Tassels & Chains

New Year’s Eve: the perfect excuse to step out in something fun, sparkly, bright, and just a little more wild than usual. This time of year, it’s easy to find apparel that falls into those categories…and to run out of money after all those shopping trips and Christmas gifts. Even if you don’t have the extra money for a new accessory for that upcoming NYE party (I know I don’t), as long as you’ve got a little bit of time I’ve got you covered. Introducing the Tassels and Chains Clutch: a roomy (but not bulky) fold-over pouch, and depending on your design preferences fun enough to pair with the last holiday parties of the year or to use year-round with jeans and a sophisticated pair of heels.

If you keep up with 3S’s projects regularly, you may recognize this pouch from another clutch-featuring post. The Pleated and Ribboned Wristlet Mom and I created for holiday parties led me to search for more potentially DIY-able bags, ultimately landing on Anthropologie’s Palmizio Clutch and it’s crazy, giant tassels. In that first clutch post I noted that the fringe-y embellishments looked fun and easy to reproduce. I was half right: they were fun. Easy to make look perfect? Given that the tassels turned out to be the key to producing an appealing bag, great results were completely possible but a little finicky. If you’re planning on stitching up your own rendition of this Anthropologie-inspired project, consider some of the yarn and fabric combinations below–whether you prefer shimmery, vibrant, or subtle, you’ll find something to love. Full instructions for the Tassels and Chains Clutch can be found at the end of this post. Knitting the exterior is quick with a chunky yarn, but if you need faster results, it wouldn’t be terribly difficult to adapt this pattern to use a fabric exterior instead.

Knit Collage’s Pixie Dust in Smokey Swirl and Liberty of London Tana Lawn Classics in Caesar – Black

Be Sweet’s Handspun Merino in Orange and Windham Fabric’s Echo in Dusted Plum Florine

Alchemys Wabi Sabi in Linen and Sandi Henderson’s Modern Meadow in Green Tea

Tassels and Chains Clutch Details & Instructions

I used 2 skeins Berocco Vintage Chunky on size 10 needles–yardage and needle size will vary depending on what yarn you choose, but you will need enough to create an exterior piece that is 21 1/2″ long and 6 1/2″ wide.

Chain (find at craft stores such as Michael’s)
Hook
1/4 yard lining fabric (cut to 25″ x 14″)
Heavyweight interfacing (cut to 12″ x 7″)
Ribbon

1. Using your chosen yarn, cast on for the exterior piece. With my yarn, this required casting on 46 stitches–knit a gauge to determine how many stitches you will need for the correct width measurement. Knit in the following pattern (required number of stitches: multiples of 4, plus 2)
k = knit
p = purl
*…* = repeat to end of row
Row 1: k2, *p2, k2*
Row2: Repeat row 1
When your piece reaches 21 1/2″ long, bind off.
2. Make two thick tassels, each 6″ long: cut a piece of cardboard 12″ long and wrap yarn around this piece until achieving desired tassel thickness as pictured. Tie a piece of yarn at the end of each side and cut yarn through the center as shown. You now have the beginnings of two tassels. Tie a long piece of yarn about an inch from the top of the tassel and wrap end tightly for 3/4″ and tie off. Wrap with a scrap of your lining fabric. Repeat for second tassel.


3. On the right side of your knit piece, 5 1/2″ from one end, insert the ribbon down through an opening in the knitting. Bring the ribbon back up 7″ from the end, down again 8 1/2″ from the end, and finally up to the right side of the knitting 10″ from the end, so that the ribbon is woven through your knit piece as pictured.


4. Attach the hook to the end of the ribbon that is nearest the center of the exterior knit piece.
5. Attach your tassels about 1″ from where the ribbon exits the middle of the knit piece by inserting the yarn ends through an opening in the knitting and tying on so that the knots are on the wrong side of the knitting (pictured above).
6. Fold your knit piece in half and hand sew the seams, right sides together.
7. Take your 25″ x 14″ piece of lining fabric and fuse your 12″ x 7″ interfacing to the wrong side. Fold the piece in half, right sides together, and machine sew with a 1/2″ seam allowance. To give your bag more shape, create 1″ tips as pictured to construct a flat bottom.


8. Hem the upper edge of your lining by folding over 1/4″, pressing, and sewing close to the edge. Insert the lining into the knit piece as pictured, and hand sew the upper edges together.


9. Adjust the ribbon on the exterior so that the hook at the bottom of the bag can wrap up towards the front of the bag. Attach the chain to the upper ribbon edge and adjust so that when the upper half of the bag is folded down, the chain attaches to the ribbon at the top fold. Trim away excess ribbon and hand sew the ribbon closed around the chain. Trim the chain to the proper length to reach the hook.

 

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