DIY BELLA’S BROWN TOTE BAG! :)
Hey everyone!!! I know you have been patiently waiting on directions on how to make Bella’s brown, leather, peacock feather tote bag, (My internet was awful yesterday and I tried to update with my moms blackberry – didn’t work so much) so without any further wait!
(Please Click the link for the etsy website – It cites the person who makes the ORIGINAL bag, and it also gives you more pictures for references 🙂
Disclaimer! – This is not my bag design, nor do i own any rights to the original bag!
– I’m also not that good at sewing – so i take a couple of short cuts that are easier for me 🙂 – this is the way that i made my bag – it is fully functional 🙂 You may have a different way of making the bag that may be easier, or you may know exactly how to make the bag perfectly – in that case, that’s great! – feel free to comment and share different ways of making the bag, but please be kind, I’m not a master sewer :p
With that said, Lets get started 🙂
Materials Needed :
- 2 yrds Leather or Faux Leather ( I actually bought 3 yards – i mess up alot, but two is just as good 🙂 – I also bought Faux leather – cheaper and easier 🙂 )
- 1 yrd blue fabric
- 1 small zipper (I have the “invisible zipper” )
- Orange durable thread
- White acrylic paint (I used Liquitex brand – its a good quality and is very flexible an does not chip, though I’m sure anything will be fine)
- Cerulean Blue Acrylic Paint
- 4 Gold Metal Rings (used for Purses and Tote bags)
- 50 Silver or Gold Studs (I could only find silver so i spray painted them gold)
- paint brush ( for the paint)
- transfer paper (You can find it at art stores or in art sections of craft stores – it has a layer of chalk on it)
- 1 Magnetic snap button
- white chalk
Grab a piece of paper – or cardboard, something durable you can cut through. (i did this part by eye)
The measurements of the bag are 16″x14″ Draw half of the shape on the paper – 16″x7″ but make sure you give an inch on each side of the stencil except for the top where straps are attached – this is because you will be sewing sides and the middle together, and you want that extra give of fabric – so your measurements should be 17″x9″ for the stencil.
Take your leather fabric and fold it over, the leather part being on the inside, and make a crease (Make sure your fabric is lined up evenly so when you trace cut and unfold what you have cut, you have two shapes attached). Line your stencil up to the crease of the fabric (The “middle” edge of the stencil should be placed up against the crease of the fabric)
With your chalk, trace around the stencil, then carefully cut out both layers of the fabric.
unfolded, the fabric piece should look exactly like the front and back pieces of the bag.
Where the fabric was folded, cut along the crease line so you have two pieces. Make sure to mark the edges of which side the crease was on – this is because you are going to sew them back together, and you want to make sure you sew the correct edges.
Repeat the whole tracing step and cutting step again. at the end of this, you should have 4 half pieces.
Get your sewing machine together with the orange thread, and sew the “middle” edges together, the “inside out” method, so there is a clean seam.
You will now have to pieces, the front piece and the back piece.
Take one of the two pieces, and more of the leather fabric, and use the sewn piece as another stencil. (this time, you do not have to fold the fabric) Trace the top part of the sewn piece, and only trace about a quarter of the way down :
Grab your blue fabric now. (you can still use the orange thread for this part, or you can use blue to match)
cut two pieces out, these pieces can be 16″x14″.
cut two more shapes out of the blue fabric. this is for the inner pocket in the inside of the bag. it could be as big and wide as you would like it to be. I made mine about 4 to 5 inches wide and 4 inches deep.
Sew the small little inner pocket together first – remember to keep a side opened for the zipper!
Next, sew the zipper to the pocket – you can fold down the edges to make a clean edge.
Now, take one of the blue fabric pieces used to line the bag, and make a slit in the fabric to the size of the pocket you wish to insert. – i placed mine about 2 inches down from the top of the blue fabric, and right in the middle.
Sew the zipper to the bag – keep in mind that the messy seam side of the pocket and lining will be facing outward, it will be placed inside the bag, so you will only see the pretty inside.
now that you have the inner lining together, take the small leather pieces you had cut, and blue lining to it. You must be very careful doing this:
The blue fabric will be BEHIND the leather, and the stitching about an inch from the bottom – there will extra leather on the ends. Make sure to line the fabric up in the middle of the leather:
take the leather front and back pieces of the bag, and stitch down the middle right next to the seam. do this twice on each piece so the seam is right between these decorative stitches :
Now Sew the bag together, STARTING FROM THE SIDES! The sides actually do not have a clean seam if you look closely, so this will be pretty easy! just sew them together, you do not have to turn anything inside out 🙂
Once you have the two sides stitched together, Stitch the bottom. This IS a clean seam, so turn the bag inside out, making sure that the side seams are pointing to the back of the bag (decide which side you want as the back ^^)
Still with me?
you now have the outer part of the bag! 😀
Now what you have to do, is place the blue lining in, make sure the messy seams are facing outward 🙂
Line the inner leather lining up with the leather lining of the bag. Now, for the tricky part!
Fold over the extra leather pieces on the inside of the bag to make a clean seem. (make sure you pin them in place 🙂 )
Sew along the whole top of the bag, maybe a quarter of an inch in from the edge. follow the whole edge, over the seams, and up and down the areas where the straps will be.
DONT WORRY if the edges become a little messy and little bit uneven with each other. i just trimmed mine after i was completely done 🙂
For the rest of the extra inner leather that is not quite attached to anything, i just took my hot glue gun, and attached the rest of the folded seem together.
If you haven’t thrown the pieces of the bag at the wall out of aggravation yet, congrats! you have a lot more patience than i did! :p
Half way there! 🙂
Go back to your leather fabric, and cut two straps out, for the shoulder straps. I made them about an inch wide and 25 inches long
– you can fold the fabric over again and cut out the straps, having them double sided, like i did.
after you cut out the straps, round the edges like they look on the bag.
now cut out 4 more straps the same way, but smaller, about 5 inches long. round the edges.
sew around all the straps, following the edge, just like you did with the top edge of the bag.
Get your gold rings and small straps out. place the small strap through the gold ring, and “close” the strap around the ring. make sure to not perfectly line the strap up. make it about an inch off :
Now attach the piece to the bag, again, by stitching where the studs will be. Do this will all four rings – Dont forget to put the rings in!
Now, take the shoulder straps, and do pretty much the same exact thing! 🙂
After this is all set, What I did was took my hot glue gun, and sealed all of the opened seams. Around the top of the bag and the straps, just to make it look a little neater – 🙂
Now take your studs – if they are silver, spray paint them first – shouldn’t take too long 🙂
take your studs and hot glue them over the little stitches you used to attached the straps. make sure to take a good look at the bag so you don’t miss a spot! 🙂
Grab the magnetic buttons and either sew them or hot glue them to the inside of the bag 🙂 (i did a little bit of both)
Now for the feather! 🙂
What i did was take the feather from the the picture of the bag and i blew it up a little bit on my computer – i have photoshop, so i was able to type in the exact measurement of how big i wanted it to be. i think i got it about 6″ tall.
I printed it out and grabbed my transfer paper. I also grabbed a couple of CD cases… yes… CD cases. I slid the cases inside the bag so i would have something firm to trace and paint on. I placed the transfer paper chalk side down, and then lined up the picture exactly where i wanted it on the bag.
I took a pen and very carefully but with pleasure, traced the feather.
I then took my paint and mixed it to the color i wanted. I then painted it on.
I wish you all luck on making your bags! I know it may seem confusing, so if you have any questions, feel free to comment or email!! 🙂 🙂