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Zippered Necessary Clutch Wallet Tutorial: Part 1

Zippered Necessary Clutch Wallet Tutorial - Part 1 - The Little Bird Designs

A little while ago, I got adventurous and decided to make a Zippered Necessary Clutch Wallet with a zipper around 3 sides instead of a flap. The first one didn’t was a disaster so I decided that I would share the steps I took to hack it, so you can attempt it too!

*This tutorial got a major overhaul on March 19, 2017. There are many, many, MANY more images and tips added. If you had read the previous version, you will love this version even more!*

For the first part of this tutorial, we will be focus on preparing all of the pieces for your Zippered Necessary Clutch Wallet and in Part Two we will actually assemble it! Please make sure you read through both parts of this tutorial before you begin sewing anything. I also strongly recommend that you practice your first one with scraps to master each step perfectly! This tutorial has lots of pictures but if you get stuck at any step, contact me and I will help you out!

Most Important: Buy the Necessary Clutch Wallet pattern from Emmaline Bags! You can’t do this tutorial without it so if you have it, you know it’s addicting! I won’t be describing the card slots, zippered pouch or how to pinch the pocket wings because those steps are covered in the pattern!

Supplies: Gather your pattern pieces, fabric, interfacing and zippers! You will need all pattern pieces EXCEPT any flap pieces for this tutorial! Plus, you’ll also need a #5 zipper that is at least 20in long. Make sure you use a zipper with NYLON teeth and not the molded plastic ones. The nylon zippers curve better around the edges.

Let’s Make a Zippered Necessary Clutch Wallet!

First we will cut out our main body pieces. Using the big oval, Piece D, we will be cutting out ONE rectangle for your exterior fabric and ONE piece for your interior fabric. You will follow the lines that I have pointed to on the pattern piece.

Zippered Necessary Clutch Wallet Tutorial Part 1- The Little Bird Designs

Once you have that done, you will cut FOUR half circle shapes for your side wings that you can see below. I like doing two in exterior fabric and two in interior fabrics for a finished look!

Zippered Necessary Clutch Wallet Tutorial Part 1- The Little Bird Designs

We now want to round our rectangle corners! Doing this will make applying your zipper so much easier! Fold your fabric in half then in half again. I just used a spool of thread to trace for my curve! We will do to the exterior and interior fabrics!

Zippered Necessary Clutch Wallet Tutorial Part 1- The Little Bird Designs

Apply your interfacing to your pieces. For a wallet like this, you want to make sure that you don’t use too heavy of an interfacing on the exterior and a light-weight interfacing on the interior. For this wallet and all my NCW, I use Pellon 809 Décor-Bond. It’s a nice weight without being too stiff/too light!

Zippered Necessary Clutch Wallet Tutorial Part 1- The Little Bird Designs

We are also going to interface the outer pieces of the side flaps and our card slots. Cut the width of interfacing short by 1/2in to reduce the bulk on your zipper.

Zippered Necessary Clutch Wallet Tutorial Part 1- The Little Bird Designs

Center the interfacing on the card slot pieces like the picture below. (Tip: if you find the bulk is still too much for the card slots and zipper, reduce your interfacing even more along the sides. You know your machine best!)

Zippered Necessary Clutch Wallet Tutorial Part 1- The Little Bird Designs

Prep your zippered pocket. You will want to cut 1/2 inch off the top of your large pocket pieces so your pieces will now be 8in by 7in tall. The smaller pieces can remain the same. (Tip: some find that they need to reduce the width as well. Feel free to do so if you need to!)

Zippered Necessary Clutch Wallet Tutorial Part 1- The Little Bird Designs

You will now make all of your “inner” pieces such as your card slots, zippered pocket and your side flaps!

*Insider tip* When sewing your pocket, make sure your zipper teeth are facing the LINING of the pocket before you sew! This will give you nice crisp pocket corners. Clip the excess zipper off at an angle, this will also help make your corner crisp and clean!

Zippered Necessary Clutch Wallet Tutorial Part 1- The Little Bird Designs Zippered Necessary Clutch Wallet Tutorial Part 1- The Little Bird Designs

Side flaps: Lay them right sides together and stitch along the curved edge with a 1/4in seam allowance. Turn them right side out and top stitch the curved edge with a 1/8in or 1/4in seam allowance!

Zippered Necessary Clutch Wallet Tutorial Part 1- The Little Bird DesignsZippered Necessary Clutch Wallet Tutorial Part 1- The Little Bird Designs

Gather all your pieces and get ready for Part Two!

Zippered Necessary Clutch Wallet Tutorial Part 1- The Little Bird Designs

Next I will show you how to go from this pile of bits into a Zippered Necessary Clutch Wallet! Make sure you have either Wonderclips or binder clips ready to go because you WILL need a bunch of them for the zipper application!

Check out PART TWO here: https://thelittlebirddesigns.com/tutorial/zippered-necessary-clutch-tutorial-part-2/ get a FREE download for the FULL tutorial while you are there!

Aimee Stock Photos from Ivory Mix


  • Dawn

    Hello! I have a quick question. In Part I, Step 6, the zipper pocket is discussed. You said to trim the large pocket 1/2″. Then you talk about the card slots in step 7. Is it the size as the pattern, or is it also 1/2″ shorter? Thank you so much!! This tutorial is awesome.

    • Aimee

      Hi Dawn, I’m glad you are enjoying the tutorial! No need to shorten the card slots. Make them the same as you normally would for the regular NCW 🙂

  • Stephanie Compton

    Hi there!!! I am currently working on your tutorial and not getting a good result in size for the body of the bag. Did you add seam allowances to the main body pieces??? my zipper section will not fit. The opening in my after topstitching is 7 inches….did i do something wrong???

    Thank you

    • Aimee

      Hi Stephanie. Is it too tall or too wide for fitting in? I did shorten the zippered pocket to make it fit. Feel free to email me a picture so I can help a little more in depth if you’d like 🙂

  • Joyce Egan

    Can you also use a placket with the zipper installation?

    • Aimee

      Hi Joyce, You probably could however I have not tried that yet! It definitely works best with a nice wide zipper!

  • Kathryn Brooks

    Hi there, thanks for the great tutorial. I have three questions. First, do you lose some width and length of the wallet, since you are cutting one piece into three and not adding seam allowances? Second, when you say, “ONE piece for your interior fabric,” do you mean that we should cut out the interior using the pattern piece D, or are we cutting two rectangles the same size? Third, how do you hide the raw edges of the card slot panels? Are they covered by the seam allowance of the zipper? If so, can the zipper tape handle that many layers?

    Many thanks, again, for the time you took to put this tutorial together. It must have taken a lot of work!

    • Aimee

      Hey Kathryn! Thanks for checking out my tutorial 🙂

      No seam allowance is lost on the body because the sides you cut are the parts you fold over anyways however some have added extra seam allowances for a little more space! For your second question it means to cut two rectangles the same size (the main body piece without the curved sides) one for outside and one for inside.

      Your raw edges of the card slots will be covered by the seam allowance when you sew the zipper on. Some have decided to make their interfacing short on each side of the card slots to reduce the bulk! I also recommend using a heavier zipper, kinda like the ones used on coats/jackets! It’ll handle the bulk better! I can’t wait to see how your wallet turns out 🙂

  • Kathryn Brooks

    Okay, Aimee, I’ve made progress! I am right before the step where you topstitch the entire wallet. Now I have long zipper ends hanging out at both sides. When do you cut those ends, and how close do you cut them? I can’t tell by the pictures and I couldn’t find it in the instructions, though it’s very likely that I missed it.

    • Aimee

      So glad you’re making progress! In step 5 (the first step 5 I see the typo now!) this zipper ends will be hanging out each side when you see the outer and inner pieces together. Once you have them sewn, you can cut your zipper ends. Leave at least 1/2 inch so when you turn and top stitch, you’ll catch those ends for sure! I hope that helps 🙂

  • Diana

    Olá! Gostaria de saber onde encontro os moldes da carteira?

    • Aimee

      HI Diana, you can find the pattern for the wallet pieces at Emmaline Bags. I do not provide the pieces!

  • maryann burlingham

    you don’t have a video on this zippered Necessary Clutch Wallet
    I will try with out but was checking
    Thank mary

  • Tiffany

    Im trying to print it out and its not working

    • Aimee

      Hi Tiffany, please make sure your email has been inputed correctly and it should show up in your email almost immediately!

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