Recycling a Leather Jacket into a Bag

January 11, 2019 at 4:05 pm 6 comments

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


Entry filed under: Uncategorized. Tags: , , , , .

Clearly Besotted January Teasers Day 4 JoFY new release from PaperArtsy !

6 Comments Add your own

  • 1. conil  |  January 11, 2019 at 5:01 pm

    Holy cow, what a find and what a remake. You must be the recycle queen of Liverpool. I’ve been following you on IG but never expected to turn out like as beautifully as this functional work of art. Better be careful…all your friends are going to want one.


  • 2. Jean Timms  |  January 11, 2019 at 8:53 pm

    Brilliant Kerry love them


  • 3. noraln44  |  January 13, 2019 at 8:22 pm

    How clever is this? LOVE that you tried this out!!! I would be scared I would break my machine!!


    • 4. kerenbaker  |  January 13, 2019 at 8:45 pm

      Thankyou! To be fair- you’ll know if your machine is struggling. I did have to hand crank a little with double layered seams. With leather needles it is much easier! Have a go!! x


  • 5. Ruth  |  January 20, 2019 at 7:52 pm

    You are an absolute GENIUS! You know that don’t you…. brilliant project!


  • 6. Denise Fletcher  |  January 25, 2019 at 8:34 am

    You are so talented Keren!



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Trackback this post  |  Subscribe to the comments via RSS Feed

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!

Enter your email address to follow this blog and get notifications of new posts by email.

Join 2,419 other followers

I’m designing for;

Gallery Idol Top 10 2014

Flickr Photos

Paper Scraps Challenge Winner on Moxie Fab World!

Spectacle Challenge


%d bloggers like this: