Wednesday, July 10, 2013

The Cake Clutch

All this talk about Cake Clutches reminded me that I haven't shared the tutorial with you all! This tutorial originally appeared on the Moda Bakeshop.
As a former bride, I remember the desire to come up with gifts for the family and friends that would be thoughtful, meaningful, useful reminders of our wedding day-- all on a budget. The Cake Clutch is a quick, easy clutch pattern that makes a perfect gift for bridesmaids, friends, second cousins, or even *gasp* your mother-in-law.

All the fabric needed for the clutches are pulled from one layer cake, which makes each clutch unique while still coordinating with the others. The finished clutch is the perfect size for stashing wedding day essentials while still being small enough to slip inside a larger bag for use as an everyday wallet.

Each layer cake is enough to make 12 clutches, making this project a very affordable way to come up with a dozen gifts.  Even if you aren't a bride yourself, consider making these as a gift to a bride that you are close to. Simply ask her to choose a layer cake set from Moda's selection that matches her wedding colors.


1 Layer Cake (I chose Bunny Hill)
1 nylon coil 9'' (or larger) zipper for each clutch
Quilt batting to use as interfacing. A craft size package should be enough to make 12 clutches.

Let's Get Started:

These clutches are pretty straightforward, especially if you are have already made other lined, zippered pouches. If you are new to zippers- don't worry, by the time you've finished your last clutch, you'll be an expert! Be sure to check out the tips and tricks at the bottom of the post for variations on the basic bag, and tips on choosing fabric.

Choosing Fabric:

The hardest part by far, is choosing fabric. You will need to choose 3 layer cake  squares and 1 zipper for each clutch.

One square will become the lining, another the main body of the bag, and the last will be the accent fabric. I recommend choosing a small print for the accent fabric to avoid having to fussy cut around large prints.


The best thing about using layer cakes is that there is very little cutting to do in this project. Slice your accent square in half to create a 5 x 10 inch rectangle. For the optional wrist strap, cut another 2x10 inch rectangle.

If you are using quilt batting as interfacing cut an 11" square of batting for each clutch.

Pressing And Pinning:

Take your accent fabric and fold down the 10" edges half an inch. Fold in half to match the center of both the main fabric and the accent piece. Lay the fabric on the batting square as shown and pin.

For the wrist strap (optional), take the 2 inch strip and press in half. Then open the strip and fold the edges inward and press again as shown.


Topstitch down the edges of the of the accent fabric 1/8" inside the fold to secure the accent piece to the main fabric and batting. This is the the perfect time to add any quilting if desired. Once finished, trim the batting to be even with the fabric edges.

Sew down both long sides of the wrist strap 1/8" inside the fold.

 Zipper Installation:

 Stack your pieces in this order, outside fabric face up, then zipper face down, and then lining face down. Sew down the edge of the zipper using a zipper foot.

When you are finished, you'll have something like this.
 To sew the other side of the zipper, flip the outside fabric and lining fabric up to meet the other side of the zipper as shown. Sew along the zipper edge.

Cake Clutch Sides:

Now it's just a matter of sewing the side seams of the clutch. Open the zipper half way, and reorient the lining as shown.  Insert the wrist strap between the outside fabric layers. (Guess who forgot to do this!). Pin to make sure the excess zipper tape is sandwiched between the lining layers, and the zipper teeth are pointed towards the outside fabric. Sew down both open edges making sure to leave an opening for turning


To finish, clip the corners and trim any excess zipper tape at the clutch edges.  Turn the clutch right side out and press well. Either hand or machine sew the opening in the lining. Topstitch along the zipper to secure the lining.
Now all that's left to do is contemplate wrapping options!

Tips and Tricks:

  • If you are planning to mass produce these clutches, I recommend running through the entire tutorial for one clutch before starting assembly line production for all of them. 
  • I fell in love with some of the larger prints in the Bunny Hill collection. If you want to showcase some larger prints as the accent piece, fussy cut the prints to the dimension you think looks best. Keep in mind that you will need at least a 2" strip leftover if you'd like to add a wrist strap.  Oda Mae's post on fabric scale discusses how to judge a print's scale by the online picture. 
  • You can also mix up how the clutch looks with a few simple changes. Here I've moved the strip off to one side.  

  • And in this picture I've added a small contrast band over the accent piece. 
  • I found it useful to use an edge stitching foot for all the topstitching as well as using a zipper foot for the zipper installation.

Lather, rinse, repeat for 12 clutches and 12 happy bridesmaids! (And perhaps a secretly impressed mother-in-law).