The pattern was originally designed so the entire bag could be sewn out of cork fabric, but we thought it would be fun to make one out of faux leather! Since cork fabric and faux leather are about the same thickness and behave similarly, the construction is nearly identical.
I've created this blog post to share some tips and alternate instructions for making the Magnolia Bag out of Faux Leather. You can sew the pattern as is, but these instructions will help reduce some of the bulk, making it easier to sew!
First, I want to share my Top 10 Tips for Sewing with Faux Leather!
- There are a variety of weights and textures of faux leather depending on the manufacturing process and the backing fabric. You may notice that some faux leather has more stretch than others. You’ll have to keep that in mind and consider the end results of your fabric.
- If you feel the need to iron out any wrinkles, set your iron to a LOW or SYNTHETIC heat setting. Make sure to always iron from WRONG SIDE of the fabric, and use a press cloth. Do not use any steam – it will detach the bond.
- Cut one layer at a time. This will help prevent your scissors or rotary cutter from becoming dull. It's also much easier to cut one layer at a time.
- If you’re finding that your fabric is sticking to your foot, you have a few options. First, you can change your presser foot to either a Teflon foot or a roller foot. If you don't have a Teflon or roller foot, add a small piece of matte tape to the bottom of your presser foot. Otherwise, you can add a layer of tissue paper between your foot and your fabric while you sew to prevent sticking. The tissue paper can be torn away after sewing.
- Use a Denim Needle, size 90/14 or 80/12 to sew through faux leather!
- Use Sewing Clips instead of pins! Faux leather does not self heal, so pins will leave permanent holes.
- Polyester thread works best with faux leather because it's very strong compared to cotton thread. Some great brands are Sulky Poly Deco and Superior Sew Fine.
- Use a longer stitch length, such as 3mm or 3.5mm. The shorter the stitch length, means here will be more holes in your fabric and it can weaken the seam.
- Best practice is to leave a long thread tail and hand tie the end of each seam, instead of back stitching. You can back stitch faux leather, but hand tying looks much more professional.
- You can leave faux leather raw edge! Faux leather doesn't fray so it's a great option for bag straps, applique, and unique accents on projects. If you don't like the "raw" edge look, use a marker or a leather edge paint to coat the raw edge for a more finished look.
Now, let's move onto the updated Magnolia instructions for Faux Leather!
- Page 4 MAKE THE TAB CLOSURES: Skip this section and follow the directions below.
- 1. Do not cut the Tab Closure included in the pattern. Instead, use the pattern pieces here.
- 2. Install one half of the magnetic snap on the RS of each Tab Closure A at placement mark according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Make sure the prongs are to the WS.
- 3. With WST, use glue or basting tape to baste one Tab Closure A on each Tab Closure B, aligning the bottom curved edges. Then, topstitch all sides of the Tab Closure B with 1/8” seam allowance to conceal the WS of snaps.
- 4. Continue onto the next section, PREPARE THE EXTERIOR, and follow steps 1-3. Then, see the next bullet point below.
- Page 4 PREPARE THE EXTERIOR: Follow steps 1-3, then follow the directions below.
- 1. Apply fabric glue or basting tape down the center of each Connector. With WST, fold each length side to the center.
- 2. Thread one d-ring over each Connector, so the d-ring is 1-1/2" down from the top end and the flat side of the hardware is against the WS. Use a sewing clip to hold the d-ring in place. Apply glue or basting tape on the WS of each Connector, down the center, skipping over the d-ring.
- 3. Position one Connector 6-1/2” in from the left side, aligning the bottom raw edges so the d-ring is towards the top. Press Connector down to adhere to exterior.
- 4. Topstitch the lower half of the Connector in place with 1/8” seam allowance, stopping about 1/2” from the d-ring, stitching across, and continuing down the opposite side.
- 5. Topstitch the upper half of the Connector in place by sewing a box with an "X" in the center for reinforcement, sewing 1/8" from the side edges and about 1/2" from the d-ring.
- 6. Repeat for remaining Connector and right side.
- 7. Follow steps 8-9 in the section PREPARE THE EXTERIOR, then continue on with the rest of the instructions as they're written.
Want to make this bag? We've put together a kit that has EVERYTHING you need to make the Magnolia bag. That's right, all of the faux leather, fabric, stabilizer, hardware kit, and zipper are included!
Also, as a special edition for June, we've added the option for a matching Lucky Penny Wallet Kit! Currently only available through the bundle!
Be sure to share pictures of your completed Magnolia Bag featuring faux leather with #sallietomato and #pricelessbagkit. We'd love to see your bag!