By Emilee Gettle
I travel a lot throughout the year, and since I’m living out of my suitcase, I like to keep things organized and at my fingertips at a moment’s notice. After years of tangled necklaces, I decided it wasn’t worth the time wrangling through them in the morning when I was late for an appointment. So, since the theme is organization this month, I decided it was high time to rethink my problem. After a quick sketch in my trusty notebook and a few seams later, this clutch became my solution. The rickrack works perfectly to attach necklaces and bracelets to, and the corresponding pocket below keeps them tucked safely away. Also, you can simply pin your brooches and earrings through the felt. The large pocket in the center works great for storing watches or a little extra spending money. With a few tweaks, this project could be used for a lot of other things besides jewelry – apply your own organizational woes and redesign according to your personal needs by adding more pockets, bigger ones, smaller ones, etc. The sky is the limit!
Materials and Tools
2 pieces of black felt, 3″ x 9 1/4″
2 pieces of black felt, 9 1/4″ x 12″
2 pieces of red rickrack, 11 1/2″ long
2 pieces of red felt, 8 5/8″ x 12″
5″ long elastic ribbon
Step 1: Pin a 3″ x 9 1/4″ piece of black felt to a piece of 9 1/4″ x 12″ black felt to create a pocket. Make sure to line up the bottom and side edges. Sew along the right, bottom, and left sides of the pocket, leaving the top open.
Step 2: Now is the time to make the three individual pockets. Measure 3″ in from the outside edge of your new pocket and mark with a pin or chalk. Then measure out another 3″ (so that you are now 6″ from the edge) and mark again. Sew vertical lines on these 3″ marks to divide the pocket into thirds.
Step 3: Pin an 11 1/2″ piece of rickrack just above the pockets. Sew the rickrack only on the 3″ marks that you made in Step 2. Do not sew all the way across. You want to leave three unattached pieces of rickrack – one above each pocket, so you can attach your jewelry to it.
Step 4: To make the large center pocket with the flap, simply fold one uncut piece of the red felt (8 5/8″ x 12″) into thirds. Now open the top flap and pin the right and left sides of the bottom two-thirds to the black backing, just above the rickrack. Sew the right and left sides and fold the flap down.
Steps 5-7: Follow the instructions in Steps 1-3 to make 3 more black pockets above the red center pocket, but this time you will be lining up the bottom of your black pocket with the top of the red flap.
Step 8: Take the uncut piece of black felt that remains and pin the uncut red felt on top, centering it. Then sew along all four sides. This will be the outside of your travel clutch.
Step 9: Measure 2 1/2″ from the bottom of the felt you just sewed in Step 8 and sew a button in the center.
Step 10: Pin together the front (inside with pockets) and back (outside with button) pieces of your clutch, right sides facing. Sew around the right, bottom, and left sides, leaving the top open, then turn inside out.
Step 11: Hand sew the top opening closed, pausing in the center to sew on a loop made from elastic ribbon, which creates the closure.
Step 12: Book tickets for an exotic winter getaway and pack your favorite jewelry into this travel clutch!
About the Author:
Emilee Gettle has been creating craft projects since her early teens. She has dabbled in everything from spinning and weaving to watercolors. Check out her latest project on her blog at Heirloom Girl.