TUTORIAL: Oilcloth Clutch

by Dana on September 28, 2011

This post could also be called the 15 minute bag or…the pantie pouch?
A clutch sounded more classy.
You see, I got the idea from Lucy’s panties, which sounds kind of weird.
But our new kindergartener is having way too much fun at school. She absolutely loves it. And she’s having such a great time that two times now she’s forgotten to stop the play and head to the potty when she needs to. These haven’t been full-blown accidents but just enough that she comes home with wet undies. And I hate to think of her sitting around like that all day. Of course I could throw an extra pair of panties in her backpack. But it’s kind of embarrassing to walk to the bathroom with your underwear in-hand, for all to see (especially since she already has a crush on a little boy in her class. Is it possible??)
So, I made her a pantie pouch.
Clean undies go inside, she takes the pouch to the bathroom, and puts the old wet clothes back in there.
I originally planned to make it discreet, in white or tan fabric.
Oh well. Who’s going to notice her carrying a really cute pink bag to the potty? At least she likes it. And because it’s made of Oilcloth, the bag is waterproof!

Like I said, this is very simple project. 15-20 minutes max.
You can use a variety of fabrics: cotton, denim, laminated cotton, etc.
I chose Oilcloth–purchased at City Craft.

You need one long rectangle of fabric, two strips of velcro, and bias tape is optional.
Cut a fabric rectangle whatever size you like–mine is 17 x 9 inches to accommodate clothing. But it would be cute to make the pouch a bit wider and skinnier like a real clutch purse would look–maybe cut the fabric 15 X 11 inches (NOTE: this is not the finished size of the clutch. Your fabric will be folded up).
Let’s sew.
With oilcloth you don’t have to iron anything. Simply pressing the fabric down with your fingers is good enough to make a crease. First, sew down the two ends of the rectangle (on the 9 inch sides) to create finished looking edges on your clutch.
Then we’re going to finish off the 17 inch sides with store-bought bias tape (1/2 inch double-fold). You can use homemade bias tape as well. Or you can leave it plain! With oilcloth, the raw edges do not ravel so you can leave them unfinished if you like. I just like the added touch of style of the bias tape–and I always have scraps lying around.
Now let’s add the velcro to keep the clutch closed. An alternate idea is to cut the velcro the entire length of the clutch–9 inches–and sew both pieces in place before sewing on the bias tape above. But this time I was working with what was on-hand.
So….
Make sure you only sew the velcro onto ONE side of the fabric. The middle photo above is simply showing placement of the velcro. You need to pin it in place and then unfold the fabric again to sew it in place.

Your clutch is basically done! But for added style…..
And you’re done!
One simple little pouch, ready for whatever needs holding. I would totally use this as a purse for a date night.
Our clutch has a pair of clean undies and some generic shorts inside. I figured the tan colored shorts will work with any shirt she has on, in case her pants or skirt get wet also.
It’s all packaged up and sits in her backpack at school…..just in case.
And…Lucy thought it was better suited as a face mask.
Sometimes the photo shoots work. Sometimes the kids are plain goofy.
I’m just glad they humor me at all.
For more oilcloth info and tips, click on my other posts here:

And check out my review of the book Sewing with Oilcloth here.
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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Deborah Jennings September 16, 2012 at 11:03 am

Do you buy your oilcloth? Or do you make it yourself? It really isn’t hard to make. =)

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2 Debbie Oruma December 6, 2012 at 5:41 pm

Just finished my own version of pouch using ankara fabric ãήϑ ur tutorial. It was so easy ãήϑ I’ll take it to church this sunday

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3 Heather September 5, 2014 at 3:04 am

Love your instructions- so clear. My daughter and I are going to be sewing together this fall so I am looking for things that she needs. She swims a lot so this bag will be great to keep her wet bathing suit in until she gets home to dry it out. Thank you.

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