The Gospel of Pleather...Day Two...Using Pleather to Trim the Top of a Handbag!

Using Pleather to Trim the Top of a Handbag
Soooooo. I spent some years making a lot of pleather straps.   Then I decided to be more adventuresome with this fab material....and I thought to myself....hey now....I can use the pleather for other details as well, you know!  So the rest of my pleather sermons will be in regards to pleather details in really fun and different ways!!
The cool thing about pleather is that is does not really get dirty, so it is ideal for high use areas of a handbag, which makes it prefect and stronger for the trim on the top edge of a bag as seen above!! is really easy to put on!!
Cut the pleather that will become the trim.....
only a 2" strip is needed to do the trim seen above.....and it just needs to be about a few inches longer then the circumference of the bag. 
Pleather Sewing Tip 1:  Use a rotary cutter and a clear ruler to cut the strips, as it is not an easy task to cut pleather straight with scissors.
Step Two:  Sew the Strip onto the Exterior of the bag. Before I start to attach the pleather strip, I generally sew all the layers of the bag at the top with a 1/4" seam allowance (sa), so that I am positive that nothing can shift when I am adding the pleather.  Then I take the 2" strip and with right sides together using a #52 Teflon foot  I start to sew the strip to the exterior of the bag at the top with  a 3/8" sa to now cover the 1/4" sa, and to give a good base for this top edge finish.  Do not turn under the raw edge of the pleather, and the edge will be fine not turned under as this will not unravel in any way.

This is what it should look like when you are sewing the strip to the top. 
Pleather Sewing Tip  2:  Lengthen your stitch length to allow for easy stitching through the layers.   When you have sewn around the top completely, layer the strip to continue over where the stitching started by 1/2".  Remember to back stitch at the beginning and end of your seams 3-4 times.  Cut off the excess pleather strip that is not sewn.


Step 3:  Now the strip will be folded up and over the top edge of the handbag.

Continue to fold the pleather over the top edge toward the interior of the bag.  It is important to make sure this wrap is done tightly so that there is no slack, the pleather is snug to the bag top.  Clip the pleather into place so that the wrap will not undo as you prepare to sew the final stitch.

the pleather edge is starting to take shape!  Now the photo above is of one of my Urbanista Hoo bags being finished at the top, and this is right before the final stitch in the ditch to secure the pleather on the interior of the bag.  You can see that I use Getta Grip clips to hold the pleather in place.

Step 4:  Because the exterior of the bag is pleather I had to use the # 52 Teflon food to edge you can see below.  If sewing with this method, use the center line on the center front of the foot to follow the edge for the pleather to stitch in the ditch.

I used pink thread to show where the stitching should be, if I was really finishing it then I would use a dark gray color of thread. 
Pleather Sewing Tip #3:  Regardless of what thread you use to sew the stitch in the ditch on the top, use the same color of thread as your pleather and the stitch on the interior side of the pleather trim will blend with the pleather.

I just acquired a new BERNINA foot #55, the Leather Roller foot below.  If I had it, then I would have used it on the pleather stitch in the ditch.

This BERNINA #55 Foot is does edge stitch like nobodies business....a must have experience!!
I thought I would at least give a visual look at how the BERNINA #55 foot looks in action!!
Step 5: To finish it seen below, I flip the edge of the interior up, so I can see the pleather edge.  I get a pinking shears to now cut the pleather a bit shorter, maybe to around 1/4" to nicely finish the pleather edge. 

Carefully cutting.....

And this is what it looks like finished....super professional!!

Here are a few bags made from my patterns with a pleather top trimmed edge.....

An Okashi with vintage lace...


Tune in tomorrow...same bat time on the same bat blog (Paradiso Designs) for Day 3 of "The Gosple of Pleather".....all I can tell you is that you will never need to insert a grommet ever again!!

If you have enjoyed readying my techniques, you can check out my sewing patterns here.

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Stacie Davis said…
I love the inside of that top bag. Such great colors!
Unknown said…
This is great. On my FB there's pictures of some of the bags I've made (not many yet) but on one I put a leather band on the top and bottom, I really wish it was finished like this. So much to learn! Can't wait to try doing it like this.

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