Better Than Basic Bag
The Better-Than-Basic Bag is an oversized soft-structure flat-bottomed tote with leather details on the exterior and a zipper pocket dividing the interior. The finished bag height is about 12 inches high and it has a base that is 13 inches wide and 6 inches deep.
When you purchase the Better-Than-Basic Bag pattern, you will receive a PDF file with 20 pages of step-by-step instructions with full-color photos as well as full-scale printable pattern pieces for making the bag. This pattern will take your bag-making skills to the next level by teaching you how to sew with leather and how to make piped leather bag handles. The instructions also include alternative non-leather handle option.
This digital PDF pattern was written for an intermediate sewer. It assumes basic knowledge of sewing seams, topstitching, applying and using interfacing, and installing a magnetic snap. This project is an excellent introduction in how to sew leather.
The pattern instructions include tips on choosing appropriate fabrics and leather for this project.
- leather: 2 1/2 foot by 2 foot square
mid-weight leather (less than 3 oz in weight)
- outer bag fabric: 3/4 yards of 54 inch wide or 1 1/4 yards of 42 inch wide
canvas, home decor weight, wool felt (jacket weight)
- pocket fabric and pocket lining fabric: 1/3 yards each of 42 inch wide
- bag interlining/interfacing: 1 1/2 yards of 20 inch wide, or 1 1/4 yards of 42 inch wide
heavy-weight canvas, woven fusible (e.g. Pellon SF-101), or fleece
- pocket interfacing: 1/2 yard of 20 inch wide
woven fusible (e.g. Pellon SF-101)
- Bag Body Lining fabric: 1 1/4 yards of 42 inch wide
- nylon zipper (16 inches or longer)
- sewing machine needles
- leather needle
- mid-weight needle for sewing inner bag
- topstitching needle or mid- to heavy-weight needle for sewing outer bag
- magnetic snap (1/2 – 3/4 inch diameter)
- all-purpose thread: 100% polyester
- top stitching thread: 100% polyester, coordinating with leather
- vinyl tubing: ¼ inch diameter, 21 inches long
- sewable double-sided adhesive tape (e.g. Wonder Tape)
Supplies and Tools
- binder clips or Wonder Clips
- roller foot (for sewing leather) or teflon / non-stick foot
- walking foot (recommended)
- art knife and/or rotary cutter and mat for cutting leather
- wax tailors chalk or Frixion® pen
- pins, scissors, sewing machine, etc.