As promised, today I am sharing some more details about my leather bag. First I should tell you that I fashioned this bag after a lovely bag at Anthropologie (suprise suprise). Mine turned out a little more square-shaped, but for my purposes I think that is better.
The first thing I did was rip out the seams of the jacket. I left the back of the jacket in one piece even though it was made up of 4 pieces of fabric because I knew that I would want to use it as one piece. There was also a front flap and two cuffs that I removed from the main body of the jacket but did not deconstruct completely because I wanted to use them as they were for the strap. I took apart everything else. I discarded the jacket lining because it was not in very good condition and I wanted something with a little more style to use as the lining of the bag.
I had some trouble deciding on what part of the jacket to use for the main back piece of the bag. I finally ended up taking the two front pieces (they were separate because of the zipper) and sewing them together. This made a large enough piece to cut out the back. The added bonus of using the front of the jacket for the back of the purse is it had 4 pockets that I was able to include. These are really useful for storing my phone and wallet because I can access them very easily and they are more secure than storing things in the front pocket. What the back of the bag lacks in style it certainly makes up for in convenience.
The pockets on the front of the bag were cut from the arms of the jacket. It was helpful that the jacket was pretty large because I was able to use some of the “smaller” parts, like the arms, for some suprisingly large pieces.
I bought most of the hardware that I used on the bag, with an exception of the zipper. I reused the zipper that was on the jacket. That worked out really well because it was the perfect size for my bag. If I was making a smaller bag I probably would have used the zipper still, but I would have cut it to size and used thread to stop the zipper from coming off.
To line the bag I made another bag out of the striped fabric and sewed it to the inside of the leather bag. I didn’t add any pockets to the inside because there are so many pockets on the outside, but I may end up adding some if I need them.
Finally, I made the strap from the cuffs and front flap of the jacket, which ended up being just the right length! I can wear it over one shoulder comfortably, like I usually do with purses, but it is also long enough to put over my head, across the chest so that I can carry it easily while riding my bike. Yay! No more messenger bag for me!