DIY Leather Tote

 

DIY Leather ToteIf you are anything like me at the beginning of this project then you are scared of sewing with leather, am I right? Cause I was… I didn’t even know if my sewing machine could handle it. The Leather Hide Store asked me if I wanted to try out some leather sewing. They are a small family owned store that sells wholesale leather hides and remnants… they also work closely with the craft community! I was up for a challenge so I chose a color called “Peanut Brittle” from their remnant section. The piece received a few days later was HUGE!!

DIY Leather tote

I decided on a lined tote. Here are some “sewing with leather tips” I learned along the way:

sewing tips

diy leather tote

I started with my pattern. This is a very rough and not to scale picture of what I measured out on the wrong side of the leather. I just used a ball point pen to measure out my pattern.

bag measurements

diy tote bag IMG_8134

After tracing the pattern, I cut it all out. For the straps I cut out two pieces at 2.5″ x 32″. I like REALLY long straps so most peolple might want to shorten this.

diy tote bag

Remember not to use pins on leather. This was the hardest part for me, the leather needle actually cuts a little dot so once you make those sew lines you can’t really do it over. I used my clover clips to keep it all together. Place right sides together and sew up the sides and the bottom of the bag leaving the corners alone.

diy tote bag

I also read not to back stitch and to tie up the ends of the thread. However I back stitched in a few places and I think it did fine.

diy leather tote

Next, I closed up the corners. Do this by “smooshing” the sides together and matching the seams. diy leather tote

This was the hardest part for my machine, I had to sew to the seam then use my wheel to manually go through all the layers.

diy leather tote

At this point it should look like this… kind of bag-ish :)

diy leather tote

Now on to the lining. This part could be skipped all together because leather won’t fray. I wanted a pop of color and I needed a pocket so I decided on it. I cut two pieces at the exact same measurements as the outer bag pieces.

diy leather tote

I also made a pocket by cutting two pieces at 11″x 7″. Place pocket pieces right sides together and sew all around leaving an opening for flipping. Flip and and press so you have a double sided rectangle. Top stitch the top of the pocket. Place on your lining where ever you want. Pin and top stitch around the two sides and the bottom.

Diy leather tote IMG_8150 IMG_8151

Then I measured my phone to make a perfect little pouch for her. I just sewed up the center of the pocket making two.

diy leather tote

I also added a little taylormade tag for fun. I used my burning tool then cut some leather into an oval and sewed it to the other side of the lining.

diy leather tote

With the two lining pieces cut, do the exact same thing as you did with the leather. With right sides together, sew up sides and bottom then sew the corner.

diy leather tote

diy leather tote

You should have two bag pieces now. With right sides together place the lining part over the leather part. diy leather tote IMG_8164

Match the seams and use clips or clothespins and sew all the way around the top edge leaving an opening for flipping.

diy leather tote IMG_8167

Flip the bag right side out and push the lining into place. I usually would sew the lining down so it doesn’t show from the outside but I liked the little pop of color so I sewed it with a little lip showing. Either way top stitch all the way around.

diy leather tote IMG_8170

Lastly we have to make the straps, remember that my measurements are extra long so feel free to shorten them. I just pinched the wrong sides together and sewed leaving a few inches at the end. I marked where to stop sewing.

leather bag straps

Next, I measured 4″ from the seam of the bag and placed the straps. Then I just used a box stitch to make sure they are good and sturdy!

diy leather tote

Voila.. I sewed with leather!

diy leather tote

DIY Leather Tote with tips!

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Thanks so much to Leather Hide Store for providing the leather and helping me overcome my fear :) Have I inspired you to make your own tote? Its your lucky day! Leather Hide Store is giving one lucky reader a $50 gift card to their online store! Enter by the Rafflecopter below. Good Luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

City Girl Frock from Pattern Anthology

city girl frock

Those talented girls from Pattern Anthology have done it again. They just released their new line called “Just Add Jeans“. The collection comes with four versatile knit tops for women, yay for sewing for yourself. Kate over at See Kate Sew asked me to pattern test for her City Girl Frock and being that I’m pregnant with baby #3 I went with the dress option just to make sure everything was long enough :)

I used a black interlock knit from Joann’s and I was a rebel and tried a linen for the cowl part. It worked!

city girl  frock

city girl frock

It’s super comfy and as I grow I think I’m just going to wear it without the sash. The cowl is my favorite part. For a few weeks only the Pattern Anthology Collection is on sale for 40% off so go check it out!

city girl frock

Out and About Dress and a Giveaway

I love to sew. I especially like to sew stuff for my house and for my kids. I also enjoy sewing gifts but I rarely make clothing for myself. I don’t love super lengthy projects and sewing clothing can stress me out sometimes. But, last week I made something that I love!  My blog-turned-real-life-friend Caroline just released the best pattern ever, The Out and About Dress Pattern. I met Caroline last year at a blog conference and she is amazing! She taught her self to sew a few years ago and now she is a clothes and pattern making machine! She asked me to test the pattern a few weeks ago so I said yes in a heartbeat. On another note “modeling” is super awkward and I applaud anyone who can make it look good.

  out and about dress

This dress is really flattering for all body types and super comfortable. I was 18 weeks pregnant when I took these pictures and carrying this girl is a lot less figure flattering than my other pregnancies. Because of the gathered waist I do think I can get nice and huge in it though :)

out and about dress

 Also, the directions are really clear so I wasn’t stressed out this time ;) The fabric I used had some spandex in it so its a little “slinkier” than a regular cotton knit but I loved the print so I couldn’t pass it up. My mom actually spotted it when we where in Austin last month. Another one of my favorite features are the pockets, who doesn’t love pockets!?

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 I think this would be a great beginner project and I love how it can cross over to every season, Bravo Caroline! Even more exciting… I’m giving one away today!!

out and about dress

To enter follow the instructions in the Rafflecopter… Good Luck! You can find Caroline’s blog Sew Caroline HERE and get the Out and About Pattern HERE.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Scarlett, Searsucker Shorts and a Sweetheart

searsucker shorts

I am so excited to be a part of the sewing series “Sew All 26″ going on over at No Big Dill. The amazing Katy Dill is sewing outfits for her kids for each letter of the alphabet, so fun! She has been a sewing idol of mine for years so when I got an email about joining her series I ran to sign up. She is pretty much one of the coolest moms with the best style and the most original kids! Basically I want to be her when I grow up :) The “S” day fell right before Valentine’s Day so I knew I wanted to make my boy something sweet.

Meet his Valentine outfit… harder for a boy than I imagined. I came up with Scarlett, Seersucker Shorts and Sweetheart.

seersucker pants

I used a Scarlett Knit for his shirt and the Vintage V-Neck Pattern by Melly Sews. For the Sweetheart part, I just freehanded two heart arrows on to some white iron-on vinyl. I thought and thought about how to make a heart manly and this is what I came up with. I ironed them to the pocket piece before sewing them on.

boy valentine shirt

Next, I made some Seersucker Shorts, and let me say I’m a big sucker for Seersucker. I have always been a big fan and it’s also my subtle way to will the Springtime weather to show up. I used Dana’s Kid Shorts Pattern with the front pocket option. My son wears a 5T right now so I made both the shirt and shorts in a 6T so he can grow in to them a little.

seersucker shorts

My favorite part of the shorts is the Scarlett Stitching. Fun, but still boyish.

seersucker shorts

seersucker shorts

Halfway through our photoshoot he looked down and realized his arrows needed a bow. Out came the props.

valentine boy

valentine boy

And lastly, S is for Silly.

valentine boy

Thanks Katy for having me! I love a good excuse for some boy sewing. Check out all the other letters and their corresponding creations at No Big Dill.

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