Tuesday, December 17, 2013

J-Crew Leather Pouch knock-off - homemade gifts

I tell you - that motorcycle jacket I found is the gift that keeps on giving.  I've used it for my jeans, my bag, my moto jacket, and now I've used some of it for this christmas pressie.  I wish I'd taken a picture of it before I started hacking it up.  

I bought a small tiny piece of hot pink leather downtown in the garment district a while back, and I had no idea what to do with it until I saw this J-Crew pouch (on the left, if you can't tell, ahhaah).  Jackpot!  A zipper pouch is one of the easiest sewing projects there is, but I think that the fact that it's leather, and the little pop of colour blocking make it a little special.  There are gazillions of zipper pouch tutorials out there (like this one),  so here's just a few details of how I did it.

Are some people out there still not using a rotary cutter?  A rotary cutter is the absolute easiest way to get an accurate cut of leather.

Just like with the baby booties, I used a teflon foot when I could. I also held the leather up off the machine a little because otherwise it dragged a little. 

Leather doesn't really sit nicely when it's sewn

But guess what - you can totally press it!  I knew from my jacket that this leather was fine to press, but if you're worried you could use a press cloth.

Much better!

I would make a terrible quilter.  Look at those mis-aligned edges!

Since leather obviously doesn't fray, I didn't double over the leather on the zipper, just left a raw edge there.

I did sew it in the normal way for the sides though - this time with a zipper foot.  It didn't do too badly - probably because it's pretty narrow, and not in that much contact with the leather.

I did one white side and one black side, just to keep it interesting.  I also saw that the J-Crew pouch had the seams topstitched.  It really does give it a little extra finish.

Once I'd sewn around the edge, I REALLY needed to clip those corners and the extra leather on the ends of the zipper.  They wouldn't turn neatly at all otherwise.

I did the usual poking and prodding with a chopstick

Voila! One final press and I had myself a lovely leather zipper pouch.  

Are you guys making any gifts this year?


  1. Wow, I love it! that's a fabulous gift. I wonder if the person who threw away the motorcycle jacket has any idea it has had such an interesting second life.

    1. Thanks! The funny thing was - it was really a very ugly motorcycle jacket. I thought I would re-fashion it so many times, but it was so freaking ugly. The leather is lovely and soft though, which makes it really easy to sew!

  2. Ooo, nicely done! No handmade gifts this year since the kiddos only want technology.

    1. pouches for iphones and ipads are lovely gifts too! I'm glad you commented - I hadn't subscribed to your wordpress blog! Happy holidays!


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