How To Attach Rolled Leather Handles

Handles Cover Have you ever wondered how to get those pre-punched rolled handles attached to your newly constructed purse?  Oddly enough, I couldn’t find any tutorials out there that explained how to do this, so I felt the need to change that.   This tutorial will show you how to get a professionally sewn look without having the thread show on the interior of the bag.

By the way, this technique MUST be done by hand.  There is no machine cheat…sorry!  I promise the final result is worth it! Front and Back Handles

NOTE:  In order for your thread not to show on the interior,  your bag must be lined…if it isn’t you will see the stitching on the inside.  For best results, your bag should have some sort of interior strength (batting, interfacing, fusible fleece, etc).

What You Need:

  • Pre-Punched Purse Handles
  • Hand-Sewing Needle
  • Extra Strength/Upholstery Thread  (this is VERY important – DO NOT use All-Purpose!) Handles Supplies

Cut off a long piece of thread and thread it through the needle.  You need to double the thread, so make the ends even and tie a good size knot (I tripled mine). knot-12

Attach your handles where you want them on your bag using a straight pin.  Use the existing holes – you do not want to puncture the leather!  Make sure you place the handle far enough down  on the tote that all of your holes are over the fabric and you don’t see the open edge on the backside!   position handles

Insert the needle behind the handle fabric, close to the 2nd hold and secure it to the exterior fabric making sure not to pierce the lining fabric. You will need to gently pull back the handle to do this.   Attach Step 1

Bring the needle up and right through the back of the SECOND HOLE of the handle.   2nd Hole

Once you pull the thread through, you can let the handle lay flat again.  Now BACKSTITCH into the first hole. Backstitch Step 2 Bring the needle back up through the THIRD hole.

IMPORTANT:  When you bring the needle back into the handle, you will want to catch the main fabric of the bag to hold it in place WITHOUT catching the lining fabric.

EVERY single time you put the needle through the fabric of the bag, check the inside lining (BEFORE pulling the needle all the way through) to make sure you are not piercing the lining fabric.  If you do, and you pull the needle through, you will need to unthread the entire thing and start all over!

3rd Hole

Check Lining Every Time Your Needle looks like this!

See…you can’t see the needle!  If you do see it, pull it back out and try again.   lining-21 Once you are sure that you are not piercing the interior of the bag, pull the needle through.   Go slow because when working with double thread you run the chance of tangling the threads.

Backstitch again

Pull tight and backstitch into the previous hole.

Pull Through

Repeat this process until you have made it all the way around the handle.  When you get to the last hole, tie the thread off BEHIND the handle.  Once again, you will need to gently pull back the handle to access the fabric.   Finish Knot

Cut the thread, and that’s it!  You now have a perfectly stitched handle!    finish-22