Handmade Couture: Make this Look - A Faux Alligator Briefcase

8/31/2017 05:00:00 PM

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Do you often find yourself staring at someone’s handbag or examining handbags in stores studying the features wondering how to recreate the same look? Do you love the look of designer handbags but not that designer price tag? Well, we have you covered! In the Handmade Couture series, we take a designer bag, existing indie sewing patterns and show you recreate the look of the designer bag with Emmaline Hardware and materials that you can easily source. You can have the same high end look of the high end handbags but at a fraction of the cost, and made exactly as you like. Handmade is better and a handmade bag doesn’t need to look handmade!

Today, we are going to show you how to recreate this Tom Ford Buckley Alligator Flat Trapeze Briefcase:

The Buckley is a sleek, masculine looking bag that is perfect for the professional style forward man. It is made with 100% alligator, has a zip top closure and full leather handles. It measures 20.3” W x 13” H x 5.9” D, so there is plenty of room for your laptop, folio and files with room to spare. You can own this gorgeous bag for the price of 34,700 USD.

Like the look of the Tom Ford briefcase? Let’s be our own brand.

Pattern + Hardware + Fabric= Handmade Couture


Vivian is a great swap for our inspiration bag, it’s a very popular pattern and for good reason. It’s a very versatile bag and sews together relatively quickly. It comes in two sizes and the traveler size is a close match to the Tom Ford at 17” W x 12.5” H x 7” D. Omit the side pockets to get the streamlined look of our inspiration bag.


The gunmetal finish is the perfect finish to use to match the high end minimalist look of the inspiration bag.


If you aren’t comfortable working with leather, how about a faux leather? Like this faux leather gator from fabric.com:

Another great option is cork fabric, cork fabric is easy to sew with and is a great alternative to leather or faux leathers that may be difficult to work with. You can purchase cork fabric from Sew Sweetness in the US and MM Cork Supply in Canada. Cork comes in a variety of colors and designs like this black color:

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. This is probably a stupid question, when using a heavy material like leather, do you still need interfacing, peltex, foam etc.?

  2. Not a stupid question! You may want to interface a thin leather so that it doesn't stretch, but you really should use thick stabilizers like foam or peltex as they will be to hard to stitch.


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