Zippers! Yes! Zippers! As a beginner they can seem a bit overwhelming I’m sure. Fear not! I found this zipper clutch tutorial from A Sewcial Life that makes it look easy. The perfect beginner sewing zipper project to get you feeling comfortable and confident. This will teach you how to sew a zippered clutch and requires minimal supplies. Once you get the hang of it, it is a great project if you are in a rush, or need something last minute!

Not ready to try this out yet? Save it here on Pinterest for later…


How to Sew a Zippered Clutch Tutorial

First what you need:
  • 4 pieces of fabric 5” X 6.25”(12.5cm X 16cm) – 2 of the outside fabric, and 2 of the lining fabric
  • 1 piece of fabric (for the strap) 13” X 2.5” (35cm X 6cm) 
  • 1 Zipper (the one shown is a 7inch zipper, but I cut 1.5” off the end, don’t worry, ill show you below!)
  • Thread (this will show on the outside of the clutch, so pick a color you like)
Sewing the zipper

Because I had a zipper that was too long, I had to shorten it a bit. To do this start by sewing over the zipper about half a centimeter in from where you will be cutting it. The simply cut off the end you don’t need, in this case about 1.5 inches (or 3.5 cm).  Hopefully you can see this in the second picture below. 

Once your zipper is the right size, you will want to sew a little piece of fabric on to each end of the zipper. This will help to make the edges of the zipper look nice and clean once it is all sewed together.

Now that you have a good looking zipper, you want to start sewing the sides of the clutch onto the zipper. First place the liner fabric (right side UP). Place the zipper on top of the liner fabric with the top zipper edge aligned with the top of the liner fabric. Finally, place the outer fabric on top of the zipper (right side DOWN) covering the zipper. Align the top edges together. Now just pin along the top edge and sew the three layers together. (Remember to use your zipper foot!)

Now flip the pieces of fabric you sewed down to the other side of the zipper. Now you can see the bare side of the zipper. Again place the liner under the zipper (right side UP). The the top edge of the zipper is aligning with the top edge of the liner fabric. Place the outside fabric (right side DOWN) covering the zipper, the same way you did with the previous side. Now pin the three layers together and sew along the top edge.

Look at how great it is so far! ….Now, flip the fabric you just sewed so the right side is out and the zipper can be seen on the top and the bottom. Once you have done this, pin down the fabric around the zipper, you will be pinning through the outer fabric, the zipper and the lining fabric.

Sew around the edge of the zipper. Make sure you use a colour of thread you like, because this will show (also keep using that zipper foot!).

Making the strap

Now the clutch is almost ready, but we have to make the strap first. This part is nice and easy. Take your long piece of fabric and fold it in half (right sides TOGETHER) and sew along the edge, creating a tube. Now, turn that tube inside out and iron flat with the seam in the middle.

For this next part make sure you leave the zipper OPEN!!

Putting it together

Pin the pieces of fabric so that the outside fabrics are touching (right sides together), and the lining pieces of fabric are together. Fold the strap in half (with the seam inside the fold) and then slide the strap into the side of the outside fabric section. (the next picture shows this in more detail). Once it is all pinned together sew around the rectangle you have created, BUT make sure you leave an area open in the lining. The area I left open is marked with the two tall pins. It is also important to make sure you sew over the strap a few times so that it is nice and secure.

This is just a more detailed picture showing how to slide the strap into the outer fabric section.

We are almost done! Now that you have this rectangle all sewed, trim the edges, cut your threads, and flip it inside out through the hole you left in the bottom. You will see you almost have a clutch, but there is still that hole in the bottom.

Pin the whole in the bottom closed so no raw edges show, and then sew it closed! (again, this stitching will show, so pick a colour of thread you like).

Push the lining into the clutch, push out the corners, and sit back and admire your lovely clutch!!

And add a label if you wish 🙂

Joan Mantini

About Joan Mantini

After several years of being the Facebook page owner at Beginner Sewing, I noticed there was a desperate need to have a single go-to spot for members to be able to find answers to their common questions, get some useful tips & tricks, as well as find reputable places to purchase sewing products online. Taking my role as a trade publication editor by day, and combining it with my knowledge of frequently requested beginner sewing advice, I created www.beginner-sewing.com. An outlet that gives new sewists a free digital magazine geared for entry level sewing as an extra bonus!

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