Handmade Couture: Make this look too - Brown MK Leather Tote

4/01/2017 11:30:00 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 Michael Kors Gracie Large Leather Tote:  

The Gracie is a beautiful classic bag with clean lines and a sleek look. She is generously sized at: 16" Wide x 11.5" High x 7" Deep. It would be a perfect bag for everyday use for those of us who love big bags, or as a small tote bag for work or play. Made with gorgeous grained calf leather, it has a zip top closure and gold hardware. The interior has both a zip pocket and two slip pockets. For 1190 USD this beauty could be yours. 

Love the look of the MK Gracie? Lets be our own brand. 

Pattern + Hardware + Fabric= Handmade Couture


The Everyday Tote by Bagstock is almost the perfect match for the MK Gracie: 

At 18" wide at top/ 13" wide at bottom x 12" tall x 4.25" deep the dimensions are very similiar to our inspiration bag. With a few easy mods we can make our doppleganger MK bag using this pattern. 

Like our inspiration bag the Everyday Tote has a recessed zippered closure. Both bags feature an interior zip pocket and two slip pockets. The Everyday Tote has a feature panel on the exterior that is great for showcasing a favorite print, but if you wish to recreate the inspiration bag, simply use the same fabric throughout the exterior. Additionally, you could add piping between the panels to get a look more in line with the MK bag. 


The pattern itself calls for minimal hardware...just rivets to attach the strap. In order to make this look we will need to change things up a bit. We will need:


If you choose to add the straps as in the pattern, just pick up some rivets. You may also want the extra security of riveting your handles once you attach them to your rectangle rings. 

(4)  1" Rectangular Rings

The inspiration bag's handles are connected with strap tabs and rectangular rings. You can easily make your own strap tabs, from another pattern that uses a 1" size ring, or just make your own design. The inspiration bag uses rolled handles, so you could opt to make them as in the pattern or make your own rolled handles. 

(4) 1/2" Domed Purse Feet

The pattern itself does not call for purse feet, but they are so easy to install and are in line with the look of our inspiration bag. 


For the real deal, chek out this gorgeous expresso natural grain cowhide leather. Available from The Tannery NYC on Etsy here.

For those who would prefer working with faux leathers, you can pick up some textured faux leather, like this one from Fabric.com:

Another great option is cork fabric. It's so easy to work with and it makes a bold statement. Like this chocolate brown cork which is available from Sew Sweetness if you are in the US or MM Cork Supply in Canada. 

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. Nice article! Super match on the pattern. Wish the Bagstock pattern was on sale to go with the article.

    1. HI Joyce, I see what you are saying. I'm not sure if Bagstock is having a sale on patterns at the moment, but you could definitely check out her shop and see if she has any codes available. Posting sale codes on these "Make this look" posts wasn't something we were going to get into because the posts could be here for years, and yet a discount could only be temporary. It's something we can look into further. The pattern itself is a great tool and will be well worth the funds! Thank you for the suggestion.

  2. Joyce .. 6.95 is really not expensive for a great pattern.. It's a fantastic pattern well worth the money.

    1. It's a $10 pattern in Canada. I don't really think that it is expensive however, it would have been nice to see a small discount in conjunction with article


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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