:32 AM) Reply
thank you for this tutorial. I have many pieces of leather to experiment on. now to find some old zippers. I love the video, so easy to understand each step.
Mimi O said... (12/29/13 5:18 PM) Reply
What a fun and easy project. It has inspired me to pull out my leather stash and give it a try! Thank you for sharing. :-D
Deepika said... (12/26/13 2:01 PM) Reply
Thanks Myllil, I used a regular polyester thread for sewing. Works just fine.
pat2010 said... (12/25/13 9:04 PM) Reply
Lovely and educational tutorial, Thank You.
Myllil said... (12/25/13 9:40 AM) Reply
Excellent tutorial and project. What kind of thread did you use. Thank you
Sheryl60 said... (12/24/13 2:17 PM) Reply
Thanks Deepika!! Nice tutorial!
Katey said... (12/24/13 1:43 PM) Reply
KD Penelope makes a great observation and Deepika's tutorial is easy to follow.
ojolly said... (12/24/13 10:39 AM) Reply
Great, clear tutorial, Deepika. Thank you. And pretty sweater!
Corina K said... (12/24/13 8:43 AM) Reply
You have inspired me to dig out a short black leather miniskirt from my young and thin days. Here I go. Corina
Deepika said... (12/20/13 3:43 PM) Reply
Thanks Sherril and penelope. I enjoy working with leather and coming up with easy projects.
Sherril Miller said... (12/20/13 1:42 PM) Reply
Deepika, great project video. I have a thrift store leather skirt I bought for some type of project, and this one would be perfect for it. Now to get the zipper.
JDpenelope said... (12/20/13 5:44 AM) Reply
It looks so easy when you do it, Deepika! Great tutorial. I learned a few things, and I sew handbags! You are a born teacher. I see that your leather is thin and the edges were treated, which makes the sewing easier and the result is great.

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