How to Turn a Suede Jacket Into a Crossbody Bag

Whether you're on vacation, shopping at the store, strolling through the park or enjoying an afternoon at the zoo, a cross bodybag is a must have item. They are perfect for carrying the essentials and keeping your hands free at the same time. You can even make your own from an old thrift store suede jacket or shirt to put your own personal touch on a bag that just might become a new favorite.

(Image: Beth Huntington)

Things You'll Need

  • Suede jacket or shirt

  • Sharp scissors

  • 12-inch x 17-inch piece of lining fabric

  • Wonder clips

  • Leather needle (110/18)

  • Straight pins

  • Purse strap with swivel clips

  • Tassel (optional)

(Image: Beth Huntington)

Step 1

Cut the sleeves off of the jacket with a sharp pair of scissors. Remove the lining from the inside of the jacket by cutting all along the edges.

(Image: Beth Huntington)
(Image: Beth Huntington)

Step 2

Cut two pieces from the jacket that are 12-inches x 17-inches. You can include the pockets or other interesting features from the jacket. Cut two small strips of suede that are 3 1/2-inches x 1/2-inch.

(Image: Beth Huntington)

Step 3

Place the two pieces of suede with right sides together. Fold the small strips of suede in half and place them with the loop on the inside about 5 inches down from the top of the bag. Hold in place with a wonder clip.

Do the same on the other side of the bag with the other small strip of suede. Continue to clip around the sides of the bag and the bottom of the bag.

Tip

When working with suede or leather, use clips instead of pins to hold it in place while you sew. Pins will put holes in the suede or leather and clips will keep it nice and neat.

(Image: Beth Huntington)
(Image: Beth Huntington)
(Image: Beth Huntington)
(Image: Beth Huntington)

Step 4

Starting at the top of the bag, sew a 1/2-inch seam down the side, across the bottom and up the other side of the bag. Be sure to remove the clips as you sew and backstitch at the beginning and the end of the seam.

(Image: Beth Huntington)

Step 5

Place the two lining pieces right sides together and pin the sides and the bottom. Sew a 1/2-inch seam around the sides and leave a 6-inch opening in the bottom edge.

(Image: Beth Huntington)
(Image: Beth Huntington)
(Image: Beth Huntington)

Step 6

Clip the bottom corners of the bag and the lining to reduce bulk.

(Image: Beth Huntington)

Step 7

Turn the bag right side out and place it inside the lining so right sides are together. Line up the side seams and the top raw edges. Clip to hold them in place.

(Image: Beth Huntington)
(Image: Beth Huntington)
(Image: Beth Huntington)

Step 8

Sew a 1/2-inch seam all around the top edge. Remove the clips as you sew.

(Image: Beth Huntington)

Step 9

Pull the lining out of the bag, reach in through the opening and pull the bag through so everything is right side out.

(Image: Beth Huntington)
(Image: Beth Huntington)
(Image: Beth Huntington)

Step 10

Tuck in the raw edges of the opening in the lining. Pin and sew to close the opening.

(Image: Beth Huntington)
(Image: Beth Huntington)

Step 11

Push the lining back inside the bag. Smooth down the top edge and clip in place. Topstitch around the top edge.

(Image: Beth Huntington)
(Image: Beth Huntington)

Step 12

Clip the strap onto the side loops. You can even add a tassel or two to the sides. To learn how to make a tassel, you can click here.

Tip

You could use a strap from a thrift store purse instead of purchasing a new one.

(Image: Beth Huntington)
(Image: Beth Huntington)

Load up and go!

(Image: Beth Huntington)