I love receiving samples of fabrics for appraisal and one recently reached my desk screaming “Make me into an oversized slouchy bag” … so I did!
What really appealed was the wonderful metallic and pearlescent colours of this new faux leather range by Modelo. It’s super soft and to my surprise was incredibly easy to sew due to a fabric backing which also gives great stability.
So for an on-trend, super-easy fashion accessory that you can make yourself here’s instructions that use just two pieces joined at the centre-front and back.
1. Place both bag pieces in faux leather right sides together, and sew the centre front and back seams.
2. Open out the seams, and topstitch from the right side of the fabric as desired. I did two rows quite close together on both sides of the seam in a contrasting colour.
3. With lining pieces right sides together sew the centre back seam. Open out seam and press.
4. Make pocket by folding the square in half, right sides together to make a rectangle 25cm x 11cm (9¾in x 4½in), sew along both the short edges. Trim corners and turn right way out.
5. Using a quilting ruler mark the placement for the internal pocket on the right side of the bag lining. Mark a line at right angles to the centre back seam 16cm (6¼in) down from the top edge, 12cm (4½in) to each side of the centre seam using a chalk marker.
6. Place the pocket with the raw edge to the chalk line with the pocket facing downwards.
7. Sew from one side of the pocket to the other with a 1cm seam, backstitching at each end to secure the seam. Fold and press the pocket upwards.
8. Stitch along both sides of the pocket and along the bottom to secure in place, you may also wish to sew a divider half way along the pocket to make two smaller pockets.
9. With right sides together sew the centre front seam of the bag lining.
10. Fold the bag outer faux leather right sides together with the centre front and centre back seams matching. Sew the bottom of the bag. Repeat for the bag lining but this time leaving a gap open on one side of the centre seam of around 10cm (4in) to turn the bag through when the lining has been sewn into it.
12. Using a quilting ruler make a line across the triangle at right angles to the bottom seam so that it is 3.5cm (1½in) on either side of the seam. Sew across this line securing the stitching at both ends. Trim the triangle off leaving a 1cm (⅜in) seam allowance. Repeat this step for all corners of the leather and lining.
15. Clip the seam allowance around the curves and turn the bag to the right sides through the opening in the lining. Topstitch edges as desired.
16. Sew the tops of the handles together by sewing them right sides together around 4cm (1 ½in) from the ends of the handles. Trim one handle seam allowance to approx 1cm (⅜ in). Fold the other seam allowance in half to put the raw edge inside and topstitch across the handle to secure. Your bag is now finished...enjoy!
Sewing with faux leather
The Modelo faux leather used here is available in a great range of colours including metallic and pearl finishes. It has a woven fabric backing, which sews really well with a normal machine foot. Depending on faux leather fabric you choose you might find it easier to sew with a teflon foot or walking foot (the Modelo is easy to sew with so I didn't need either), also make sure you increase your stitch length a little to around as this avoids stressing the faux leather at the seams.