This is the Glenda Convertible Clutch by Swoon Sewing Patterns. It’s a clutch that converts into a shoulder bag with a removable strap and a zippered divider pocket. Finished size is 11″ wide by 6″ tall. (Unless you’re like me and you printed off the pattern pieces slightly larger so your bag is 12.5″ by 7.5″)
It’s a great size for an everyday bag – and it featured several construction techniques I’d never tried before. The downloadable PDF is $5.95.
My exterior fabric is Cotton + Steel canvas in Metallic Teal Tigers, interior is Robert Kaufman Essex yarn dyed linen in black. Notice a trend here? I am glad I used heavier fabrics for this bag, because it also calls for Peltex Ultra-Firm Sew-In Stabilizer – which would likely get crinkly if quilting cotton was used while turning it. Using the canvas and linen, very little pressing was required toward the end stages. The only negative is that sewing through the thicker fabric was slightly tricky.
Let’s talk price – $5.95 is fantastic! Sometimes I’m put off by buying a pattern if it costs more than $10, so I appreciate designers like Swoon, Noodlehead, and Sew Sweetness for keeping prices at a realistic level.
Without question – I really like this bag! It came out super cute and I will definitely make more. This was my first time using a Swoon pattern, and I was impressed with the Glenda design. A newer sewist could definitely tackle it with confidence.
When I say this was the “fastest” bag I’ve made – that means about 10 hours total from printing off the pattern pieces to the finished item. There weren’t a ton of pieces total, but the Glenda does have individual pieces for stabilizer/interfacing because you fuse it to some pieces after sewing them together. Prepping the materials, cutting, and fusing took about five hours – with construction at another five hours. I think I could shave the production time down to about 7 hours for subsequent bags.
One thing that could throw you off is the instructions. There are black and white illustrations, but some parts were confusing to me without seeing actual photos/demonstrations. However – I found this video tutorial by So Sew Easy and watched it probably 20 times. After being indoctrinated with the Glenda tutorial – I could now make the bag in my sleep and barely looked at the paper instructions.
If you’re a more visual learner like myself, I noticed Swoon has separate tutorials/photos linked to many of the available patterns that look helpful. And hey – when I’m only paying $5.95 for a pattern – I don’t really mind cross referencing a website for clarification and direction. For anyone who hasn’t had a lot of bag making experience, the pattern instructions may not be quite enough help for you.
The zippered divider pocket was one of the main reasons I purchased this pattern. It was the most difficult part of the bag to sew, but makes the Glenda look more professionally made and eliminated the need to do another zippered or slip pocket in the lining. All you do is make a zippered pouch and insert it into the middle – securing it to each side of the purse.
This was also my first time using a substantial amount of Peltex Ultra-Firm Sew-In Stabilizer in a bag, and it’s inspired me to use it more. (After all, I do have 35 yards of Stiffy to use up!) It gives the Glenda the kind of stability found in store-bought purses and doesn’t add much bulk – especially because the pattern pieces for stabilizer are a 1/2″ smaller on each side.
Overall, I think the Glenda Convertible Clutch by Swoon Sewing Patterns is a terrific value and great addition to your bag pattern collection.
See you next time!