I was very busy this Christmas sewing all of my Christmas presents. The one project that I spent most of my time and energy on making is a leather purse for my mother. I have never sewn with leather before and had to do some online research on how to handle leather properly when sewing. It was still quite a challenge and not everything turned out as perfectly as I wanted it to. Even with a leather needle my sewing machine sometimes just stalled and wouldn’t make a single stitch on thicker layers, which left me doing quite a lot of hand stitching during which I bent about three needles and pierced several holes into my fingertips. In the end the project turned out fine and I think my mother really likes her new purse.
As a base pattern I used the Diana bag pattern from BurdaStyle, but made the pieces a bit smaller. I had used the pattern earlier this year to make a bag for my little step sister.
Because I didn’t have enough money to buy new leather I used my roommate's old leather coat, which she used to wear during college (and No! I swear I didn’t secretly steal it from her in the middle of the night – she wanted to throw it out because it had gotten too old and I wanted to make a leather purse, so it all came together beautifully).
I took the coat apart and salvaged the good pieces and made sure to apply a lot of leather treatment to each piece I was using. Since the individual coat pieces weren’t big enough, I had to work with the stitching lines in the coat as design details of the bag.
The lining of the purse is new. I bought a very bright reddish-pink luxurious lining.
Inside there is a zipper, a pen holder and a little pocket for a cell phone. For the penholder I repurposed an original bound buttonhole from the coat and for the cell phone pouch I used one of the side coat pockets.
Because I wanted the strap to be adjustable I used a belt buckle and had my local shoemaker punch holes in one strap with his cool little leather hole punch (I want one!). I also bought magnetic buttons to sew on so that the flap can be closed over the bag.
And here is my mum showing off her new bag on Christmas Day:
I was thinking of putting together a little tutorial on some of the stages of making this bag or on little tricks I learned on how to sew with leather. Would anyone be interested?