Better Than Basic Bag

$ 9.00

Brand Sew Fearless

The Better-Than-Basic Bag is an oversized soft-structure flat-bottomed tote with leather details on the exterior and a zipper pocket dividing the interior. The finished bag height is about 12 inches high and it has a base that is 13 inches wide and 6 inches deep.

When you purchase the Better-Than-Basic Bag pattern, you will receive a PDF file with 20 pages of step-by-step instructions with full-color photos as well as full-scale printable pattern pieces for making the bag. This pattern will take your bag-making skills to the next level by teaching you how to sew with leather and how to make piped leather bag handles. The instructions also include alternative non-leather handle option.

This digital PDF pattern was written for an intermediate sewer. It assumes basic knowledge of sewing seams, topstitching, applying and using interfacing, and installing a magnetic snap. This project is an excellent introduction in how to sew leather.

Materials List

The pattern instructions include tips on choosing appropriate fabrics and leather for this project.


  • leather: 2 1/2 foot by 2 foot square
    mid-weight leather (less than 3 oz in weight)
  • outer bag fabric: 3/4 yards of 54 inch wide or 1 1/4 yards of 42 inch wide
    canvas, home decor weight, wool felt (jacket weight)
  • pocket fabric and pocket lining fabric: 1/3 yards each of 42 inch wide
    quilting cotton
  • bag interlining/interfacing: 1 1/2 yards of 20 inch wide, or 1 1/4 yards of 42 inch wide
    heavy-weight canvas, woven fusible (e.g. Pellon SF-101), or fleece
  • pocket interfacing: 1/2 yard of 20 inch wide
    woven fusible (e.g. Pellon SF-101)
  • Bag Body Lining fabric: 1 1/4 yards of 42 inch wide
    quilting cotton


  • nylon zipper (16 inches or longer)
  • sewing machine needles
    • leather needle
    • mid-weight needle for sewing inner bag
    • topstitching needle or mid- to heavy-weight needle for sewing outer bag
  • magnetic snap (1/2 – 3/4  inch diameter)
  • all-purpose thread: 100% polyester
  • top stitching thread: 100% polyester, coordinating with leather
  • vinyl tubing: ¼ inch diameter, 21 inches long
  • sewable double-sided adhesive tape (e.g. Wonder Tape)

Supplies and Tools

  • binder clips or Wonder Clips
  • roller foot (for sewing leather) or teflon / non-stick foot
  • walking foot (recommended)
  • art knife and/or rotary cutter and mat for cutting leather
  • wax tailors chalk or Frixion® pen
  • pins, scissors, sewing machine, etc.
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