DIY: Slouchy Leather Tote Bag

If you are a busy working gal like us, then you understand the struggle to hold your entire life in a bag without looking like a bag lady. You know what I mean: your laptop, iphone, note book, toiletry bag for quick afternoon touch-ups (“all day wear” is not never really so), lunch, snacks, etc. We can all agree that giant totes are the perfect size, but they don’t quite go with a Prada dress.

My solution:
The quick and easy DIY Slouchy Leather Tote Bag that can easily store all of your everyday necessities!



Leather is sold in pieces, not by yardage. Make sure you purchase a piece that is big enough for the tote bag. Leather also comes in different thicknesses and types; I would recommend a lighter weight to accommodate a regular domestic sewing machine.


Use a Teflon foot or a walking foot when you are sewing with leather.


Leather is like skin: Once you stitch, the hole is permanent. Check it once, check it twice, then stitch. Try to avoid mistakes as much as possible.


Don’t use pins. If needed, use paper clips to help secure leather pieces together while sewing.


Don’t backstitch to secure stitches. Tie the loose thread into knots instead.


Use a Leather sewing machine needle.


Use Nylon thread, since it is stronger than regular polyester kinds.


Leather has no grain line; Feel free to cut the pattern on the leather in a way that best utilizes the piece.


Use a larger stitch length when sewing leather.


Do not use the iron to press your leather!


Use Glover needles for hand sewing.


When cutting the leather, trace the pattern shape on the wrong side of the leather, then cut. Remember not

to pin.


Always test-sew on a piece of scrap first before sewing the real thing. You may have to adjust your machine tension. Every machine sews differently with leather, unless you are using a industrial sewing machine.


If your machine is not sewing friendly with leather, your alternate option is hand sewing. Use an Awl to puncture a hole through the leather first, then use a back stitch method to stitch the tote bag.


TOOLS you will need:

? Leather glue or leather tape
? Leather sewing machine needles
? Hand sewing needle – glover needles
? Nylon thread
? Pliers
? Thimble

? Teflon foot or walking foot
? An awl
? Sewing machine
? Mallet
? Sharp scissors or rotary cutter

MATERIALS you will need:

? 1 large piece of soft leather, light weight. Make sure it’s big enough to cut out the tote bag. Any color of your choice.
? ¾ yard of cotton twill. This fabric is for the tote bag handle, so choose the heavier weight. Contrast color is a good idea for aesthetic purposes.

slouchy-leather-tote-bag-diagram-1? With the right sides of the leather facing, stitch the three sides together.
? To secure the thread, knot the two thread ends together.
slouchy-leather-tote-bag-diagram-2a? Apply the glue tape to the wrong side of the seam allowance.
slouchy-leather-tote-bag-diagram-2b? Peel off the paper, then press the seam allowance flat and let the glue tape hold it in place. Use a mallet to flatten and reinforce the seam.
slouchy-leather-tote-bag-diagram-3? With the right sides of the leather facing, fold the corners as in picture, with the two seams matched up.
slouchy-leather-tote-bag-diagram-3b? Since this might be too thick for the sewing machine, I would recommend you stitch this little section by hand. Use an awl to puncture the hold first, then insert the sewing needle through. Make sure you use a strong stitch (like a backstitch) to secure the seams.
slouchy-leather-tote-bag-diagram-4? Fold the fabric strap in half with the right sides of the fabric facing. Stitch. Leave an opening in the centre.
? Turn inside out. Close up the opening with stitches.
? Place the strap end to the right side of the tote bag, matching up the two ends with the marked dots. Stitch in place as in diagram.andslouchy-leather-tote-bag-finished-diy_img1youaredone

What are you waiting for?
Time to ditch your oversized bags,
and move all your stuff to this
casual stylish leather slouchy tote bag!

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