Learn. Make. Sell. All about clutches.

Tips for your digital camera

I get asked questions about how to improve many shop’s listings and product photos.  I have helped several shops make improvements on their photos and their sales have increased.  While my talent in photography lies in close-ups of jewelry, I continually work on developing my other skills.

One of my favorite shots from my jewelry shop. So sparkly.

However, I currently only use a simple point-and-click digital camera that is about 7 years old.  It’s a little dented and is not fancy but does the trick.   It’s not doing justice to my wide shots, in low-light conditions, or shots with any movement since I have no shutter speed to work with but for a straightforward, non-moving target, I get a lot out of an old cheap camera.

Sometimes I can time it right and get an "action" shot.

I use iPhoto on my Mac to straighten, sharpen, brighten the shadows and the overall exposure.  Sometimes, all I need to do is hit the “Enhance” button and instant improvements are done!  However, if I start with an out-of-focus, badly lit shot, there’s not much I can do.  But here’s a sample of where a little straightening (ok, a lot), cropping and better exposure can improve a terrible photo.

Before. I was laying on my side trying to snap the view. Makes you kinda dizzy...


For your clutch shop, I recommend taking time to set up the shot before you snap.  In fact, the majority of your effort should be spent on setting up the shot with the right lighting, backdrop, and positioning.  Here’s one of my favorite shots of my clutch kits.

I sell a lot of these kits because it's a good clutch, but also due to the photo. It's a good angle and shows off the clutch well with good focus on the subject. You can even see the texture of the fabric.

I just ran across an article on camera tips so click on the pic below to get to that article.  I hope it’ll help you in your picture taking!

Click to read full article.

If you’ve got any good tips, I would love to hear them!



May 2, 2012 Posted by | Helpful Tips | , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

The importance of the bottom seam!

Do it right the first time:  make your clutch with a bottom seam.

I am following up on my previous post about squaring off your corners.

For non-directional fabric, it’s easy enough to make your clutch without a seam on the bottom.  How?  Trace your pattern as normal.  Then double up the pattern (the 2 trapezoids) with the bottom edge abutting each other.  (*”Hey Beavis, she said “aBUTTing”  – hehe*”)  🙂

Your new pattern will look like a hexagon.  I’ll make a quick drawing of what I mean:

You are essentially making one big piece of fabric that is hexagonal in shape and revising step #7 and not sewing the bottom seam.

You would then square off your corners just the same as before.
This is a nice shortcut if you have non-directional fabric – those patterns that do not have an upright direction.  Please refer to my previous post to see examples.

However, and it’s a big however, I am a believer in doing things right the first time.  All my clutches are made as per the PDF tutorial:  they are all made with a bottom seam.


1. structural stability:  it will not roll over and flop over.  The bottom seam anchors the clutch.

2. structural integrity is not compromised by having a bottom seam.  Every handbag makers double stitches or even triple stitches the seams.  These are handbags that you use daily to get your goodies in and out all day.  You sit your clutch on the table while eating lunch, in the passenger seat as you drive, on your closet shelf in a dustbag… you are not using these as punching bags so having a seam does not and will not degrade its structure over time.

You all know I am a believer in taking shortcuts when you can, but I cannot stress enough about the structural function that the bottom seam plays in clutches.

Look at all the top sellers on Etsy.

Janine King Designs is the #1 seller in the Bags & Purses category.  I have one of her bags and her work is top notch.  Even her bags that carry heavy items have a bottom seam.

These sturdy cross-body bags made in cotton are wonderful for leaving you hands-free!

Let’s look at a well-known and well-respected clutch handbag maker, one who is known for her peacock clutches and one-of-a-kind silk clutches.  Red Ruby Rose commands top price for her clutches and you can tell in the craftsmanship, the original silk fabrics, and the loyalty that she has with her customers.

All directional fabrics are made with a bottom seam! These clutches will stand the test of time.

All her clutches are handmade using a wide variety of finishes such as sumptuous cotton velvets!

So, make your shortcuts where needed.  You can now do my shortcut with no seam, but please do not worry about the bottom seam for the integrity of your clutch!

February 17, 2011 Posted by | Helpful Tips | , , , , | 3 Comments


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