I love statement pieces, especially accessories! I saw this pretty bird fringe purse & thought it was perfect because I wanted something special to wear this Autumn. This pretty project only takes about two hours to create. I hope you enjoy it...
Here's how to make them.... Supplies Needed: Enough leather (or faux leather) to cut your bird shape (x2), strap & fringe, a small scrap of lace, one black button appx. 1 inch across, scissors, two colors of yarn, paper, a sharpie & a Crop-A-Dile tool.
Step 1: Draft a quick pattern on paper for your bird shape. It can be as large of tiny as you like. This one is about 8 inches wide. Step 2: Trace your pattern onto the back of one piece of leather. Flip the pattern to trace your second side. You should have two bird shapes that match up when the insides are touching. Step 3: Cut all the other pieces you want. I only added details to one side of my bird, so he has one eye, one wing and two sides for his tail (because it's sewn on from both sides). Draft patterns on paper and trace them if you are nervous to cut into your leather. Step 4: Use your Crop-A-Dile tool to punch holes in the leather for the wings. Step 5-8: Use a sharpie to create a template on paper for how wide you want your fringe to be. After you have that part of the pattern you can cut the leather shape for your fringe and start fringing it with scissors. Look closely at the photos to see how to do this. Step 9: Glue lace (eye) on your bird. Allow to dry and then stitch on the button. Next, stitch the wings on. It's always smart to finish all the the detail work on a handbag before sewing it together. Step 10: Punch holes for the exterior of the bag. These should surround the entire bag except for the top.
Step 11: Punch any holes needed on your fringe to sew through. It's extremely hard to sew through leather by hand, so try to punch a hole in every spot that you anticipate stitching. Step 12: Put your pattern pieces together, make any last minute tweaks you need to before stitching. Step 13-14: Stitch the two purse pieces together all the way around the bird. Make sure the fringe pieces get caught in your stitches & are secured. Step 15: When you have stitched around the entire bird, go backwards to add another decorative stitch. (see photo) Step 16-18: Attach tail. I did this step last and I think it created a nice clean look. Step 19-20: Create and attach a simple strap. Measure the strap on your body to be sure you find the perfect length that is comfortable for you. That's all... Have fun stitching this fun and easy birdie purse!
You can easily make a strap with two long strips of leather, lots of punches & yarn. I love the look of the added hand stitches. A simpler solution would be just one long strip of leather (ReStyle a skinny belt?).
A few thoughts about working with leather: I have been working with leather (and faux leather) for just a short time. I've found that most shops sell scraps at a sweet discount! I also use vintage that is heavily damaged for fabric. If you can't afford real leather (it can be a little pricey) you can purchase a vinyl jacket or bag from the 1970s at a thrift shop for a few bucks. That's a budget friendly (& vegan) option!
xo. Ariel Shay