KYLIE AND THE MACHINE | Upcycled Denim Ida Clutch
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Upcycled Denim Ida Clutch

Upcycled Denim Ida Clutch

I wanted to make an Ida Clutch from recycled fabric, and I also wanted to test how it would work with a slightly shorter zipper. This one is a 9″ zipper, and it worked well. Denim was perfect for this project, its a great weight and obviously you can play around a lot with the layout. I wanted to use the back pocket as an actual pocket on the outside of the clutch, so I unpicked it to reveal a darker unbleached section, I patched together some more fabric to make up the right shape. Here’s what I started with:

An old pair of jeans, cut them up, joined some pieces and cut out the pattern pieces. Kept the pocket to attach to the ‘back’ of the clutch.

Interfacing was a lightweight fusible Pattern Piece B with a heavyweight fusible Pattern Piece C

After interfacing, the pocket was attached to the back of the clutch, making sure the top of the pocket is under the line of interfacing Piece C (where the clutch folds over)

I used topstiching thread and topstiching needle, with regular bobbin thread for all the topstitching details on this clutch. Using a long stitch length (3) It looks very similar to the original jeans.

The lining is an Art Gallery quilting cotton, so I interfaced the whole piece with light fusible interfacing.

Transfer all the marks, the centre point, darts and snaps

Fold the fabric on 45 deg angle, make sure it all lines up on both sides. Pin if you wish.

Sew. From raw edge to apex, back stitch at the raw edge, backstitch at the apex but aim into the seam allowance. Flip over your work and check the back side is sewn on the dart lines too.


Here is the dart on the outer

Do the same on the lining darts. You can choose to topstitch your dart on the lining or just baste in place as shown.

As I mentioned earlier, I am using topstitching thread here for all visible outer stitching. Topstitch your dart from the raw edge and backstitch at the apex slightly. The outer darts have been pressed towards the bottom of the clutch.

Bring your top thread to the back by pulling bobbin thread and using something pointy to pull the loop of top thread. Tie off.


This makes the front neat, and unlikely that it will unravel, rather than clipping threads from the front. Do the same for all outer darts.

Now the outer and linings are done. If you want to add internal pockets, do this now.

This zipper is 1″ shorter than listed in the required materials. Some tabs will need to be constructed. Because this denim was from a pair of jeans, I just cut out some rectangles from the side seam (which are conveniently finished!) and because the denim is kinda thick, this was perfect. You could just cut your outer fabric in longer rectangles and fold in half, or create tabs that fully enclose the zip from the inside and outside. Only do that if your fabric isn’t too thick.

Pin in place, topstitch

Trim so the zipper including the new tabs is the same length as the required zipper including tape (11″) and mark the centre point on the zipper tape both sides.

Let’s attach the zipper! WRONG side zipper, RIGHT side lining. Because this is a curved seam, don’t overpin! Grab 3 pins, line up the centre marks, pin. Pin at both ends.

First we are basting the lining. Sew a little distance away from the zip than where you will sew the outer fabric on. Ease the zipper along the raw edge of the lining while you sew, removing pins as you come to them.

Now place RIGHT side outer onto RIGHT side zipper. Line up centre marks. Pin in the same three places.

It will probably be easier to sew from this side, with the lining facing up. Make sure you are now sewing a little closer to the zipper teeth than when you basted the lining on.

Press both fabrics away from the zipper and topstitch along the outer fabric close to the seam.

Now the other side, same thing. WRONG side zipper, RIGHT side lining, match centre markings, use 3 pins, baste.

Now attach other side. RIGHT side outer, RIGHT side zipper. Match centre mark, pin 3 places.

Sew outer on, once again making sure you are sewing closer to the zipper teeth than the basting stitches. Press fabrics away from zipper, topstitch other side.


Now the zipper is inserted! This is the point where you SHOULD put the snaps on.. but I forgot until later. When you add the snaps, only attach the bottom snap through the outer fabric. The top snap near the zipper, you can either go through the outer only, or straight through all layers.


ITS REALLY IMPORTANT THAT YOU UNZIP YOUR ZIPPER NOW so you can turn it inside out after the next step.

Pull the linings RIGHT sides together, and the outer RIGHT sides together. Line up darts and pin.

The tabs will look a bit like this


There needs to be a big space in the lining to turn the clutch inside out. I drew some marks on the lining and some arrows. The seam allowance is 3/8″ (1cm)

I prefer to sew from 1 mark in the direction of the arrow, stop on the outer fabric, then start again from the other mark in the lining, sew in the direction of the arrow and finish where you stopped the first line in the outer.

So you end up with this: all raw edges sewn around apart from the gap in the lining.

Reinforce the corners of the outer with another line of stitches close to the original line

Trim the seam, you may want to use an overlocker but its not essential. Clip the corners where the tabs are.

Turn right way around! Push out the corners around the bottom of the clutch, and push the zipper tabs right way out. They look pretty neat!

Like I said, I forgot earlier to add the snaps! So I added the bottom snap now, only punching through the outer fabric, hammering it in with the tools supplied by the manufacturer.

Now close up the gap – fold at the seam allowance, and press, pin, and sew as close to the edge as possible, backstitching at both ends to secure.

AH-HA! Now push the lining through with your hands!

You should be done now…. but I’m just attaching the top snap!


OK, now it’s done!!


  • Kimberley Hunt

    May 6, 2017 at 11:32 pm

    I love the clutch pattern and will definitely try it out, just as soon as I’ve finished making 2 noodlehead caravan totes! I can see this being famous for gifts. Thanks for sharing!

  • DW

    May 20, 2017 at 11:22 pm

    Wonderful instructions! Thank you!

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