Craft Rocks: Don’t panic and get festive, part two!

Craft enthusiast Jo Burgess explores the world of needlecraft in this exclusive column for Mr X Stitch!

Going out tomorrow night? Didn’t get that clutch bag you wanted for Christmas? Fear not – delve in that fabric stash and we’ll have you up and running in no time. This is the fastest bag make ever – an emergency clutch bag for New Year’s Eve! You’ll be done in half an hour or less.

My pal is in a fix. She’s got a posh New Year’s Eve night out with some friends who compete in equestrian events but she has no bag to wear with her new dress. A quick look in my fabric stash and I found the perfect fabric with horses on. Result! I then chose a random second fabric to line it with, grabbed an eight inch zip and went for it.

Fabric cut and ready to go

I cut two rectangles measuring nine inches by seven inches from each fabric. I then lay the zip on the table face down with the pull on the right, placed one piece of lining fabric up with the top face down, turned it all over and lined a piece of the outer fabric up on that side face down. The layout is show on the photo, but needs lined up along the left hand side before sewing.

Craft Rocks: Don't panic and get festive, part two!
This is how the fabric should be layered, but line up the left hand side before sewing

I popped on a zipper foot and sewed the three pieces together. Then I did the same on the other side of the zip. I then unfolded the pile of fabric I was left with to check the zipper was okay on both the inside and outside. I have been known to trap the zip randomly midway through sewing. Zips are not my friends…

Craft Rocks: Don't panic and get festive, part two!
Always a relief to see the zip worked – and the horses are the right way up!

Next I laid the pieces out so the lining pieces are face to face right sides together and the outer pieces are also face to face. I unzipped the zip a bit to leave the sides free for sewing, pinned the fabric around the sides and sewed it up leaving a gap in the bottom of the lining for turning.

Craft Rocks: Don't panic and get festive, part two!
Pinned and ready to sew around

Once sewn I cut the corners off to reduce bulk and turned the little bag the right way around through the gap in the lining. Then I sewed up the gap in the lining. I usually like to do this by hand, but it’s a quick emergency make so I used the machine this time Phew – party disaster averted. Bag made. My pal will go to the ball! I love these bags, they take about half an hour to make and are quite addictive, I’ve made loads of them to store everything you can think of in.

Craft Rocks: Don't panic and get festive, part two!Craft Rocks: Don't panic and get festive, part two!

I also made a personalised one for a wedding I went to as a guest, and gifted it to the bride afterwards.

Craft Rocks: Don't panic and get festive, part two!
The bespoke bag I made for Chris and Clare’s wedding – it was a big hit

Whatever you’re doing this New Year’s Eve I hope you have a good one and really welcome in 2019 with style – and a lovely little handmade bag. Please share a pic if you do make one. Happy new year to you all. Here’s to a crafty 2019.


  • 2 x fat quarters (makes two bags): £7
  • Zip: £1
  • Total: £8

Best song to stitch New Year’s Eve bags to: (got to be) 1999 by Prince

Best cake to eat: Black forest gateau

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