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Men's Designer Handbag

Added Apr 3, 2010

by kelepso

Miami, Florida, ...






Birthday Gift Project 1 of 3 – Because I am unable to afford one, I decided to surprise my partner with a custom designer men’s handbag for his birthday. I’ve never made a bag of this caliber (nor have I used lining) before, but decided to give it a try. I looked a several images online for inspiration and came up with this design – intuitively. I found a great vinyl with a “leather look” for $8 p/y and a coordinating liner for $2.50 p/y. I added lots of compartments for pens and a cell-phone in the front pocket (which is a cargo pocket, learned from the techniques section of Burda Sytle) and finished it off with faux bone buttons ($3.50 ea), a black zipper and his initials inside on a dapper lining. I also wanted to make it large enough for business purposes or to be used as an overnight bag. Altogether, I think I spent less than $20 bucks for a bag that looks like it cost more than $250.00

Material Notes

Vinyl, faux bone button, zipper, lining




Garment Type
Casual, Mod, Preppy, Vintage

13 Comments Sign in to add a post

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    May 17, 2010, 05.57 PMby irin

    so nice

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    Apr 28, 2010, 05.21 PMby rifka

    Very , very impressive. Your craft and meticulous details are quite remarkable. How long did this take you? I’m having a hard time wrapping my mind around the process of taking this from design draft to your end product. And with a standard machine too! I agree, you may want to consider launching your own line.

    1 Reply
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      Apr 30, 2010, 03.23 AMby kelepso

      Hi Rifka, thank you for your comments. You make me blush :-) It took me about 2 or 3 days to make the bag. I would love to lauch a line, but I’ve only been sewing for a few months now, so I am still learning out to make things. I am very excited about sewing as you can tell. Best of luck with your sewing projects.

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    Apr 26, 2010, 06.08 PMby candyjoyce

    This looks great, all the details are really cool and thoughtful. I’m currently working on turning a battered leather jacket into a handbag which is kind of cheating as a lot of the seams and pockets are already there for me to work with, I hope my bag turns out even half as cool and as expensive looking as yours.


    1 Reply
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      Apr 26, 2010, 08.00 PMby kelepso

      You will do great. Thanks for the compliments.

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    Apr 26, 2010, 06.29 AMby Ralf Schmitz

    this is really fantastic. and your right by saying it looks worth 250 us. – i would even quote it higher, as i just bought one for my husband as a christmas present and it was MORE expensive than that and had now monogram

    1 Reply
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      Apr 26, 2010, 02.10 PMby kelepso

      Thank you.

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    Apr 26, 2010, 03.26 AMby marloncosta

    Great job dude! I would love one like that! Do you have a industrial machine or something? I just wanted to know if a regular home-sewer would stitch through all those layers of material.

    1 Reply
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      Apr 26, 2010, 02.11 PMby kelepso

      Thank you. No, I don’t have an industrial sewing machine. Just a simple Brother, but surprisingly, it sewed through the layers. I just used a larger needle (heavy duty) in the machine. I think a #16.

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    Apr 21, 2010, 03.10 PMby marianatalia

    This is amazing work! It blows my mind that people are capable of such quality work and it’s your first experience with a few of these details! Wow! It’s looks amazing though, you did a great job. I’m sure your partner loved it!

    1 Reply
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      Apr 21, 2010, 05.11 PMby kelepso

      Thanks Maria!

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    Apr 19, 2010, 04.38 PMby domestic-divaonline

    Wow! I’m impressed! This looks very expensive, so kudos to you for achieving your objective. As far as bags go, I have a clutch purse I’ve created and I’m making my first fabric bag I hope to post in the next week. I love being able plan all the pockets inside and out that fit the size of the things I carry. Did you embroider the initials yourself? Do you have a machine?

    2 Replies
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      Apr 19, 2010, 05.14 PMby kelepso

      Hi Diva, the letters are used are iron-on. I don’t have a machine to embroider letters, although it would be cool to have one. I went to your website and couldn’t find addt’l photos of your pillow cases. How do I search for them?

    • Glo_copy_large

      Apr 19, 2010, 07.55 PMby domestic-divaonline

      When you get to my home page, Click on “Home Decor”. On that page, scroll down and click on “pillow cases” – it’s the second project on the left side. There are 3 photos. It would be much more convenient for me to include the link here but I have no idea how to do that. If you do, would you share? Thanks for the reads and comments.

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    Apr 19, 2010, 02.41 PMby ink

    Fantastic! I love the bowling bag type look.. I love the bag period.

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    Apr 19, 2010, 08.47 AMby assets

    I love the bag you so good. YOu made me think I should try making bags…. Thank you for the inspiration.

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    Apr 4, 2010, 08.20 PMby tulips371

    Very nice!! Looks designer to me!!

    1 Reply
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      Apr 5, 2010, 04.16 AMby kelepso

      Thank you. I am quite sure I can learn a lot from you based on the projects posted in your studio. What type of material do you use to give your bags firmness or stability to set upright?

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    Apr 4, 2010, 11.58 AMby bekaem

    Looks really great, you should start a line! did you add some kind of stabilizing material at the bottom?

    1 Reply
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      Apr 4, 2010, 03.13 PMby kelepso

      I used a piece of foamboard and covered in with fabric. It’s a seperate piece that fits at the bottom on the bag. However, I didn’t use anything to stabilize while sitting up right. It’s stuff with newspaper in the photos. I’ve never worked with boning or any material like that before.

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    Apr 3, 2010, 10.44 PMby Ashlee Nemo

    wow, i am extremely impressed… love the monogram on the inside… how sweet!! :)

    1 Reply
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      Apr 3, 2010, 11.26 PMby kelepso

      Thank you Ashlee!

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    Apr 3, 2010, 07.44 PMby Anna Aasbjerg

    Fantastic work! Love the details! Looks very professional! Thinking about making a handbag and an oversize clutch, but I’m not sure how to give it that professional touch. Any tips and tricks? :-)

    2 Replies
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      Apr 3, 2010, 10.02 PMby kelepso

      Definitely use the internet to your advantage and review the latest styles. Also, look at any handbags you may have around the house and closely look at the details of the bag and how it was made. Last but not least, DRAW A SKETCH, TAKE YOUR TIME AND THINK ABOUT EVERY DETAIL BEFORE YOU SEW. This was my hardest challenge since I was so eager to finish.

    • 11012193_10154291143778709_5088354849278823877_n-2_large

      Apr 6, 2010, 10.16 AMby Anna Aasbjerg

      Thank you! That’s great advise! I guess, I’m thinking More is More, when it comes to bags this season. The ressesion has hit us all hard and so the skirts are shorter and the colors are more loud. Everything is just More. Normally I’m a big fan of Less is More with straight, very graphic lines, minimalistic accessories and a small range in color, but I think that seeing how the past year’s poor economy and natural disasters has changed/shocked the world as we know it, has made me wanna “join in” on making things a little more happy and colorful :-)

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