My Leather Slouch Bag

Leather Slouch Bag

I think this is probably the coolest thing I have ever made! I can’t believe I have sewn something with leather and it looks like a real bag! Am I talking this up too much? Take a look while I tell you all the details…

Leather Slouch Bag

Ages ago, the lovely Chris from Chris W Designs sent me her Snazzy Slouch pattern to review. I had a thought in the back of my mind that it would be really cool to make it out of leather. I’ve never sewn with leather before, but the idea stuck in my head.  As is my usual style, if I’m going to do something, I want to do it right, so I started reading about how to sew with leather.

I came across this Craftsy class, Making Leather Bags and it was just what I was after! It’s full of fantastic tips for working with leather and leads you through every stage, from picking your leather to different seams, setting up your machine, designing your bag and how to finish it off so it looks great! I learnt so much watching this course, and it really gave me the confidence to cut into my leather and get sewing! The bags made by students of the course are quite inspiring!

Leather Slouch Bag

As I mentioned in my last post, the leather for this bag came from an old jacket of my Mum’s. Upcycling the leather added a few extra challenges, because I had limited leather to work with, but it was such a fun experience and I learnt so much!

This was also the first time I’ve used rivets. I’m not sure why I was worried about them because they were easy to add and made finishing the strap off so easy. They also add a professional touch to the bag. Next time, I’ll make more of an effort to line them up… mine are a bit wonky.

Leather Slouch Bag

Ok, so onto the actual pattern. My ideal handbag has about 284 pockets, one for each thing in my bag and this pattern has almost that many! There are 4 pockets on the outside, a zippered divider inside giving you two sections and 4 patch pockets. Ahhh, handbag organisation heaven! Actually, all of Chris’ patterns have lots of pockets. The pattern itself can seem quite intimidating when you first get it as there are 56 pages, but that’s just because the instructions are nice and thorough.

I love the style of the bag, but went for a short strap as I didn’t have much leather left and I always wear my bag on my shoulder.

I changed the construction in a few places, just to minimise the numbers of layers of leather. The bag was all sewn on my home machine. It’s a Pfaff and pretty tough, but still just a home machine. It coped really well and there were only two spots that it skipped stitches (there were 6 layers of leather).

Leather Slouch Bag

I’ve never had a real leather handbag before and I’m sure I will never be seen without a hand made leather bag again! The leather feels amazing and was lovely to work with! I still need to put the base in the bag and stitch the turning hole closed, but I couldn’t wait to start using the bag!

Have I talked you into working with leather?

Please note that links to Craftsy above are affiliate links.

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  1. Stephanie says

    This is way cool. Being on a me made year, I have been thinking of making my own bag. And I just remembered that I donated a long leather coat to charity..never thought of making a bag out of it. Bugger. Great job.

  2. Laura says

    This looks amazing Abby! Definitely worth taking your time on this one. Such a great way to use the rest of the leather from that jacket.

  3. Toni Coward says

    You did AWESOME Abby! Reminds me that my Mum had this amazing long leather coat when she was a teeny-bopper, but I think it was donated to Vinnies a few years ago…I’m hoping not, will have to ask her!! If only I knew then what I know now…

  4. Mirjam @ says

    This bag looks great! Now you immediatly have a bag which maches your jacket you made earlier 😉

  5. Christine Welsh says

    GREAT job Abby…..your bag looks really professional! :) I love that you used your mums old jacket….bet she wouldn’t recognize it now! LOL

  6. Tania Brown says

    Abby, once again you’ve come to the rescue!! I’m sitting here wondering what I can do to expand my wardrobe for the cooler months considering my mid section is still all kinds of funky post baby no. 5 and many of my pullover type tops are looking less than flattering. Thank you so much :)

  7. MeAgain says

    Beads – some have alphabet characters on them, charm shapes, etc. Love all the ideas you posted. Now to get busy making some for my daycare children and my grand niece!!

  8. Karen Schulz says

    Wow!! What an awesome job! I’ve purchased that course, too, and it is wonderful…very informative and well-taught. I’ve yet to make my first leather bag, but I’ve used Chris D’s patterns before, and this one really lent itself to the use of leather. Now you’ve got me motivated.

  9. Jenya says

    When I first saw this pic I thought you were doing a review or something, but no, you made this bag. it is gorgeous, absolutely gorgeous! Bravo!

  10. Sarah @ Hunting for Ladybugs says

    I was given a red leather skirt today with instructions to upcycle into something fabulous. So I’m off to check out your links to do my own learning. Thank you for the inspiration!

  11. Kim says

    PERFECT! Just the straight forward “add a zipper” tutorial I was looking for. My sweater is now my “better sweater”, thanks to the addition of a two way zipper (and some tailoring along the sleeves and sides). Thanks so much!!

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