Monday, October 22, 2012

Leather Skirt + Old Belt = New Bag

       I simply love leather. It creaks when it moves. It smells earthy. It reminds me of the smell of barns and horses; two of my absolute favorite things. You can never go wrong with leather, it's timeless and always classy.

        The one problem with leather however, it is expensive. To buy nice, 100%  leather will not be cheap. Unless.... happen to find a 100% leather skirt for $1 at your local thrift store! In which case, your finances most likely won't pose a problem! You might remember I did the same thing with this bag a few months back.

      I still use that bag quite a bit, but it's a bit too "boho" for dressier outfits. I wanted to try a less distracting version that would be more neutral looking.
      Please pardon the awful working photos...this was an "after bedtime" project. I chopped off the top that was shaped with darts. That left me with a flat panel to work with. I did not disassemble the lining or any of the existing seams.

         I decided to cheat, and use the skirt hem for the top of my bag. (my motto is to skip hemming whenever I can get away with it!)  I cut 2 inch by 2 inch corners into what would be the bottom of the bag.

       Next, I sewed 10 inch casings on the sides. I wanted a bit of a gather along the sides to help shape the bag and to create a bit of a ruffle.

     I slipped the elastic between the lining and the leather and threaded it through the casing.

       I sewed the ends of the elastic down, and it gathered up the sides just nicely.

       Next I closed up the bottom lining by sewing across the bottom seam.

       I flattened the corners and sewed straight across the corners.

      I did the same with the leather, but left a small part open to turn the bag right side out.

     I sewed it that last little bit from the outside once the bag was turned. I used the skirt waist band as straps for the bag. Lastly, an old belt that was needing to be trashed became the closure to the bag. I hid a magnetic snap under the buckle so it just snaps easily into place.

      While I didn't do it on purpose, this bag does fit nicely with equestrian trend I'm seeing all about this fall. I just love all the buckles and bits of leather used in unexpected ways on clothing. What do you think of the trend?

        If you've never tried working with leather, a thrift store skirt is totally the way to can hack it up without worrying a bit about messing it up!

Hebrews 10:38   Now the just shall live by faith...


  1. I never would've thought to use a leather skirt for something other than clothes! How creative!! And your purse looks SO lovely!

    Blue Eyed Beauty Blog

  2. Very clever refashion combining the leather skirt and an old belt. Love the gathering on the sides of the bag. I would love for you to share this at our ongoing linky that's just for Bags and Totes...

  3. That is simply awesome - what a great idea nice price too :) coming via get A-Z

  4. LOVE IT.. I need to hit up a thrift store. The gathers are great.

  5. Wow it looks so great, and what an excellent detailed tutorial! Thanks!

  6. Really fantastic! I hope you stop by on Saturday and share at my link party Sew & Tell!

  7. This is fantastic! I love repurposing projects.

  8. WOW! Amazing!! Would never have guessed it was from a skirt...great repurpose!!

    My sister and I host a joint party and we'd love for you to join us. Remember, when you link up at one site, it shows up on both my blog and my sister's blog too...double exposure!!

  9. Very creative, I love that purse! I tried my hand at upcycling a piece of clothing, it was an epic fail.

  10. Wow, you've inspired me! I'm going to start looking for leather skirts at goodwill. So rocking awesome!


  11. Thank you for sharing, I pinned it for later ;)
    I stopped by from the Creative Me linky ;)

  12. This is such a great idea! I love the style of the purse too. I will be checking the skirt section of my thrift stores this week! Thanks for the tutorial. I'm a new follower :)

    Have a great week!

  13. I am a huge fan of anything that involves recycling, thanks!

  14. Well that's awesome and so fashionable! I'd love for you to share this at my link party Submarine Sunday. It's open until Friday @ 11:59pm. I hope you'll stop by!


  15. Oh, wow! This is so awesome! I wish I had seen this before I went to the thrift store last week--there was an awesome leather skirt for a couple of bucks but I just didn't know what I'd do with it.

  16. Great project!!! Pinned in my style folder:)
    Following your blog now and visiting your etsy shop! I posted "craft clothes pin" and "chalk board table" to the just something I whipped up party:) Follow me to at

  17. Wow! This is amazing! You are so clever!
    I would LOVE for you to link this up at my Ginger Jamboree Link Party!!

  18. Absolutely INSPIRING! You did an amazing job! I am so impressed and would love to run into such a skirt someday! ;)

  19. You are incredibly talented!!! Love it and it's featured on Kammy's Korner today. :) Feel free to grab a featured button if you'd like.

  20. This is a great idea. The purse is awesome!! I would have cheated with the sewing, too. I love the gathers on the purse.

  21. Is gorgeous! Will feature you.... I'll email you with a date and all that!

  22. I love the bag. Thanks so much for the tutorial. I think I can do this. Off to the thrift store.

  23. I absolutely love this! I have a question, do you use a serger or thing it necessary for your sewing projects?

  24. Love love it. Do you have an extra heavy duty sewing machine? I can't imagine sewing that belt with my machine.

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