THE SEWING DIVAS sewing, design, fashion

April 17, 2007

Leather drawstring bag

Filed under: Bag,Els,Leather sewing,Pattern Reviews — Els @ 8:38 pm

Vogue pattern 7703  view D was used to make this drawstring bag in butter soft blue leather.

I used 2 pieces of soft leather, one hide was 5 foot and the other was 7 foot .

Three different fusible interfacings to add some strength and add some body to the bag because the leather was too soft to become a bag on its own.

On top the extra heavy woven, middle the non woven, at the bottom Hansel. These interfacings are special made to use with leather, because you can fuse the interfacing with the iron on a warm setting.

The non-woven interfacing was fused on all the pattern parts except the drawstring as an underlay for the woven leather interfacing Hansel which is a bit rough and I did not want to change the hand of the leather.

The extra heavy interfacing is added to the bottom part on top of the previous two interfacings, the leather facing parts and the shoulder strap.

The above interfacings are from Europe but you can also use Pro_Tricot fusible interfacing from

Dupioni silk fabric was used for the lining, front pocket lining and the interior pocket.

I made some pattern and design changes. The backside of the bag is sewn with a center seam because I had not enough leather to cut that pattern without a seam. It was an easy alteration, just double half of the center backside pattern and add seam allowances. I topstitched the s.a. on both sides of the center back seam.

The front pocket was too wide to my taste so I stitched a line at the center of the pocket, now there are 2 separate pockets.

The pattern instructions suggest to use cardboard for the bottom part. I was not satisfied with the result it was too stiff so I used a remnant piece of upholstery leather which I glued to the bottom part.

Also skipped one of the shoulder straps because I find it annoying that wearing a shoulder bag which has 2 long shoulder straps , one of the shoulder straps is always falling down .

I used only one shoulder strap (the length of the pattern strap is  21,5 inch /55 cm while I used a 38,5 inch/ 98 cm length) which I sewed diagonal at the front and at the back side of the bag.

The instructions for sewing the lining bag was different than what I did. I sewed the side seams of the lining but left one piece open for turning after I attached the lining at the leather facing and sewed the bottom part. The last step for sewing the lining part was to sew the left open part by hand.

I noticed too late that the placement of the interior pocket was too high placed, so if you want to make this bag be aware of this. It will be more convenient if the posket is placed lower on the pattern an adding a snap would be handy too.



  1. So cute, I love the color!!

    Comment by Jen — April 17, 2007 @ 8:52 pm

  2. Beautiful colors! Thanks for another great tutorial and review, Els.

    Comment by Mary Beth — April 18, 2007 @ 4:25 am

  3. Els, you make the most fantastic bags. I’m so impressed every time you post one of them. Do you just use a regular sewing machine, or do you need something more like an industrial for bag making?

    Comment by LMH — April 18, 2007 @ 8:10 am

  4. What a great bag – I love the classic bucket shape. The color is awesome!

    Comment by Gigi — April 18, 2007 @ 12:55 pm

  5. Els, This is crazy! I have that exact same pattern on my cutting table right now. Yours is fabulous. Great minds think alike (wink).

    Comment by Melody — April 18, 2007 @ 1:31 pm

  6. Beautiful! That is just the most lovely shade of blue. The lining color is a nice surprise and great contrast.

    Comment by Summerset — April 18, 2007 @ 3:16 pm

  7. Wonderful! I like the one shoulder strap detail sewn diagonally (very clever!) and the lining contrast! It’s a beautiful blue bag, thank you for sharing the details!

    Comment by Tany — April 18, 2007 @ 3:53 pm

  8. This is very impressive. I think I’d be afraid to cut such a pretty leather. I love that it’s a classic shape in an unusual, happy color, with the pop of a lining. Great!

    Comment by dawn — April 18, 2007 @ 6:16 pm

  9. Thanks ladies for your comments.

    Lisa, I used my Pfaff 1467 to sew most of my bags. I do not have an industrial sm.

    Melody, enjoy making your version of the bag, it is a nice design and very easy to sew.

    Comment by Els — April 19, 2007 @ 1:21 pm

  10. Els, what a great looking purse. Love the color of the leather.

    Comment by Linda L — April 19, 2007 @ 8:02 pm

  11. Another incredibly beautiful bag!

    Comment by Annika — April 20, 2007 @ 1:39 pm

  12. Dear god. Where do I begin? Phyllis is one of my oldest and dearest friends. The fact that she is involved on this site is almost too much for me to bear, if only because I hate threading a needle, never mind actually MAKING A FREAKING HANDBAG. That said….you divas are all my heroines. I am humbled. I am embarrased to shop retail. I am embarrassed to hem my son’s school uniform pants.

    You Divas freaking ROCK.

    Comment by kerry — May 2, 2007 @ 10:12 pm

  13. […] it myself. I’m thoroughly inspired by the likes of The Sewing Divas, one of whom made this gorgeous drawstring bucket bag from […]

    Pingback by The Chic Quotient of Buckets « — November 12, 2007 @ 2:28 am

  14. Love, love, love your leather bag. I want to do stuff like that but can’t find where to purchase any leather like you use. Or faux leather either. Do you have some web sites to share? Thanks sew much!!

    Comment by Gail — December 14, 2007 @ 8:27 am

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