HANDMADE COUTURE: Make this look too - A Grey Leather Hobo

4/13/2017 09:40:00 AM

Are you or someone you love a designer handbag enthusiast? Do you sometimes find yourself staring at bags you see in magazines, or even on someone's shoulder in the grocery store wondering how to recreate that bag? Then the Handmade Couture series is for you. We pick a designer bag and tell you how to recreate it using available sewing patterns, materials and hardware.  You can have the same look, but make it totally "you" and for a fraction of the cost. When you sew your own bag you know exactly what is going into the bag and can add or modify features to suit your preferences. Today, we are going to show you how to recreate this Marc Jacobs Recruit Leather Hobo Bag:

The Marc Jacobs Recruit is a beautifully styled hobo that is made in leather, has a zippered exterior pocket, a flat bottom and an interior slip pocket. It measures 11" High x 12" wide (at bottom) x 3" deep. The straps is detachable (btw, why would you remove your only strap...these silly fancy designers) and has a 7" drop. For 495 USD,  this lovely could be yours.

Like the look of the Recruit Leather Hobo? Lets be our own brand.

Pattern + Hardware + Fabric= Handmade Couture


The Bay Boho Bag by Little Moo Designs.

The Bay Boho is a classically chic hobo bag, that is effortlessly stylish and functional. The Bay Boho is a beginner friendly bag pattern that lends itself to easy modification. Like our inspiration bag, the Bay Boho has an exterior zippered pocket optio and a relaxed shape. The measurements are: 10" High x 18" Wide. 

The pattern has a longer cross body strap, to recreate our inspiration bag, we will shorten the length to get a shorter drop. 

The bag is constructed with a side gusset, which also lends to the styling of our inspiration bag. 

You'll notice that this pattern is a true to style classic hobo bag. It is meant to be relaxed, easy going boho-chic. Our inspiration bag is a bit more structured, but this is largely due to it being constructed from leather. If you would like a more structured hobo, you can always add additional interfacings or foam to suit your preferences. 


The pattern calls for 2 O rings, but to recreate our inspiration bag, we are going to need a little more bling:

(2) 2" O rings to attach to our bag body as the pattern directs 

(2) 1.5" Swivel Snap Hook:

We will attach these directly to our strap, re-creating the detachable strap of our inspiration bag. 

Instead of the leather, luggage tag we can add these to sprinkle on some bling. 

(1) Metal Zipper Pull:

Our inspiration bag features a bold zipper pull on the exterior zippered pocket, add your own touch with a metal zip pull. 


Our inspiration bag is in a beautiful gray leather, you can get a similar leather from the leather hide store here.  

For those not quite ready to dive into leather, or want a more economically priced material, there are many options in vinyl. Like this gray marine vinyl from fabric.com

Hate vinyls? Cork is a great alternative to leathers and vinyls. It's all natural and is a great material to work with for bags. You can purchase charcoal colored cork from MM Cork Supply in Canada or from Sew Sweetness in the US. 
You can choose to do this in whatever fabric you are comfortable working with! A fun cotton print, canvas or even denim!  That's the benefit of creating your own, it's what YOU want it to be. Handmade can be couture too!


Photos and content provided and written for Emmaline Bags by Cyndi Farfsing, from The Nosy Pepper. Cyndi's blog is chock is full of more bag photos and make making tips. Check out her bag series "It's in the Bag! Better Bag Making Series," to learn a ton of new bag making skills.

Share your projects made from Emmaline patterns and/or with Emmaline hardware in our facebook group Emmaline Sewing Patterns Group, or on instagram with the hashtags #emmalinehardware, #emmalinepatterns, #emmalinebags, or tag us @emmalinebags.


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  1. I look so forward to this post every week! Thank you for the inspiration and the gentle reminders we are all capable of making quality and unique one of a kind designer bags!


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The contents of this blog, including text, original photos and ideas are the sole property of the author. If you intend to use my text or images, please link back to this blog and give credit to Emmaline Bags & Patterns. A notification email would be greatly appreciated too! Please do not ever republish an entire post, any tutorials, or post photos of my family. Thank you, Janelle