Cute leather-trimmed purse pictorial

Happy Holidays!
yummy christmas treats i baked
I hope that you all are enjoying the holiday season. I had a really lovely Christmas. I spent it at home with family, playing games, eating delicious homemade food and watching hilarious home videos that we hadn’t seen in years.

This year, I was inspired to bust out the sewing machine and create something. About 3 weeks ago, I went to the Spitalfield Market in Shoreditch. Shoreditch is an area of London that reminds me of the trendy, young parts of Brooklyn- they’re both rife with posh hipsters. It was in that market that I came across a stall where a man was selling scraps of leather and suede for a pound apiece. Did you ever see a fabric and know you had to make something out of it? The leather smelled so good and felt so smooth to the touch. I bought 3 pieces on a whim.

So without further ado, here’s how I made the leather purses and the blog post and youtube clip (here and here) that inspired it! I didn’t closely follow any of the tutorials I found because they were either too vague, too intense, or not exactly what I wanted. Although I didn’t use a pattern, I think the purses came out pretty damn good! Let’s begin:


You will need two pieces of fabric that are equal in size to be the outside of the bag. In the picture, this is represented by the yellow pieces of fabric. You will also need a lining for the inside of the bag (the pink fabric at the top) and a piece of leather to form the bottom of the bag. Here’s a sneak peek of what the finished product looks like:
20121227-155358.jpg IMG_1510

You may also want buttons and clasps to close your purse.


I found the clasps above in the sewing kit I inherited from my grandma.

Okay first step:
1. Sew the first outside piece of fabric to the leather. First, you want to fold down the leather with tape.

If you don’t tape down the leather before you sew it, this is what the outside of the purse will look like:

We tape down the edge so that it will be nice and smooth after we sew it:


Right so.
2. Attach the fabric to the leather. I used tape. Then, sew the fabric and the leather together.
sewing outside piece outside fabric and the leather

When you turn it over, it should look like this:
Remove the tape. If some was sewn into the fabric by accident, that’s okay. The lining of the bag will hide it. I was able to take out all of the tape I applied by making sure I didn’t put it too close to the edge where the seam would be.

3. Attach the second outside piece to the leather using the same process: tape the leather down, then tape the edge of the yellow fabric to the leather. Sew.
outside of the bag

So now you have sewn your outside fabric to the leather trim of your purse. What do you do next? Well, first we have to fold that baby in half to see how big the purse will be, and how much lining you will need for it.
fold the bag in half

4. Place your piece of lining in the middle. If you need to, trim it so that there is excess yellow fabric poking out on the outside.

You see these yellow edges sticking out?

Yeah, we’re going to fold each edge down and iron it…
fold and iron fold and iron

Afterwards, it should look like this:
ironed edges

5. Great! Now it’s time to sew those edges to the lining!
sew the edge

Voilà! :
liner sewn inback of the bag so far

6. Flip it over. Trim any excess fabric there may be.

7. Decide what kind of closure you want for your purse. I chose to use snaps on one side, with a decorative button on the outside of the purse. For me, it made more sense to handsew on the snaps before I stitched the sides of the purse together. (However, if you decide to use a zipper, you may want to sew together the sides of the purse first.)
placement of the snap sewing the button on
It was a bit tricky to sew both the snap and the button on at the same time, but I managed. Just take your time and make sure the holes are aligned.

This is what it looks like when the buttons and clasps are all sewn up!
sewn-on buttons sewn-in snaps

Alright- you still with me? 🙂 We’re almost done! Now onto the last step.

8. Fold your bag in half, pin it, and sew!
fold and pin your bag sew the sides

Hallelujah! You’re done! Turn your bag inside out, et voilà:
back sidefront sideliningstanding up

I made this yellow purse in about an hour and a half. But by the time I finished, the creative vibes were flowing like mad, and I had to make a second one. Which led to the creation of this:
snap-close pouch

It probably took me about an hour to make this one. Here are some more shots:
the frontthe backthe lining
What did I do differently? I simply cut out more fabric for one side of the bag than for the other. So basically, I had two rectangular outside pieces of purple fabric, one bigger than the other. Then, I folded two corners of one side of the bigger fabric into a triangle and sewed it in place. Pretty simple stuff.

Here are the little leather-trimmed purses side-by-side:
yellow and purple purses

I gave them away as Christmas presents!
What do you think? You like? Did you give away any homemade presents this year?


About Jul

just a girl exploring the world

One comment

  1. Pingback: DIY: Luxurious winter fur collar | goldleaf strokes

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