Leather Tote Bag Tutorial

Follow these steps to make a statement throw-everything-in style of leather tote bag. Rosie made this bag last year and used it constantly for beach days out, park picnics and carting around kids' stuff. It fits so much in, is super quick to make and the neon patent leather make it look cool too. If you've never worked with leather this is the perfect beginner's project. 


Patent leather
Leather machine sewing needle
Thread (we used normal thread but you could use topstitching thread for more strength)


1. Cut your leather to size, you can choose any size for your bag but ours is xxx. Cut two straps, each measuring xxx


2. Fold your main bag piece so right sides are together and stitch up both edges with a 1cm seam allowance. Stitch slowly and backstitch at the beginning and end of your stitching line. If you would like a more secure stitching method you can make holes using a 

3. Fold up the bottom of your bonded crepe, right sides together, by 15cm. Stitch in place along both sides with a 1cm seam allowance. This is easiest sewn on a machine but you can also hand sew it if you prefer.


4. Pinch the bottom corners of the pouch so the seam allowance is in the centre, right sides together, and stitch across in a straight line 2cm away from the point. 


5. Position your piece of crystal mesh around your pouch, wrong sides touching. Fold the one end over the front edge of the pouch by 1cm and slip stitch this in place all the way along.


6. Now stitch the crystal piece in place along the two front edges of the pouch, stitching the edge of the crystal directly into the ditch of the seams. The seam allowances should be folded open so the crystals will be over the top and hide them.

7. Fold the crystal piece around the back of the pouch and continue to stitch the back sides in the same way, the edge of the crystals stitched directly into the ditch of the seam allowance. The two edges of the crystals should lie directly next to each other.

8. Fold the crystals around the raw edges of the sides of the top flap of the pouch by 1cm and stitch in place. 


9. Fold the crystals over the top edge of the pouch flap, making sure everything lies flat, and stitch in place. You will need to play with folding the crystals under themselves slightly in the top corners to get everything looking neat. It should fold over by 6cm if you've done the measurements the same as ours.


10. The bottom corners of the crystals now get folded into points and stitched up in place against the sides of the pouch. 


11. Decide on your strap and strap length (ours is 145cm for a hip-length crossbody bag) and position it down along the sides of the bag so it meets the points of your folded up crystals. Stitch in place along the seams. 


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