Silk-lined leather clutch – and a stuffaway shopping tote

I’ve been sewing a bunch of useful things out of leftover fabric lately. Partly to test out my new (to me) sewing machine, and partly because they really are just useful.

Of all of them, these two are my favourites. Made on the spur of the moment last night and both used today for the first time.

Firstly – here is my new silk-lined clutch made of the softest navy leather.

It feels just luscious in my hand and I’m loving every moment of using it.

It is lined with some left-over silk from a dress I made several years ago. The scraps I had left over were so tiny, I wondered if there was any value holding onto them. But it was such a nice fabric that I kept it, and I’m so glad now that I did.

Bright bag linings make it so easy to find your stuff. And it’s very pretty to look at.

I’ve sized it to hold the basics only. My purse, sunnies, keys, and phone (which I used to take these pictures so is not in these shots. It also holds the stuffaway shopping bag I’ll show you in more detail later in this post.

Given the leather is so soft, I’m not sure it will be super-strong or long-lasting. So I need to be careful not to over-stuff the bag. Luckily my purse is quite small.

The handle is temporary until I can work out exactly what I need. For now it’s fine, but I have decided it’s a little too long and probably a little too soft. I’ll replace it shortly with a more robust, shorter loop so the bag stays a little closer to my hand when I let it hang over my wrist.

And here’s the stuffaway shopping tote that fits inside it.

It’s massive – and absolutely oversized which I’m really happy about.

It may look like the same silk but it isn’t. This is a lining fabric I had left over from yet another dress from several years ago (both of these dresses were pre-blog so there’s no record of them here).

It’s very soft, very fine but also very, very strong. I’ve used french seams throughout to hopefully further improve the strength of this big/little bag, and therefore its usefulness over time.

I stitched its little stuff sack into the inside top seam of the tote, so they can never get separated. To close it up, you just smoosh it into the stuff sack. For this reason, it will be a permanently uber-wrinkly shopping tote. But I’m liking its silky crinkliness.

Once stuffed away, this huge tote becomes tiny. It fits nicely into my little leather clutch, and weighs almost nothing. I will always be ready to pick up some groceries or a surprise purchase.

There’s not much more to say about making these bags, except that the machine handled them like a dream. I am yet to find any significant fault with my new (vintage) machine. In fact, I’m finding it is in fact a very reliable, very user-friendly thing which I’m becoming more bonded to every time I make something.

I had some company during last night’s sewing adventures too.

Le Pooch seemed to think it was appropriate to get very, very involved when he decided it was his dinner time, but I had yet to be convinced. I took the hint and finished up for the night, very happy with the 3 bags I’d made (the two in this post and this one which I posted earlier).

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