10 Oct 2016
October 10, 2016

Handmade Handbags

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There’s something truly enchanting about a new Fall Handbag. And, making it yourself elevates the enchantment to a whole new level! I’ve found three Handmade Handbags you’re going to love for this Fall. Settle in, read a little and decide which one you’ll want to make first!


Image courtesy of SwoonPatterns.com


The Ethel Tote

Alicia of Swoon Sewing Patterns designs simply, marvelous handbag patterns and the Ethel Tote is marvelously fabulous. It’s roomy and practical with ample space for all kinds of things we girls need, plus a few pockets to keep our tote life tidy. Choose an exciting print and make your Ethel a charming combination of a lovely design and artful fabric that perfectly showcases the magic of handmade.

Ethel is 13” x 10” x 5” finished and she’s made from under two yards of fabric. You’ll choose exterior and interior fabrics, purchase interfacings and stabilizer and add Dual Duty XP thread to pull it all together. Alicia generously offers a free PDF for Ethel with great, detailed instructions. Swoon has lots of designs, be sure to take a look while you’re there! Click here to visit and download Ethel on the Swoon site.

Image courtesy of ABeautifulMess.com

Image courtesy of ABeautifulMess.com

Cotton & Leather Clutch

I found this adorable clutch on the A Beautiful Mess blog and fell in love. Designed by Elsie, it’s a definitely un-messy mash-up of cotton fabrics and leather. An 18” zipper closes the top of the clutch and keeps your precious cargo safe. Click here for Elsie’s blog post instructions. Be sure to follow her link for Tips for Sewing Leather, too. The right needles and sewing machine foot will make your leather or vinyl sewing life much easier.

This is a simple make that you could stitch up over and over again using assorted mixtures of fabrics for a variety of looks. Solid cotton fabric with a floral print, vinyl coated cotton would be sweet and fun for casual outings. The metallic sheen of lame (stabilized with interfacing) and a sparkly vinyl would be just right for evening or a night out clubbing. Canvas for the bottom and a Tim Holtz Eclectic Elements fabric top would be a super-cool choice for a weekend clutch. The new Eclectic Elements zips would create a very “bought it at a boutique” look. So many possibilities!

Image courtesy of SewCanShe.com

Image courtesy of SewCanShe.com

Mod Satchel

For a true “hold it all and more” handbag, try the Mod Satchel designed by Caroline from the Sew Can She blog. If you’re prone to wanting every possible item you could ever need with you, the Mod Satchel is the perfect choice. At 10-1/2” x 8”, you’ll have ample space for all your essentials . . . and more! Click here for the Mod Satchel tutorial.

Caroline’s sassy  satchel takes just 1/3 yard each of faux leather vinyl and lining fabric. Grommets create an easy to open “closure” for the bag. Just pull the top wide to open and draw in the straps to close. You can have fun with the grommets since they’re available in loads of colors an d sizes. Caroline calls for 3/8” grommets, but you may want to vary that for a unique look!

Are you inspired? Good! Me, too! Handmade Handbags are a most satisfying make and your friends will be super impressed with your new Fall bags. And, speaking of friends . . . Handmade Handbags are a great gift. Once you’ve added a few to your personal carry-all wardrobe, plan several for your holiday gift list, too!

About the Author

Annette Millard began sewing at the age of three, made her first dress at ten and is always happiest with needle, fabric and thread in her hands. Annette feels very privileged to have spent most of her work life in the sewing industry and loves teaching, making her own handmade wardrobe and writing about sewing. She spent over ten years as the newsletter and web site content writer for the Pacific Northwest's largest locally-owned family of fabric stores and is now thrilled to have the opportunity to share her passion for sewing with the Sewing Secrets community. Follow Annette and more of her sewing adventures on her own blog, www.sewfullife.com.

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