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Jun 14, 2013

Stitch with Style's Modern Alphabet Bag with Leather

Jun 14, 2013
Pin It leather bag 2

A new bag!  I purchased this AMH Field Study linen while I was in Portland for Market - and immediately I knew I wanted to make a new bag.  But what pattern would I use??  That is always my biggest debate.  I was fortunate enough to meet Jessica while I was in town, and she was carrying her Modern Alphabet Bag that she designed for 2013's Stitch with Style magazine.  I complimented her on it and she said it was easy if you didn't mind working with leather.
Leather?!??!   Say wha?  As a quilter, I am rarely game for working with daring fabrics such as leather.  After all, mentioning the word knit sends me cowering into the corner of the room.  Should I dare try leather?  For some reason, I became obsessed.  Of course, I would make this bag with leather.  I couldn't let anything stop me.

I made my first visit ever to a leather factory store.  Talk about intimidating.  They asked me what animal I wanted, talked about tanning, dyeing, and what seemed like a whole host of other questions I didn't know the answers to.  I found something as quickly as I could, from the sale table.  A success considering I had two of three kids with me.
leather hide
Then I got home and laid out the "hide".  Although I have never had any strong feelings on animal issues, I felt strangely guilty.  I felt as if I had killed Bambi myself.  Well, Bambi the sheep.  Because what I ended up purchasing was sheepskin.  I kept telling myself that this animal was already dead regardless of whether I purchased this leather or not.  I wasn't prepared for this mental game.  I have lots of leather.... shoes, bags, belts, etc.  I never really thought about it until I saw the skin laid out on my basement floor.

Once I got my pieces cut out, I was a little less weirded out by the hide and began to assemble the bag.  Sewing with the leather was surprisingly easy, provided you have a walking foot.  It was supple, and although I am historically terrible at sewing curves, I managed these curves just fine!  Leather is a one shot material though, once you pierce it, the needle holes remain, so I sewed very slowly when working with it.
leather bag corner

The bag was easy to put together.  The sides are basically an outside fabric and a lining with interfacing in between.  Then the leather gusset forms the short sides and the bottom of the bag.  The pattern called for pockets only on one side of the bag.  But I love me some pockets!
leather bag lining pocket
So I added this zippered pocket after having tried these on my messenger bag.
leather bag zipper pocket
Now that it's all said and done with, I am loving this bag.  It's very large and roomy for all of the 18 mommy supplies I have to carry.  I love the Field Study Linen that I was able to fussy cut for the panels to get a rainbow effect for the feathers.  AND I am liking the leather - truely.  It smells good and it feels so soft, yet strong.  I don't know if I will make another trek to the leather shop though.
leather bag
What do you think?  Have you worked with leather? Pin It


  1. It's always hard trying something new, especially talking to experts... Your leather shop story really reminds me of my first time in a quilt shop. I went to buy fabric scissors and a "yard stick." I didn't even know how to thread my sewing machine yet. :)

  2. Your bag looks fabulous!!! And I'm so glad you used your linen already :)

  3. What a beautiful bag! Thanks so much for sharing your experience in sewing with leather. I have been wanting to try making something with leather too and just took up the making leather bags craftsy class. Reading your post has convinced me to just give it a go! Thanks again, love your blog!

  4. This is adorable! I just made a new diaper bag, but it would be nice to have something nicer to take out sometimes :)

  5. I love that Field Study fabric . . . I have been lusting after that specific print for awhile now. I would freak out in a leather store. I totally laughed at the whole "grab something fast from the sale section" bit . . . I would have totally done the same thing. LOL

  6. Awesome bag! Awesome linen! I would have had to work with pleather instead!

  7. You did great! And your story made me smile!

  8. Big Wow, AM! This looks so great. The leather does really add a professional touch.

  9. Beautiful! I've always wanted to work with leather but I'm worried I would make a mistake.

  10. I am just thinking about do a fabric bag including details in leather! Loved your bag! This is a great inspiration!


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