Leather Bottom Fabric Tote {Monthly DIY Challenge} | Little House of Four: Leather Bottom Fabric Tote {Monthly DIY Challenge}

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Leather Bottom Fabric Tote {Monthly DIY Challenge}



It's the second Wednesday of the month and that means it's time for another monthly DIY challenge!  This month's theme was fabric and I was really looking forward to dusting off my sewing machine.  I feel like it's been f.o.r.e.v.e.r. since I sewed anything and I couldn't wait to get started on making something useful.
DIY Leather Bottom Fabric Tote - via Little House of Four

I've always loved the look of leather bottom bags and this month's challenge was the perfect excuse to buy some fun fabrics and get sewing.   Real leather is super expensive, so I ended up going with a leather alternative, which was still a bit pricey at $35.00 a yard.  Jo-Ann's had cheaper options, but I had my mind set on using a specific cognac color and type of leather.  The less expensive fabrics just felt and looked too cheap for the look I was going for.  Thank goodness for 40% off coupons!


I must admit, I am no professional seamstress and hate pinning and using patterns.  Have I mentioned before that I am impatient?  Who has time for all the pinning?  I did end up making a pattern in an effort to make my life easier, but the first bag was definitely a "see where this takes me and who cares if my lines are not straight kind of bag."

Let's get started....

I cut 2 pieces of fabric for the top of the outer shell (white and gray stripe), 2 pieces for the bottom of the outer shell (leather) and 2 pieces for the lining (natural canvas).

DIY Leather Bottom Fabric Tote - via Little House of Four

DIY Leather Bottom Fabric Tote - via Little House of Four
With rights sides together, I sewed the 2 pieces of the outer shell together.
DIY Leather Bottom Fabric Tote - via Little House of Four

DIY Leather Bottom Fabric Tote - via Little House of Four
Normally, I would iron seams open but since you can't really iron leather I just ironed them flat.
DIY Leather Bottom Fabric Tote - via Little House of Four
Right sides together again, I sewed the front and back of the outer shell together leaving the top open.
DIY Leather Bottom Fabric Tote - via Little House of Four

DIY Leather Bottom Fabric Tote - via Little House of Four
To make the bottom flat, I pulled the bottom corners out, measured two inches in from the corner then sewed across to make a triangle
DIY Leather Bottom Fabric Tote - via Little House of Four

DIY Leather Bottom Fabric Tote - via Little House of Four
I repeated the same steps with the lining.

Remember how I said I didn't make a pattern and was just kind of winging it?  Well, I didn't take into account the seam allowance in the lining and it ended up being too tall.  (this is the point when I realized I better make a pattern for next time)  Thankfully, it was a super easy fix and I just cut off the extra length at the top.
DIY Leather Bottom Fabric Tote - via Little House of Four
After the lining was trimmed to the correct size, I put it inside the shell (right sides together) and sewed across the top, leaving enough room to turn it right side out again.
DIY Leather Bottom Fabric Tote - via Little House of Four

DIY Leather Bottom Fabric Tote - via Little House of Four
I ironed the seams flat then top stitched around the top of the bag. 
DIY Leather Bottom Fabric Tote - via Little House of Four

DIY Leather Bottom Fabric Tote - via Little House of Four
Now that the bag was complete it was time to attach the straps.  I went with antique brass snaps that I also picked up from Jo-Ann's.  They are on the expensive side ($7.99 for a pack of 6), so I decided to only place one snap in the back of the bag and two in the front.
DIY Leather Bottom Fabric Tote - via Little House of Four
I used the same leather for the straps and just cut them out using the width of a level as my guide. 
DIY Leather Bottom Fabric Tote - via Little House of Four

DIY Leather Bottom Fabric Tote - via Little House of Four

DIY Leather Bottom Fabric Tote - via Little House of Four

DIY Leather Bottom Fabric Tote - via Little House of Four

DIY Leather Bottom Fabric Tote - via Little House of Four
After I got everything lined up in place I just used a hammer to join the pieces together.  There is no need to buy an expensive gadget for applying snaps. 
DIY Leather Bottom Fabric Tote - via Little House of Four

DIY Leather Bottom Fabric Tote - via Little House of Four
I love, love, LOVE how this bag turned out.  I've been using it for the past few days and am pretty proud that it actually turned out as I imagined.  Looking back, I probably should have lined the handles, but I was worried the snaps wouldn't go through all the layers.  Next time I'll try and top stitch two layers of leather together and see how it goes. 
DIY Leather Bottom Fabric Tote - via Little House of Four

DIY Leather Bottom Fabric Tote - via Little House of Four



I had so much fun making the first bag, that I didn't stop there. 
DIY Leather Bottom Fabric Tote - via Little House of Four

DIY Leather Bottom Fabric Tote - via Little House of Four
I love the fun surprise of the gold triangle lining.  

I enjoyed making these bags so much that I'm offering one as a giveaway on my two year blogiversary on September 1st!!!  More than likely it will be the black and white striped bag with triangle lining, so be sure to stop back for your chance to snag one of these bags for yourself!

Now, don't forget to check out all the other fabulous DIY fabric ideas!

10 DIY Fabric Projects


27 comments:

  1. I've already told you how much I love this bag, but I FREAKING LOVE THIS BAG!!!! You did such an amazing job Katie!!!! I love the second one you made too! You're a seamstress in the making! Now, do you make cute diaper bags too?!?!? ;)

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    1. You are too sweet, thank you so much for totally making my day! A diaper bag sounds like a great idea and baby gift ;)

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  2. Eeeeeek! I am totally over the moon with this bag Katie! It's absolutely perfect!!!

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    1. Thanks Kristi! I'm so glad you like them :)

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  3. You did an amazing job, Katie! You just might have to open a shop! Love the leather bottom! Have a great day! xo
    Kendra @ www.joyinourhome.com

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    1. I second the Etsy shop idea!! I would buy one right now!

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    2. Thanks Kendra! I'm loving the leather bottom too, it's my favorite part. You definitely got my wheels spinning about selling them. We'll see...

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  4. This is just adorable! I think it's perfect for travel. I love that leather. And you made it look easy!

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    1. I'm glad you like them Nikki! Yes, they would be perfect for travel.

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  5. Holy moly girl! I can't believe you made this, and without a pattern! Totally awesome! Can't wait for the chance to win one in September!

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    1. Are you doubting my skills, LOL!!! Haha, just kidding, I'm glad yo're looking forward to the giveaway.

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  6. considering i can't sew worth a flip, i was thinking i could get a handbag from goodwill cut the bottom off and sew material to the top... it would probably look like poo poo de caca so i will just wait for the chance to win one ha ha great job xx

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    Replies
    1. You are too funny! I'm sure you could figure something out, but then again there's always the giveaway :)

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  7. These are so super cute! I love the striped fabric with the leather, they look so professionally made!

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    1. What a nice complement, thank you so much!

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  8. Those are awesome! Congrats on your upcoming blogiversary!

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    1. Thanks Erin! I can't believe it's been 2 years!!!

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  9. Seriously, these are amazing. You rocked this DIY and you definitely need to sell them so I can buy them all.

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    Replies
    1. Ha, I would totally just make you one :)

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  10. Oh Katie. Take my money right now, please. I have to have these bags! Every single detail is absolutely perfect! You are so freaking talented, my friend!

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  11. You are seriously SO AMAZING. You've got serious sewing skilllz. You can bet I'll be entering your giveaway! These are seriously profesh :)

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  12. Love, love, love this bag! Found you via the Creative Circle. Pinning to make it later!

    www.thedeanslistblog.com

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  13. Katie!! This bag is beautiful!! I can't believe I just came across it now! You could definitely sell these!! You should share this at our Talented Tuesday party tomorrow! I'd love to have you stop by! Ps - this is inspiring me, as I've been planning a small leather bottom clutch for a while now :)

    Lindi @ www.lovecreatecelebrate :)

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  14. Hi! Do you mind sharing where you purchased the faux leather from? I couldn't tell if you bought it at Jo Ann's or another place. I like the somewhat aged look to the leather. I have really been enjoying the look of Cognac leather lately, and you are right, it is crazy expensive.

    Great job on your project. I do a lot of sewing, but I have never attempted a bag...let alone a bag with leather!

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  15. I love the combination of leather with fabric (black and white). Great tutorial.

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  16. Wondering what the dimensions are for this? Do you have the dimensions of fabric you got?

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