When I found the “Faux Leather Handbag” tutorial by Debbie Shore, I was intrigued. I hadn’t sewn faux leather and wanted to try it. Image my surprise when my I found a piece of faux leather in the remnant bin at my local fabric store. I already had a remnant of floral canvas and some size 16 sewing machine needles so I was all set.
The online tutorial for this project is available here:
Note this pattern is for personal use only.
Here are my thoughts on this project.
The tutorial beings with a great photo and a description of the finished project. The description begins “This classy looking handbag is actually quite simple to make.”. As in intermediate sewer with considerable bag making experience, I did find this to be an easy project. .I would caution beginning sewers that there seem to be some omissions and discrepancies in the tutorial. I read this pattern several times and created a paper pattern before attempting to sew it. That’s when I know that the instructions for cutting out some of the lining pieces were missing.
The “You will need…” section of the tutorial lists the pieces of faux leather, floral fabric, lining and wadding (fusible fleece) that you will need. Missing from this list is “2 pieces of lining 30 cm x 24 cm” for the front and back lining.
Immediately following this section is a note about the seam allowance to use. I always appreciate it when this information is easy to find.
The remaining tutorial is a 15-step “To Sew”. This section includes instructions for shaping some of the pieces that were cut as rectangles in the “You will need” section. Each step has a single photo, which may not be enough detail for a beginner sewer. The first step involves creating the exterior front and back panels.
The second step describes how to cut the exterior and interior side panels. I questioned whether the indicated measurement of 6 cm across the top was correct. When I made my paper panels they were considerably narrower than what was indicated by the photos. I choose to change this measurement to 4.5 cm.
Step 3 is shaping the flap and step 4 is adding the wadding (fusible fleece in my case) to the exterior panels. Steps 5 and 6 are creating the front flap. I clipped the curves prior to turning the flap right side out.
Steps 7-10 are creating the exterior. Don’t forget the install the second part of the magnetic snap.
Step 11 is creating the strap. I questioned whether or not the strap piece should be 20 cm x 80 cm as a 20cm piece of fabric makes a finished strap that is 5 cm wide. I choose to use the original dimensions of 20 cm x 80 cm anyway. The photo for step 12 shows a strap that is narrower than the side panels. My strap ended up being the same width as my side panels.
Sept 13 is sewing the lining pieces. Through not described, I measured the exterior front and back panels to determine the size for the lining front and back panels. Step 14 is assembling the bag and step 15 is finishing the bag.
Here is a photo of my finished Faux Leather Handbag.
I like my finished bag but I also think the strap should be narrower. The project came together quickly despite the omissions from the instructions. I don’t think this is a good beginners level project through. If I had followed the instructions at step 2, I would have wound up with a bag whose side panels were narrower than the strap. That’s not visually appealing. I’m not sure I would make this pattern again.
Have you tried this pattern?