Monday, September 15, 2014

Zipper Phobic Snap Clutch Tutorial

I recently received an awesome package of goodies for the Flickr Swap for which I made this pouch. My generous partner sent me all the loveliness seen below.
In addition to the selvedge pin cushion, fabric basket, fat quarters, covered measuring tape, she included two wonderful pencil cases for my kids. These cases were such a hit with my kids! They open with a pull tap and snap closed like a magnet. It is perfect for little hands that fumble with zippers. 


I loved them so much I asked my swap partner where she purchased the magnetic closure. I was gobsmacked when she shared that it opens and stays closed using the metal from a hardware store measuring tape!  She told me of a pattern I could purchase, but I immediately knew I could figure out how to make another using her wonderful cases as an example. 

I made my grown-up version of the bag using fabric I received in a care package from a friend. 

Here are the steps I used to make it:

My exterior fabric is a mid-weight home decor variety that did not require interfacing. You may choose to stabilize light-weight fabric for added structure.
Seam Allowance= 1/4 inch

Cut a rectangle of fabric from your exterior fabric and a rectangle of fabric from the lining making the lining fabric 5 inches longer. This will give 2.5 inches on either side of the exterior.

Press a crease down the lengthwise center of the right side of the exterior to mark the center. Make a triangular pull tab from fabric of the lining by cutting 4 triangles. Stitch the pair right sides together, flip and press. Alternatively, you can use 3 inches of ribbon folded in half on each end. With raw edges even, pin to edge of center crease.

For the strap, cut 12x 2 of lining fabric. Stitch right sides together, flip and press. Fold and pin on edge on long side of exterior. (I positioned my strap too low. I suggest you pin yours in place at the top, not where it is pictured). Baste tabs and strap in place.

With right sides together, pin only the short edges of lining and exterior together. Stitch.Turn right side out positioning 2.5 inches on each side of the exterior creating a band. Press.

Top-stitch along the lining band 1/4 inch from edge of exterior fabric. Baste along one long side closing one end of the band creating a casing.

Cut 2 lengths of measuring tape 1.5 inches less the length of the casing. Use scissors that will only be used for this purpose as it will dull your "good" scissors. Tape the edges to prevent injury to you or damage to the fabric over time. Insert tape inside the open end of the casing. Put the curve side out toward the exterior and numbers toward the interior of the bag. Repeat on other side.

Fold the bag right side out aligning the top and with raw edges even. Stitch. This will close the other end of the casing. You are almost done and can give the bag a try.

Flip the bag inside out. Stitch the sides again enclosing the previously stitched seam, creating a french seam.

To create a boxed base, pull the bottom corner flat and mark a 1 inch deep line. Stitch. I chose not to trim it down here. The bag is large enough that it will not get in the way when using it.

 Turn right side out and enjoy!

This fun little bag came together fairly quickly. I love the fun of the snappy closure. This is a great project for newbie sewers and those intimidated with sewing zippers. I envision many variations of this bag. A change in fabric and lining options would make this suitable for men, women, and children. Can somebody say for holiday gifts?

Happy Sewing,


  1. Amazing Bianca! What a great design. Love seeing you interpret that fabric into your own bag design. Inspiring. I am anxious to get back to my sewing machine!


    1. Thanks! Not as great as yours, but with enough fabric, I will get there; thanks again. I can imagine all the inspiration you are gaining on your journey. I cannot wait to see what you make when you return! You rest vicariously for me and I will sew vicariously for you :)

  2. Hi Bianca! Super cute. We made versions of this bag for our ASG Teaching Another Generation Class. The kids love them. I never thought to make one for myself. I think one in denim would be great for nights out! BRAVO!