Purse twist turn locks look so yummy (and super-duper professional) on bags and clutches, as a design feature they really do add interest and they make your bags secure too. I have just managed to get my mitts on some pretty looking and professional quality purse twist turn locks for my shop so I thought this was a good time to post a tutorial on how to apply them to your bags and purses. They are easy to use and they give brilliant results.
Twist locks work best when your bags are made from several layers (e.g. your chosen fabric and a combo of interlinings), this is because twist turn locks have a little weight to them and your purse needs to be able to support the weight without sagging.
Here's what you get in a Purse Twist Turn Lock set: Front Plate (reverse side shown - which goes on the purse flap) and Twist Button with Washer (which goes on the bag body). The coin is just there for scale.
1. Make 2 slits for the Twist Button - Apply the twist button before you do any sewing. Interface/interline your fabric now. Mark the desired position of the twist button onto the bag front fabric piece. Take the twist button and press the prongs into the fabric so as to make two indents in the fabric, if you like you can go over these indents with pen so you can see them more clearly.
2. Apply the Twist Button - Take a stitch ripper and carefully make two tiny slits into the prong markings, push through through all of the layers. Push the prongs of the twist button into the right side of the fabric, slip the metal washer over the prongs (at the wrong side) and then press the prongs down away from each other with your thumb.
Wrong side of fabric: Be sure to double check that the button is straight (and not wonky) before you push them prongs down! Push prongs down away from each other. Be nice and firm with it to ensure the button will be well secured into the fabric.
3. Mark the Twist Plate position onto your bag/purse/clutch flap - make up your bag flap. You may prefer to make up your bag and put the twist plate on at the very end of the bag construction. I personally prefer to do this at the end because try as I might to measure these things, they usually don't work and I then end up turning the air blue and scaring my dog. I am going to show you the "do it at the very end method'. So finish making your bag and place your flap over the twist button and mark the position where the flap falls onto the twist button.
When you've unscrewed the plate you'll see that one half of the plate has a raised lip. Get an ink pen and draw on the raised lip (including the lip around the outerside of the screw holes) like I have in the pic. This will enable us to press the lip onto the bag front to get ourselves an ink imprint which will serve as our cutting guide...
4. Cut a hole for the twist button - using the cutting guide we just made in the previous step, use small sharp scissors to cut a hole that is slightly smaller than your ink imprint. It is very important that the hole is slightly too small or the twist plate will not be secure. I would cut a bit and test, cut a bit more and test and so on.. and yes I know the cutting bit feels very butcher-ish; don't worry, go slow and all will be well.
5. Assemble the Twist Plate onto the bag flap - Sandwich the fabric bag flap in between the front and back parts of the twist plate (at the hole you have just made) and screw the back of the twist plate to the front plate. Ensure that there is no fabric showing through, pull any stray fabric away from the hole if necessary.
I've screwed one of the screws in and I am kind of stretching the fabric around the hole, at the same time I am keeping any stray bits of fabric away from the hole. I'll just pop the other screw in and I'm all done!
I hope you enjoy giving this tutorial a go, if you do I'd really love to see a pic of it in the new "Bags made from my tutorials' Flickr group. I'll be checking it regular!
I'll show you what my bag with the twist lock looks like in my next post...**UPDATE here it is.