I wanted a dreamy looking leather satchel in a soft, buttery leather only I didn’t want to shell out a couple hundred dollars for it. I saw a cool looking black leather skirt in a thrift shop and I suppose they were having a hard time moving it because it was marked down to $7.00. I grabbed a back leather belt for $2.00 and away I went!
I turned the skirt inside out and marked there I wanted to cut it. Since the skirt was lined, I could skip lining the tote.
I had to decide how to work around the zipper and decided that I would make a seam there and remove it.
I’m glad I scanned the Internet for tips (see end of post) because I got myself some heavy duty needles which helped immensely. The leather I used was thin-it had been a skirt after all, and the Singer Slant-O-Matic had no trouble handling it. Plus it glided smoothly because the lining and not the leather was making contact with the sewing machine.
I cut the handles from a thick leather belt which was very hard to cut. I used a utility blade.
I attached the handles to the body of the bag with grommets I bought at Harbor Freight.
I stitched the handles to the top of the bag with a sewing awl, also from Harbor Freight. You can see that I had to make the holes with a drill, but the awl was great for passing the thread back and forth between the holes.
I installed a magnetic purse snap and I had a leather tote for under $10.00!
Here’s another one made from a suede thrift store skirt
This tutorial from sewbeittudio.com was very helpful. I also liked this one from the Vintage Ramble blog.
And here is a good video to get you started.