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).
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.
I ironed the seams flat then top stitched around the top of the bag.
I used the same leather for the straps and just cut them out using the width of a level as my guide.
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.
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.
I had so much fun making the first bag, that I didn't stop there.
I love the fun surprise of the gold triangle lining.
Now, don't forget to check out all the other fabulous DIY fabric ideas!