I was recently browsing online and saw these lovely leather totes that are so fashionable nowadays. It was a designer label and was priced around $500 :/
Not really in my budget.
I picked up some faux leather on sale at my local fabric shop for a steal, so I think that final cost to me was around $15.00 including leather sewing needles. I would highly recommend sewing with a heavier duty thread to help make this nice and strong.
This project turned out so nice and stylish, I can't wait to go out shopping with it!
- 1 Meter Faux Leather
- Heavy Duty Thread
- Leather Sewing Needles
- Sewing Machine
- Paper Clips or Hair Clips
Start off by cutting a large rectangle 30" Long by 18" Wide. This will make the body of your tote bag.
Cut two narrow stripes out of the faux leather measuring 30" by 3/4", If you are using a thin faux leather, you might have to double up on the shoulder straps so that they hold the weight of the bag. The leather I used was fairly thick and secure.
Before beginning to sew, change out your sewing machine needles to one made specially for sewing with leather.
Fold your large rectangle in half and sew down both sides.
When sewing leather I use these hair clips as my pins so that the leather doesn't shift. Don't use actual pins as they will leave permanent holes in your leather.
On the bottom corners of your tote, square in 3" and cut these out. Make sure you are measuring your 3 " from your stitching line rather than the edge of your fabric,
Unfold your tote bottom and reposition so that your opening is now closed as pictures above. Repeat this for both sides. Sew that opening closed
This gives your tote a flat, squared out bottom.
Flip your tote right side out. On the side seams of your tote and working on the inside under-stitch all your seam allowances to one side. This will help them lie flat. Repeat for both side seams.
Take your narrow straps and cut them to a point on each end.
Position them where you like on your tote and secure them with clips. I positioned my straps 4" in from each side.
This is the trickiest part of the whole tote. Careful sew around your straps ends securing them to your tote permanently. Sew close to the edge and go slow.
You will have to pivot your needle a few times to get the desired effect.
You don't have to exactly replicate this stitching on the straps if you find an easier way than do that!
Repeat this for both straps making sure that they are positioned evenly to each other.
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