Totally Clutch(es)

Four of my best lady friends forced me to have a little baby shower party recently.  I have pictures and a whole post I need to do about how lovely it was. 

For the hostess gifts, I wanted to do something handmade, but decidedly not lame AND have it be something I had never made before that I would try just for them (as opposed to a beach bag or a scarf..."here, have some of my existing inventory," just wasn't the sentiment I wanted to convey).

but THESE say, "Women, I love your faces so hard and appreciate beyond belief the work that went into celebrating my baby girl and covering my with love!" I mean, I hope they do. There's always a thank you note, just in case.

I have been interested in trying my hand at sewing with leather for awhile now. When I scored a gorgeous, soft-beyond-belief, chocolate brown, men's large jacket at a thrift shop for $1, I knew it was time to jump in. Small investment, small risk.

A quick pinterest search netted me the perfect project with a great tutorial. Polka Dot Chair's Leather Foldover Clutch.

that caramel colored leather she used is so sexy! I'm on the lookout for some of my own!

I sliced up the jacket, stopping to make Jesse model the sleeveless look, of course.


In about an hour I had made a seriously decent clutch. The first one I had decided would be for me and if it went well, I would make another 4 with each girlie's personality in mind. I had a challenging blast picking inside and outside fabrics to match each girls' style (I stalked their Pinterests) and got to work.

I was so giddy about how they turned out, that I decided to take my time and try my best to photograph them well (I have a great camera and know a leeettle about what youre supposed to do with it, but I'm definitely not great, and it takes a lot of effort and thought for me to put it all into action, which is why I usually just settle for meh-quality, or phone pics). 

Plus, I had enjoyed making the clutches so much and had lots of extra leather that I figured I might make some more and eventually sell them in my Etsy shop, so a more professional looking set of photos of the product would definitely be useful.

After plenty of fiddling, and brain-stretching to try to put all the camera-ish things I'm supposed to know all together at once, I ended up with my favorite little set of project pics ever! And since I can only use 5 on Etsy, I wanted to splash the entire set here to remind me why taking the time to push myself with our camera is worth it--AND why trying new materials and projects to expand my sewing skills is too!

this was the one I did first, for myself in case it was terrible. 100% passable, i declare.

the lining and the zip and my first stab at a pull tassel which was pretty fail-ish.

my friend Liz is a crunchy, hippie (hello she birthed her twins at home in water!), earth-mother-of-4 doula rockstar.  She is the sweetest, most caring spirit I've ever known, and also loves a good vagina joke (my perfect mate!). I knew she'd been digging tribal prints lately from her pinterest so I went with the coral arrows.

a better tassel, and the cute cowboys and indians interior fabric.

i love this print!

for Nikki, the classically-styled professional working mama, I went with the gray and white print that is originally from a shower curtain i bought to upholster our barstools. I had to change the stools to a plastic-coated fabric about 2 days later when I realized that the kids would stain non-stain proof  fabric at each and every meal, but since Nikki wouldn't be eating atop her clutch, I figured it would serve nicely.

just like Nikki, a lot more wild on the inside. You may remember it was Nikki who escorted/inducted me into my first Brazilian waxing experience.

My girl Steph, the hot young (25...damn her) newly(ish)wed almost two years!) still has a life (aka no kids) and can pull off preppy and boho with equal panache.  I went for a classic black and white stripe since it will go great with anything and still pop and rock. Steph went to Haiti with Jesse this summer, and is a member of the family that yall helped to adopt 3 kids from Ukraine last year!)

dark pink herringbone for the interior. (totally looks like he is yelling at us)

for Natalie (who was my saving grace/voice of Jesus in this horrifying marriage meltdown moment, and whose baby shower I cohosted a few years back), a vintage-y sort of modern floral print. Natalie is a campus minister with many tattoos and is also a mom of 3 boys. She's one of the most authentic humans alive and is so easy-breezy. This organic print just seemed perfect for my beautiful ginger.

a feisty brown floral on the innards. (I'm sure nat's innards are the same).

And, if you know me, you know how bonkers I am for iterations. I just can't enough of multiple versions of the same thing all stacked up beside each other. I'd love to know what this means about my personality (probably "SUPERFREAK").

I could just take a big gobbley bite out of this stack!

stand proud, my lovelies!

a good shot of my more-perfected tassel design.

all the single ladies in a conga line.

girls, you're as beautiful on the inside as you are on the outside.

I was stunned when I posted one of these pics on instagram. So many people wanted to buy them NOW. That made me feel so wonderful that I had made something desirable for my beloved friends. I had a break in Etsy orders one night, so I made a few more of these which are now available for sale. I even got a few new fabrics that I am excited to use if/when I ever get a free moment again.

Happy, fancy, flirty Friday (I may or may not have a child-free overnight date night with MUH-MAN on the docket!)


  1. Keight, those are so cute and what a thoughtful gift. I'm sure your girlies were thrilled!
    My question to you is did you make your "putupyourdukes" tags or did you buy them? If you made them, how? If you bought them, where? I make a lot of things for friends and family, and am now starting to look at selling them online but want to label them and need to know how to get started. Thank you in advance for any advice you can offer. Btw, love, love, love your blog!

    1. oh gladly! i had looked for a long time for quality woven custom labels and never found any that were incredibly expensive or sketchy looking in origin. i lucked out when i found my set at : https://www.etsy.com/shop/lifestylewithlove?section_id=7277477&ref=shopsection_leftnav_4 she was SO easy and great to work with and mine turned out absolutely flawless. the one catch with these (im not sure if other makers are like this too or not) is that they come in a big roll, so i have to cut off a bunch at a time and then iron them down along the fold. since i am not turning out more than 10 orders a week usually, this really isnt a big deal, I just do a few dozen at a time and then use that stash. It can be a pain when i'm needing one NOW and i am out so i have to stop and cut and iron. totally worth it though for the value and quality! add so much professionalism to the product.

    2. Thanks! I will totally check her out!!

    3. I will totally check her out. Thanks so much!

  2. These are absolutely adorable!! You were right though, people jumped on these babies and unfortunately I missed out :( I hope I can get one (or two. or three) before Christmas as gifts to myself and others! I know my sister-in-law would go crazy over these. But with two little ones and another on the way, I understand free time is a bit of a joke haha. Love reading your blog, as always :)