About 2 weeks ago I came up with this simple pleated bag design…..
My initial idea was to use grommets as you can see in my first prototype:
(Well, maybe you can’t see it too well – this photo was take with my phone) I didn’t have any purse handles lying around, so I quickly braided up some fabric and made some makeshift ones that served it’s purpose well. I just needed to get an idea of what I wanted to do.
I liked the initial look, so I placed an order for some nicer brass grommets and pre-made leather handles. Unfortunately the hardware is shipping from overseas and I really wanted to complete another bag, so I started thinking of alternatives.
I had some silver gate rings lying around and had recently ordered some rivets that I was dying to try out…..I also had some faux leather so I quickly got to work with another take on the bag.
TIP: Faux leather is much easier to sew than leather, not to mention a lot less expensive. I would highly recommend sewing with this before tackling real leather. This particular faux leather was an upholstery remnant. It has a beautiful feel and worked perfectly for a bag. I used a regular sewing foot and sewed through several layers without difficulty.
I sewed up the bag, just as I had the other and made some matching straps using this awesome tutorial from Emmaline Bags. I’d say it worked like a charm!
TIP: The great thing about gate rings is that you can open and close them. So if I decide I don’t want to use this bag any more, I can pull off the rings and use them in another project….or I can pull off this handle and use it on another purse.
I simply added the rivets for reinforcement and aesthetics.
I was having so much fun adding rivets I added two more at the pleats.
If I made this over again, I’m not sure I would do this again, While I like the look on the exterior, the back of the rivets are not all that pretty on the lining. I suppose I could’ve added them prior to putting the lining in, but I wasn’t thinking that far ahead. Oh well….
I had fun with the lining too. I used a bright orange fabric and trimmed the slip pocket with a bit of the faux leather. I also added a zipper pocket – I was lucky to have the perfect matching zipper in my stash!
All in all I’m pretty happy with this bag. You really can make a simple bag look quite complex by spending some time on the details. I’ll be carrying this one around while I anticipate the arrival of my brass hardware to try out on the other bag I have waiting.
I can’t wait to show you how the hardware will change the look and feel of the same style bag!