Recycling a Leather Jacket into a Bag

Hi everyone! Something a little different from me today- a little recycling or to be precise upcycling!!

I picked up a leather jacket for £4 from a local charity shop.

It needed deconstructing. It wasn’t hard- simply using my Fiskars Amplify scissors to get through multiple layers and seams and trim around the armholes first. Then I looked at the garment and saw the two pockets which I knew I could incorporate into the bag

Next I had to create as large sections as possible. I kept the back pretty intact and then cut around parts to create strips of a similar width that I could sew back together

It was a bit like putting a puzzle together. I made sure I didn’t piece it exactly even though I was using mirror pieces from the jacket; I wanted it to not be absolutely symmetrical.

Then using some spare bits of leather a friend had gifted me, I made a motif using a hand drawn template and sewed it on top of my pieced section- you can see below how I echoed the pattern on the repositioned pockets.

Next I had to create a bag pattern. I measured both large pieces and found a size that would fit both of them. It ended up being around 11 x 16″. I wanted to try a bottom and sides that was all one piece. I’d not tried that before. I did some more piecing of leftover pieces and added the pocket pieces so I had a piece that was longer than the two sides and bottom. It was about 6″ in width.

I recreated the panels and bottom/sides in a matching fabric for the lining. I then had to think about the order of construction- I wanted bag feet, an inserted zip pocket and magnetic clasps. I’m so grateful to the linked YouTube tutorials on these – I was doing a tonne of learning.

I knew I needed to have some sort of stabiliser. I’d already added some lightweight interfacing to the leather pieces, but needed something substantial. I had some Pellon 72F that I’d bought off someone else, so managed to piece this together. I decided against ironing it to the leather as I wasn’t sure how it would cope with a high heat, so I positioned it, glued down and decided to iron it to the lining once the lining was in situe. Yes, I was winging it!!

Now I needed to put it all together. I’d seen some strips of leather to the matching fabric in the hope of having mixed textured handles, however one of the leather pieces must have been cut in a different direction- and it twisted dreadfully so I decided to make some rolled handles which helped disguise it!

Now I just needed to sew it and turn it- this was the most nerve wracking bit!!

I was so delighted when it actually worked!!!

For any of you that are wondering about seeing leather- it’s pretty straightforward as long as you use seam clips rather than pins, as they’ll leave marks. I bought some leather machine needles that were great. Use as many clips as possible and go steadily so you don’t stretch the leather.

I also used my Fiskars Rotary Cutter and Ruler combo for the leather strips; it worked like a dream!

You can see the way that the pocket goes so well on the edge. I made sure it was still a functioning pocket. I won’t use it for anything important as I decided against using a magnetic clasp, but it’ll be fine for a pack of tissues!

You can see the underside of the rolled handles- as nice little nod to the leather jacket from which it came. This took some thought and careful planning but I love the end result. It’s probably a little larger than I’d normally use, but will be able to fit magazines in it, so all in all, a really versatile make!

I’m now going to be on the hunt for another leather jacket- I think I’ll check the mens section in the charity shop and be a little more careful about the quality of the leather that o buy next time! I’d love to hear any tips you have about sewing with leather or repurposed clothing!

See you soon!

Keren x


January 11, 2019 at 4:05 pm 5 comments

Clearly Besotted January Teasers Day 4

Well hello again! I hope you’ve loved all the teasers. This is the last day I’m doing Teasers; I’m normally back with a last project for release day but sadly a slightly busier month than usual meant I’ve just got today’s project!

Onto some fun hippos…the set is aptly named ‘Twinkle Toes’! I’d love to be able to do this- but I’m afraid me and tutus are never going to be friends- so I’ve passed on trying this particular activity! 😂

Aerial Silk hippos! Don’t they look right at home. You could have them pirouetting, at the barre, doing a curtain clad stage performance or just hanging out sipping a protein pumped shake. However you position them, these hippos are going to make anyone’s cards a whole lot more fun!!

Looking carefully, you might see I’ve cut into the hippo’s necks and waists to anchor the bakers twine. You can also see I’ve used patterned paper which adds real interest to the images and is much quicker than colouring 😉.

I hope you’ve loved this latest release- I’d love to know which ones have taken your fancy. If you go to Clearly Besotted’s Facebook page, there’s always a chance to win the whole release!!

For the penultimate time this month please see the Clearly Besotted blog and also Lisa and Michelle

Please join me again soon!

Keren x

December 31, 2018 at 8:00 am 12 comments

Clearly Besotted January Teasers Day 3

Good morning lovely readers! I have a card today using another new Clearly Besotted set called Snail Mail.

It’s a timely set. I used to write lots of letters and send way more cards than I do know. It’s easy to forget the joy of receiving a real written note and so I’m really delighted to see this set!

It’s wonderful if you’re often sending belated wishes or simply wanting to try your hand at mail art. Rather than create a decorated envelope, I thought I’d use the ‘stamp’ stamps 😉 to create an easy background. I say easy, until I realised it wasn’t going to be random and I had to line them all up!!

It’s a fabulous set and one you’ll often go back to, even if it’s just for the sentiments!!

I hope you’ve visited the Clearly Besotted blog already, but if not, head over there now! Pop over to visit the magnificent Michelle and very lovely Lisa (I need to find a better ‘L’ word for Lisa!!) .

I’m back tomorrow in a tutu. Thankfully not me, just some elephants. Oh wait, that’s me- but not in a tutu! 😂

Keren x

December 30, 2018 at 8:00 am 9 comments

Clearly Besotted January Teasers Day 2

Hello! From the calm of yesterday to posting this with Dory ringing in my ears..’just keep swimming, just keep swimming’! It’s remarkably sage advice for life, but just in case you’ve come here for the stamp inspiration rather than the wisdom 😂😂, here’s a little look at the sets ‘Picture It Ocean’ and ‘Water Plushies’.

Now, I have combined them but without using the Picture It Ocean set as it’s designed; I simply cut elements out from it to add to my porthole card. I wanted to make this simpler, so I’ve added the characters to some patterned paper which saved me inking a background. I love shortcuts!!

I added an aperture to some embossed cardstock- I used a wood grain effect embossing folder called Pinewood Planks. Then I created a simple frame using grey cardstock and added in some brads to look more like a porthole. Stamp and colour (& maybe use the matching dies too!!) and arrange onto the base of the card.

Then simply compile everything, adding foam pads to the top layer and porthole frame to give height. I added some little gel pen dots to make the characters more ‘sparkly’ and then added my little starfish and sentiment which is also from ‘Water Plushies’.

I’m all about transparency- so below was my reject. It was a little boring and I wish I’d made it into a shaker card ( it had an acetate layer) as I think it might have been passable then!

I am so thankful for your lovely comments from yesterday- so glad you liked the set! Please pop across to the Clearly Besotted blog first .. then don’t forget to visit Michelle and Lisa to see more fabulous inspiration!!

See you tomorrow for a slow card!


December 29, 2018 at 8:00 am 8 comments

Clearly Besotted January Teasers Day 1

Hello lovely Clearly Besotted fans and blog friends! Hope you had a lovely Christmas and are enjoying the space between Christmas and New Year where no one seems to know what day of the week it is and you yo-yo between eating leftovers, working and trying to enjoy the gifts you’ve received!

Today starts the monthly countdown for the Clearly Besotted release, and January’s set of stamps and dies are wonderful! I’ve chosen to use the ‘apples-pears’ set. I’ve gone with both!

First of all, stamp and white heat embossing onto a light moss green cardstock. Stamp in a random pattern, turning the stamps so it doesn’t look too uniform.

Next, using a craft knife, trim out the inside spaces of the apples and pears and also the larger portions of the branches.

Now you want to mount it on some vellum or matt DuraLar. Using some Prismacolor pencils, I added some details along the edges of leaf and fruit images.

Next add in some white gel pen detailing- using random dots. Then simply stamp and white heat emboss the sentiment onto grey cardstock and add to the card. I mounted it first onto white cardstock using foam pads and then onto the same colour cardstock I’d used for the sentiment.

I really love the different styles you can create using this set. It’s also perfect for the colourists amongst you!

Please pop over to the Clearly Besotted blog to see what Jenny and Stephanie have imagined up for you and then onto ..

Michelle and Lisa’s blog to see their wonderful projects for today

I’ll be back tomorrow with a little underwater scene!

Keren x

December 28, 2018 at 8:00 am 12 comments

Clearly Besotted December Release Day!!

Well hello!!! Happy Saturday and happy release day! As the tension mounts and the excitement increases, 🎼 it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas!!.

The release goes live tonight at 8pm GMT, but before we get there, I thought I’d show you a card that somewhat different. This gives you a clue to the inner ( odd) workings of my mind!

So go with me on this one…I saw the ‘superpug’ image and the first thing I saw was the flowing cape that looked like it was being blown in the wind! I then imagined it was getting its fur blow dried ( hence the hairdryer which I quickly sketched and coloured) and then it got me thinking about there are some very ordinary super hero’s- those in disguise. Those that are in the middle of really challenging circumstances and they keep on getting up ( getting dressed, washing their hair etc) and they keep going.

So this card is a celebration of all those women who despite their situations, keep going and inspire the rest of us by their bravery.

So next time you see a hairdryer, stop for a moment, think of someone you know who is an unsung hero, and reach out to them to encourage them to keep going and that your appreciate them!!

So, on that positive note- I’ll send you over to the Clearly Besotted Blog and also to ‘mazing Michelle ( sorry, that’s now a thing!!) who has a video roundup of all the sets and her projects!

At 8pm all release products are in the Clearly Besotted store and also at Simon Says Stamp

Don’t forget there is also a Facebook completion for one lucky winner to get the entire release!

Have a lovely day to all you heroines out there!!


December 1, 2018 at 10:32 am 4 comments

Clearly Besotted December Teasers Day 4

Hello there! I can hardly believe this is already Day 4 of the Teasers before the new release tomorrow!

I’ve combined three sets; ‘Head over heels’, ‘On The Shelf’ and ‘Shake It Up’

Once I stamped out the ‘Baby’, I thought of using the Head over Heels set as a baby lying on the sentiment. I just drew a nappy and pin on the hippo to make him look more like a baby!

I cut into the hippo baby’s arm to slot the toy reindeer into. The little reindeer is from Shake It Up. I used ribbon ( which I rarely do) but felt the card needed a little softness as it’s for a baby after all!!

You can see the little stars that I used from another Clearly Besotted set- annoyingly I’ve forgotten which one it’s from – so any guesses would be much appreciated ! 😂😂

I hope you like my nappy clad hippo! He’s certainly making me think back to when mine were that age and cuter, but..I don’t miss those nappies!!

Please go over to the Clearly Besotted blog– they’ve really been knocking the projects out of the park! Not forgetting lovely Lisa & ‘mazing Michelle ( ok I was struggling finding a word that started with m and didn’t sounds ridiculous!!)

I’m back tomorrow with a final card for the release day..but it’s a bit daft!


November 30, 2018 at 8:00 am 9 comments

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Welcome to this space, my little place of creative refuge away from the busy-ness of life!
I'm a wife, Mum to 6, crafter, Christian and fortunate to be doing a job that I love!

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