Samantha from Handmade by Mrs. H is an independent pattern designer, living in Wales, UK. Samantha specializes in bag sewing patterns and also runs the Sewing Patterns by Mrs. H Etsy shop where you can get a whopping 25% discount on her Great Value bundles using the code BUNDLEBONANZA.

Samantha designed this Leather Fringe Bag to take you through all of your summer adventures on into fall. You can use leather or “pleather,” and pop a favorite print in for the lining. Add a little Boho/Coachella vibe to your summer look!


Hi, lovelies. Today I have a great leather fringe bag pattern to share with you all. It’s perfect if you’ve never worked with leather before; now’s the time to give it a go!

You’ll need approximately:

  • 16″ x 39″ of leather (or “Pleather”)
  • 1 yd of lining
  • 1/2 yd of medium weight interfacing
  • 1 leather adjustable strap
  • 2 triangular rings (or D rings)
  • 2 rivets
  • 1 – 12″ zip
  • 1 – 8″ zip

Tip: I’d recommend you use quilt binding clips and glue stick rather than pins. Remember to backstitch at the start and end of every seam.

Let’s start by cutting the leather. Cut two pieces 16″ wide x 13″ high. I use a marker on the wrong side. These can be cut using heavy duty paper scissors. Please don’t use fabric shears on leather; they’ll blunt!

You’ll also need to cut one piece 14 3/4″ wide x 13″ high for the leather fringing. Draw lines every 1/2″ along the width of the leather fringe panel.

Turn the fringe panel so it is higher than wide and draw a line down the centre of the panel. Draw a line 5/8″ from each long edge.

Cut along the centre line to create two fringe pieces. On one fringe panel cut along the 1/2″ lines until you reach the top line 5/8″ from the top. On the second divide each 1/2″ section in two and cut to make 1/4″ fringe.

You can use a rotary cutter to do this as long as you don’t mind blunting the blade. It can be handy to keep blunt rotary blades for cutting paper and leather.

Using a glue stick, attach one panel of fringing to one main bag panel, with the bottom of the fringe 2″ from the bottom of the panel, and side centered.

I’d recommend using a longer stitch length than usual, and either a waxed linen or bonded nylon thread.

Stitch the first panel of fringe, in place and then attach the second row of fringe 1″ from the top of the panel, over the bottom fringe. It is best to use two lines of stitching to secure.

Use a low tack tape such as Washi tape to pull the end few fringes back out of the seam allowance and then stitch the front and back panels of the bag together around the two sides and bottom using a 1/2″ seam allowance.

You can flatten the seams of leather by using a quick press with a dry iron and a pressing cloth, or a pressing cloth and a rubber mallet over a sleeve board. Using steam can dry out the leather making it brittle and not very nice.

Box the corners of the bag by matching side and bottom seams, and drawing a line 3″ wide in the corners. Stitch along this line and trim the excess corner down to a 1/2″ seam allowance. Repeat for the second corner.

Now it’s time to make the lining. Cut two lining panels and interfacing 16″ wide x 13″ high and then fuse them together. Cut one slip pocket 12″ x 14″ and one zipped pocket 10″ x 13″ and interface.

Lay the zipped pocket on top of one lining panel 2″ from the bottom. Draw a box 3/8″ high and 7″ long, 5″ from the bottom of the pocket panel. Draw a line through the center of the box with small triangles connecting each corner to the center line. For more information and pictures on how to sew a zipped pocket please see my blog tutorial.

Sew around the box and then snip through the center line and end triangles.

Push the pocket panel through and press well to sit flat. Using the glue stick, baste the zip face down, into place with the teeth sitting centrally in the opening.

Sew around the box to secure the zip in place. Then, pinning the main panel out of the way, fold the pocket panel down so the raw edges meet and stitch around the bottom and sides.

Fold the slip pocket in half to form a 12″ x 7″ rectangle and stitch around all three open sides leaving a turning gap. Clip the corners, turn right sides out and press well ensuring the seam allowances of the turning gap are tucked under. Top stitch the folded edge of the slip pocket using a 1/8″ seam allowance.

Position the slip pocket in the center, 2″ from the bottom of the lining main panel without the zip pocket attached and stitch into place. If you wish to divide it into two pockets, stitch up the center of the pocket remembering to backstitch at the top and bottom.

Cut 2 x leather zip panels 1 1/4″ x 12″.

Baste the zip ends of the 12″ zip back so they are level with the end of the teeth top and bottom. Using the glue stick, baste the zip onto the wrong side of one zip panel then stitch to secure. Repeat for the other side.

Pin one side of the zip panel right side up to one lining main panel, also right side up. This should be side centered and 1″ from the top edge of the lining panel. Stitch into place and then repeat for the other side and the second lining main panel.

Match sides and bottom of the lining main panels and sew. You will not need to leave a turning gap. Box the corners as before.

Turn the top edge of the lining panel over 1/2″ and press into place. Repeat for the leather outer, but using a dry iron and a pressing cloth. I recommend Prym Finger guards (or similar) for this.

Using clips, place the lining inside the outer matching up top edges and then stitch into place using a 3/8″ seam allowance. You will find it impossible to fit the zip panel over the free arm of the sewing machine, so you will need to sew inside the bag as shown.

Cut 2 x side tabs 1″ x 2 1/2″ from leather. Thread a triangular ring to the center, fold the side tab in half, and stitch to secure.

Make a mark 3/8″ from the bottom edge and side centered. Then, using a hole punch, make a hole for the rivet. Attach the side tabs to the side of the bag, just overlapping the side of the fringe. For a great tutorial on using rivets, check my colleague Chris W’s blog.

Clip a fancy “Handmade” tag onto the strap clip and then clip the strap to the triangular rings.

(“Handmade” tags are available from Emmaline Bags if you’re in the US or Canada or Bobbin Girl if you’re in the UK or Europe.)

Your new bag is ready for whatever your summer throws at it. Where will you take yours?