I finally get to share this suede fringe clutch DIY with you! I’ve been itching to spill the beans for weeks, but as this was a project for Mood, I had to keep it under wraps until now. It’s by far the favourite DIY I’ve created for the magazine. I just love the colour and look of the suede leather.
In true Pearls & Scissors style, I used reclaimed leather for this project. There’s so much good quality leather to be found in thrift stores. I’d hate for it to be thrown in the trash.
I’ve been itching to make my own fringe bag ever since the trend exploded all over Pinterest in the spring. I thought cutting my own fringe would turn out to be difficult, but since this was a pretty thin leather, it was surprisingly easy. Now I’m thinking I might need another, even bigger, fringe bag.
I’m notoriously slow in warming up to new trends. Above all else, I believe in classic style, that stands the test of time (which in my opinion is the base of sustainability), but every once in a while, something classic becomes extra trendy, and even I can get on that train.
- (Reclaimed) suede or ordinary leather (an old skirt or jacket is perfect for this project)
- 38cm long zipper
- Basic sewing equipment (machine, thread, leather needle)
- Scissors or a rotary cutter (with matt)
- Glue stick
- Ruler and pencil
STEP 1 – Cut the material
First, you need to cut the material to size. Cut two 40x25cm pieces of leather for the bag. Then, cut four pieces for the fringe in varying sizes: one 35x10cm, one 30x10cm, one 25x10cm and one 20x10cm piece.
Fringe all the narrow pieces. The fringe should be about 8cm long. Premark that to your leather so it’s easier to make the fringe an even length. I cut my fringe to about 2-3mm wide. I used scissors at first, but since that was a pretty slow progress, I switched to a rotary cutter, so if you have one of those, go for it.
STEP 2 – Sew the fringe
Take one of the bag side pieces and draw 4 lines on it to mark the placement of the fringe. These lines need to be horizontal to the longer side of the bag. Draw a line in the center of the bag every 4cm, starting at 3cm from the top of the bag.
Also, draw a vertical line in the center of the bag, and mark the center of each fringe piece. Then, take the shortest piece of fringe and glue it right below the lowest line on the bag (see photo above), so that the center marks align.
Next, sew the fringe onto the bag.
TIP: When sewing with leather, always use a leather sewing machine needle, and lower your pressure foot pressure. It makes sewing so much easier and smoother, trust me. Also, if you have it, use a teflon sewing machine foot.
Repeat the glueing and sewing until all four pieces are attached to the side of the bag.
STEP 3: Assembling the bag
Next, you’ll want to insert the zipper. I happened to have a previous seam line at the top of both bag sides, so the seam allowance was already folded to the wrong side of the leather. If you’re not that lucky, just fold and glue the seam allowance of 1cm to the backside. Then, place the leather onto the seam allowance of the zipper and attach it with top-stitching.
I prefer this method to the usual zipper attachment process because the zipper lays flat like that, and I simply find it easier to do.
Once the zipper is in place, place the bag sides on top of each other, so that all edges are aligned, and the wrong side of the fabric is facing out.
Make sure you leave the zipper a little bit open, so you can turn over the bag later. Then, sew the side and bottom seams.
Lastly, you can create a bottom for the bag by sewing down the bottom corner about 3cm in. Just fold the bag so that the bottom seam and the side seams line up, and sew down the corner (see photo above).
Cut off the excess and turn the bag over.
I’m so happy with the way this bag turned out. Seriously, the emerald green colour is just to die for on it’s own, but then that fringe takes it to a completely new level. Trust me, you need a bag like this!