how to sew a Black and White Bag with Leather - Sisters, What!

how to sew a Black and White Bag with Leather

Hey, guess what, I made another bag. And I love it. It's striped and leathered; just as I envisioned. Did I need another bag? no...yes
how to sew a striped leather bag sewing tutorial
how to sew a simple leather bag
A while ago, I found some scrap leather at a garage sale. As I tried to figure what I would do with it, this bag came into focus. I based it off a bag I made last year (see here), but this time I perfected it. The best part is that it was easy.
Striped Leather Bag Tutorial
easy to sew black and white bag tutorial diy
Last week I shared this tutorial on The Ribbon Retreat Blog and now today I get to share it with you. 
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How to Sew a Black and White Bag with  Leather Bag Tutorial


If doing the stripes bag cut
4 black strips (I used Bella Solid Fabric)- 2.75 inches x 15.5 inches
4 white strips - 2.75 inches x 15.5 inches (I used this fabric here)
(if doing a solid piece of fabric cut: 2 pieces fabric - 10 inches x 15.5 inches)
2 pieces of Leather/vinyl (or other heavy fabric like Cotton Duck Canvas Cloth ) - 8 inches x 15.5 inches (I used this color of Leather)
2 pieces of batting (I used Anne Soft and Sable ) 17 inches x 15.5 inches

2 pieces of duck cloth - 17 inches x 15.5 inches
1 favorite fabric (for pocket #1) [I used Moda Fabric] - 12 inches x 15.5 inches
     1 heavy weight interfacing (for pocket #1) - 11.75 inches x 15.5 inches
1 favorite fabric (for pocket #2)  - 14 inches x 15.5 inches
     1 heavy weight interfacing (for pocket #2) - 13.75 inches x 15.5 inches

Other Supplies:
1 - Leather/vinyl for strap - mine was 34 inches x 5.25 inches (however, you might want your longer, so find another bag you like and decide you long you want it)
2 - leather pieces for strap - 3 inches x 2.75 inches
2 - leather pieces for D ring on bag - 3 and 1/2 inches x 1 and 1/4 inches
Fabric for pockets (I personally love Cotton and Steel)

*use a 1/4 inch seam allowance unless noted otherwise

Step 1: 

If you are doing the striped version, take two of the black and two of the white stripes and sew them all together interchanging the colors. Repeat with the other two black and white stripes

Step 2:

 Iron the seams down. (white towards the black so that it doesn't show through the white). 

Step 3:

Sew the leather/vinyl piece to the striped black and white piece. Make sure to hold tightly to the leather and use your leather needle. 

Step 4:

 *see step 5 first. Pin your batting pieces to both sides of the black and white exterior pieces. Pin very well and quilt in the ditch between the black and white (go here for a great tutorial on quilting in the ditch. I used the blind stitch pressure foot to do this, which made it very easy to stay in the 'ditch'.

Step 5:

 If you want to add a fun looking modern leather square, sew it on using your leather foot. I did this after I added the batting, but now thinking about it, it could be easier to attach before quilting on the batting
 If you want a zipper on the outside, go HERE for a tutorial. I was going to do a tutorial for you, but there are so many excellent ones already out there. 

Step 6:

start with your Pocket #1 fabric piece. Fold in half hot dog style with right sides together
     (a) next place the interface piece that matches it on top and pin in place and sew the bottom edges together. Then turn right side out (the interface should fit nicely inside)
     (b) iron the pocket and then top stitch what will be the top of the pocket
     (c) grab one of your interior duck cloth and measure from the top 5 and 1/2 inches and place your pocket piece there. First sew your bottom part of the pocket to the duck cloth. For the pockets, measure in 5 inches and sew a line and then measure another 5 inches and sew another line. 
*REPEAT step 6 a through c for pocket #2 EXCEPT don't sew middle lines (step c) unless you want more small pockets

Step 7:

If you want a zipper pocket inside your bag, sew a zipper on the pocket #1 side. Remember to go HERE for a tutorial

Step 8: Adding Zipper to Bag

 Okay, it's time for assembling the whole thing together. Get excited, you are almost done. Grab your zipper and the pocket side exterior piece. Lay the zipper so that the teeth are facing the outside of the exterior piece Then take the top part of the zipper and fold it 90 degrees up and pin (as seen in the above picture). 
//8// (a) Lay one of your finished interior pieces on top of the zipper piece and make a zipper sandwich (make sure the exterior and interior's RIGHT sides are touching). Pin in place. Make sure to put your last pin an inch from the end. 
(b) using your zipper foot sew all the way until the last pin (which should be an inch from the end). At that point pull the end of the zipper away from the raw edge (out of the reach of the needle's path) and continue sewing until the very end. Basically, you want the last inch of the sandwich to not be sewn to the zipper. 

After you finish sewing, turn your two bag pieces so that the wrong sides are now touch and the right sides our facing out. 

Step 9:

 Sweet, one side of the bag is done. Now we get to repeat step 9 with the last two pieces of the bag. We're now going to make an even bigger sandwich (didn't know we're making sandwiches today did ya). Now here's how the sandwich should look. Exterior piece RIGHT side UP, other side of the zipper facing down (but this time the zipper has the other side of the bag that attached to it), interior piece RIGHT side DOWN. Does that make sense? It should be the same thing we did with the 
After your done, flip everything so that wrong sides of exterior and interior pieces are touching. Looks great. Almost done. DON"T TOP stitch the zipper part YET. That comes later.

Step 10: Sew Around Bag

 zip your zipper so that it is half way zipped. Now lets do some more flipping. Flip your exterior pieces so that both RIGHT sides of the exterior pieces are touch and flip the interior pieces so that both RIGHT sides of interior pieces are touching. Pin all the way around. MAKE SURE your end zipper piece is tucked well inside the whole pieces (we don't want it to get sewn up.

Next, starting on the interior side and sew all the way around back to the interior side but make sure to leave open a big gap.

Step 11: Box the Corners

 to make it boxy, we're going to box the corners before we turn the whole thing right side out. Box the corners by pinching each corner together and aligning the side/bottom seams. Grab a ruler and pen and mark out 4 inches (i know my picture shows 5 inches, but I ended up doing 4). Then sew on that line and cut the corners. Do this for both the interior side and the exterior side. 

Step 12: Turn RIght side out

 now turn it right side out but before you stuff your interior piece back into the bag, sew the hole up in the bottom of the bag. Then stuff it into the bag. 

Step 13:

 Now we're going to top stitch the top of the bag. Carefully going around the whole top, while avoiding the end of the zipper.

STep 14: Finish the Zipper

for the end of the zipper, cut it to your desired length (be careful not to pull the zipper off while you do this). Measure the leather on the zipper and turn it right sides together and sew. Then turn it right side out and attach it to the end of the zipper. Then sew it on to the end of the zipper. 

Step 15: Sew the STrap

 (a) grab your strap leather/vinyl piece and sew it in a tube, right sides together. Then the best part, turn it right side out. Actually this was a beast of a thing. I asked the husband to do it and he did it like a champ. He ended up using the leg of my music stand to push it through. Good luck. 
         (b) After you've accomplished the feat of turning it, top stitch on both sides of the strap. 
Now grab your leather pieces for the straps (the 3 x 2.75 ones). Wrap them around the swivel latch and attach them to the end of the strap pieces. I wanted it super secure and did some crazy zig zagging. You can be super awesome and match your thread with the leather...I didn't have the same color so I went with the contrasting black. It kind of looks cool, right?

Step 16:

  grab your D ring and small leather pieces. Bring it around, fold it up and then sew it closed. Then sew it to the side of the bag. Repeat for other side of the bag. 
And after all those crazy and detailed steps. YOUR DONE!!
woo hoo. 
diy black and white bag you can easily sew

 If you have any questions please feel free to ask away
a  diaper bag or an adventure every day bag; made out of leather. An easy sewing tutorial


  1. I'm totally impressed! What a cute bag!

  2. I can't believe you MADE this! incredible.

  3. gee, this looks like too much work. i'll just buy it from you (:

  4. LOVE. THIS. Thanks for making it into a tutorial!

  5. WOW! So impressed. It looks amazing. You did such a great job with all of the details! (P.S. If you have a minute, I'd love if you linked up to The Makers link party on my blog :)

  6. Wow! Your bag is VERY pretty! I love the color combination you came up with. The leather looks very soft... Fab!!!! :)
    hugs x, Crystelle
    Crystelle Boutique

  7. This is AMAZING. The bag is stunning, and your tutorial is so helpful! I'm not so great with the sewing myself, but now I really really want to make one :) Visiting from The Makers link party!

  8. fabulous bag! is there such thing as having enough bags?

  9. This comment has been removed by the author.

  10. I'm in the process of making this and I can't figure out what size zipper I need for the top of the bag. Am I missing it?

  11. I WANT this bag! I love the combination of leather and stripes! Thanks for the awesome tutorial!

  12. I think I need sewing lessons pronto!!!

    Thanks for contributing this post to The Sunday Brunch Magazine!

    All the best,


  13. I am so in love with this bag. What are the finished dimensions?

  14. Thank you so so much for taking the time to do this tutorial!!! I LOVE this bag and cannot wait to attempt it!


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