Leather Drawstring Bag

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I used black leather from an old jacket, lining fabric from the same jacket and some basic cotton fabric from IKEA. The cotton fabric is not necessary at all, but the leather I used is waaay to thin and floppy for my taste, I did want the bag to be quite slouchy, but still have some sturdiness to it. So, I used the IKEA fabric on the back of the bag’s leather, it actually worked really well.

fabric used for leather bag diy

I think I have said this before, but my math skills are zero and I am super lazy, so many times I make patterns for bags by folding paper. It is actually quite smart since you get pieces that match up exactly with each other. The bag’s front and back had to be divided into three parts as I did not have big enough pieces to make the bag’s sides in only one piece covering the entire surface. Using only one chunk of leather for the entire bag would have been cool though, but this blog is about re-purposing stuff, so… yeah.

pattern for bag using a4 paper

bag parts before sewing

pinned and sewed parts

all parts front back

Before sewing together the front and back pieces I made sure to mark out how much of the top I wanted to leave out for the drawstring casing, in my case around 7 cm (or 3 inches).

casings leave out

I made the lining for my bag using the lining fabric from the same jacket I got the leather. I did not have pieces big enough for the lining either, so I had to make the lining from smaller parts as well. Yeeeah!!! Saving money!!! :P


I basically just put the lining into the bag and attached it by folding over the top, making the casing for the drawstrings at the same time!

attaching lining

For the two drawstrings I used smaller parts from the jacket, measuring about 5 cm (2 inches) wide. I made them quite long too, maybe too long, but I want the bag to rest comfortably on my shoulder… Besides, making the drawstrings shorter later on will be easy. Anyway, this is how I made the drawstrings. Note that I had to lengthen them by sewing together several parts. I used zigzag stitch to add the pieces together.

sewed smaller parts

And then I just folded and sewed them shut.
fold strings

I pulled the two drawstrings through the casings.
strings in casings

After that I just had to sew them shut and the bag was complete!

sew shut drastrings

pulled strings in bag

I will definitely use this bag a lot this summer!
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Leather Drawstring Bag — 5 Comments

  1. Pingback: Lederrausch: 8 DIY-Projekte für’s Wochenende | monochrome

  2. Hi Everyone,

    I just wanted to turn everyone on to a great leather supplier out of NYC. They are called District Leathers. Their website is http://www.districtleathers.com and they are super friendly and helpful. They carry all types of leather that you can take out right from their showroom on 263 West 38th St. (15th floor) in NYC. No appointment necessary.