Who doesn’t love a leather bag, or a quality faux leather?! These fabulous patterns and tutorials will give you some top tips for sewing with leather. How about stunning friends and family with stylish leather purses?
I have gathered free leather purse patterns for you to enjoy, endeavouring to source a wide range of styles for you to choose from. If you fancy stretching yourself further there are many printable PDF patterns for sale on Etsy (affiliate link).
Where to source leather?
Do not have any leather in your stash? No worries. I was fortunate to pick up leather from a car boot sale (I suspect the equivalent of a yard sale in the US). How about upcycling? Source old leather jackets from second-hand websites/thrift shops or even old sofas! Alternative fabric shops now regularly sell leather, such as Joanna’s in the US and Minerva crafts in the UK.
Tips for sewing leather on a domestic sewing machine
Use a leather needle in your sewing machine
Lengthen your stitch length, I suggest 3.5 or longer
Difficulty feeding through your machine? Try a Teflon foot, or a walking foot, or tissue paper next to your feed dogs (you can rip this away later)
Strong thread such as a top stitch thread
15 Leather Purse Patterns
Making your own leather bags and purses is super easy with this fabulous list of projects. These free sewing patterns and tutorials have something for everyone. Each of these tutorials goes into detail on how to sew with leather or faux leather, give it a go!
This sparkly leather bag is made on a regular sewing machine, with detailed instructions and printable instructions. This is a great leather purse which is easily customizable with your favourite fabrics.
A super easy sewing DIY that can be used for makeup, cash, business cards, etc. These purses are fabulous leather accessories, plus they only take about 30 minutes to make! I love the three different sized options.
Sara from Sew Sweetness has a video and free leather pattern showing how you can sew this simple leather hobo bag. The leather has a substantial body so the bag is sleek and structured, rather than slouchy like many hobo bags.
This unlined tote is an easy make - my eye is particularly drawn to the use of eyelets to add that touch of style to the leather purse. Another lovely touch is using crimping scissors for the top of the bag.
This waist bag is simply stunning, but you will need a sewing machine which can cope with layers of fabric (I know my regular machine would not manage this but my old Bernina possible would). This detailed pattern includes free printable leather pattern pieces.
This is a fabulous project to start with, easy to make and super sylish. Learn how to add pattern to your leather clutch with Deco Pens. A simple clutch that can be sewn in minutes. Unlike fabric, leather does not sway so there's no need to hem the edges or line the interiors.
Learn how to make a super stylish and affordable purse with a strap. You can take this to work, school, or anywhere when you go out. With no zipper or button, just sew and attach the strap and ta-da, it’s ready to use. This bag is easier to make than it looks, give it a go!
With this free tote pattern, you will learn how to combine leather with canvas fabric. The instructions include a video with top tips for sewing leather on a domestic sewing machine. The bag has a lined internal pocket designed to protect a tablet or similar device.
Stephanie shows us how to upcycle an old leather jacket into a stylish tote - prolonging the life of a much-loved item. Learn how to capture features from the original item to show off in your new leather tote bag.
Love bag making? Check out my ebook Bag Making for Beginners which covers essential bag skills with incremental bag patterns to hone your skills.