Saturday, September 28, 2013

a handmade purse for fall... made of pleather!

That's right. Pleather. I've never used pleather before BUT I found some soft, not-so-plastic-feeling, brown pleather at Joann's (originally for a bookmaking project which worked fabulous) and thought I'd give it a try. I'd been wanting a new purse, as mine is falling apart pretty bad, but haven't found one that 1.) was the perfect fit for my style/lifestyle and 2.) was not outrageously expensive! That's when I stumbled upon this on

From "Make It Handmade" Blog.
"Hmm, I bet I could make that into a perfect fall purse!" And then this happened:

I followed Palak's excellent tutorial, making just a few changes to turn it from a tote to a purse. First, I scaled mine down in size, as her's was a nice big tote. As you can see, I left the top handles off for now. I may add them on later after I use it a smidge.

I also added a lining, partly because I had this fabulous fabric in my stash that was just calling to be a purse lining!

Isn't it lovely? I don't usually buy fabric without an idea for a project already in mind, but this was an exception 'cause I just loved it! (And I still have another yard and a half left for a future project.) To make the line I just followed the same instructions as the bag body (minus the D-ring tabs), to end up with two identical-shaped pieces. I also added an interior pocket for my cell phone and keys to the lining, just below where the bag folds over.

You can't tell from the outside, but I also double-stiched all my seams, just to add some extra strengh.

There is one thing I will do differently from the original tutorial next time. Notice how the top of the bag tapers in slightly, so that the fold over flap isn't wider than the bag body when worn. Palak has you start with two rectangles, stitch the entire sides, THEN measure your desired taper for the top, cut (through the original stitch line) and sew the new sides catching the D-ring tabs in the stitching right where your new taper begins. The problem I found is that I had to unpick some of the original stitching in to get the D-ring tabs to go right at that spot. To make a long story short, if you do this tutorial I suggest measuring and cutting your desired taper BEFORE you sew any side seams.

Over all I think it turned out pretty well, especially with all the fussy-ness of learning to sew the pleather! But that, my friends, is a whole 'nother blog post...


  1. Wow, it looks great! That lining fabric is gorgeous :) I'll have to check out that tutorial...

  2. It so is! Now what am I going to make with the remaining yard and a half...

  3. Ooh, that's super cute, love the lining! With the remnants you could make a small wallet or clutch?