HANDMADE COUTURE: You can make this look too - Black MK Designer Zip Top Tote

3/01/2017 03:48:00 PM

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 Michael Kors Jet Set Zip Top Tote:

This bag currently retails for about 250 USD, and a larger version is available for about 300 USD. This version measures 14" High x 10.5" Wide x 5" Deep and has adjustable straps that have a maximum drop of 8.5" It's a nice classic bag that will transition well from season to season and can survive the trends.
Like the look of this Michael Kors bag? Let's be our own brand. 

Pattern + Hardware + Fabric = 

Handmade Couture.


The Totes Ma Totes Bag by Emmaline Bags is the perfect match for The Michael Kors bag! With a few easy modifications you have your own handmade version of the MK bag. The Totes Ma Totes is a similar size and measures: 17" Wide (at the top) /13" W (at the bottom) x 12" High x 4" Deep. This pattern is available in both PDF and paper versions.

The Michael Kors bag features exterior pockets on the front and back. This is super easy to add to the totes ma totes. Here's how: 
  • After cutting all your pieces, cut 4 additional exterior main panel pieces but take 3.5" off the height of the piece. Cut 4 pieces of non woven interfacing to the same measurements. Fuse to your fabric according to manufactures directions.
  • Take 2 of these panels and sew them right sides together along the top edge of the pockets. Press seam open, turn pocket and top stitch along the top. 
  • Make a crease on your pocket piece and exterior panel to find the center and mark.
  • Matching the bottom of this pocket to the bottom of your exterior main panels, baste along side and bottom edges.
  • Sew along the center of the pocket as marked, being sure to back stitch when you stop and start to secure your pocket. 
  • You may wish to omit the side accent piece from the pattern to be more in line with the look of the MK bag.


-These gold 3/4" screw together grommets are a perfect match for the look in the MK bag.

Instead of the MK logo on your bag, mark yours as one of a kind with our metal bag label:

If you aren't looking for an exact match to the Jet Set Zip Top Tote, you can pick up the complete Totes ma Totes kit in the Emmaline shop, which includes oval grommets, buckles, magnetic snap (for interior pocket in the pattern) and purse feet (which are lacking on the MK bag). The kit is available in both nickel and antique brass finishes. 

The only item you will need to purchase separately are the eyelets for the strap, which are available in the shop in nickel.  


Or how about this natural black cork available from Sew Sweetness. Have you used cork yet? It's a great material to work with and adds a lot of interest to a bag. It's much easier to sew than vinyl or leather and doesn't require anything special to work with. 

Shop cork fabric in Canada at MM Cork Supply

If you want the real thing and you are comfortable with leather or up to the challenge, this beautiful black cowhide is available here:

You can always choose to do this in whatever fabric you are comfortable working with. A fun cotton print, canvas or even denim! This would look gorgeous is a yarn dyed linen as well. 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. Wonderful post and very inspiring. Thanks, Janelle and Cyndi.

    1. Glad that you liked it!! That means so much Bunny! Love your work!


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A Note

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