One of my favorite things to do is look through sewing books. I own several of them, most of which I’ve never actually sewn anything from, but I love them for inspiration. One of my favorite sewing books is Handmade Style by Anna Graham (Noodlehead).
I’ve made several of her patterns already: the Snappy Manicure Wallet, Trail Tote, Go Anywhere Bag, and the Road Trip Case, and I’ve absolutely loved every one of the them. I have used my Go Anywhere bag for a year now, and it’s been perfect for that transition between diaper bag and handbag. It was pretty much a given I would make at least one of the projects in her book, although it has taken me awhile.
I absolutely fell in love with the Rainbow Clutch on the cover, so when I signed up for the Secret Valentine Exchange 2017 (SVE), I decided to make my secret valentine this clutch (yes, it’s also taken me a bit to share it!). SVE is hosted by two lovely ladies, and it’s what you’d think it is, but you can find some details here. I was excited to find my person wasn’t far from me, loved the Giants (as do I), and her favorite colors were black and orange.
I raided my stash to come up with fabric for the paper pieced front pocket. This was actually my first time paper piecing, and I found it strange. It wasn’t difficult, just different.
I wanted to use all metal zippers, so I had to use one that was a bit shorter for the top, but even so, it turned out fine (I can’t remember, but I think it was maybe around 1/2″ to 1″ shorter).
Now, my sewing machine was really acting up, and had been for awhile. The thread tension knob wouldn’t spin, and when it did, it didn’t fix my tension issues.
You can see that in the stitching line here in the lining. Then when I took it in to my local shop, the sensor had busted and needed replacement. Needless to say I just bought a new machine, but more on that later…
Don’t you just love this pop of color?! I was so happy to have a variety of blacks and oranges in my scrap stash. The black fabric on the outside is a linen, the striped fabric is Cotton + Steel’s Zephyr Gust in Midnight, the orange from the pocket above is Nature Walk from Sarah Jane’s Wee Wander collection, and the polka dot and water color looking fabrics for the main lining and front pieces are remnants from JoAnn’s.
I love all of the extra pockets in this clutch. This front one almost appears to be just a design feature, but it’s a real pocket. The clutch is a good size too to fit the necessities. I wanted to keep it for myself when I was done, but I had to send it to my SV.
I have to admit that when I had to sew this, I was so buried in projects I regretted signing up for the exchange, but I was able to finish this clutch in an evening and sent it off on time. In the end I loved it! My SV turned out to be Annie Smith! She’s such a lovely woman, designs quilting patterns and handmade journals, and it was so nice getting to chat with her about local fabric shops. I really do love the sewing/maker community!
I was then so excited to receive my SVE gift in the mail and couldn’t wait to tear it open! I absolutely love it, and I have used this handmade seam ripper soooo many times already. It’s from Sam of Bonnie & Lottie. She has so many adorable makes for her sweet little girls too!
I’m so glad to have finally shared this experience with you. It’s not something I typically participate in, but I loved it so much I know I’ll be signing up again next year. Have you ever participated in a secret gift exchange like this before? I whole heartedly recommend it!