Handmade Couture: Make this look - A Chanel Hobo Bag

5/23/2017 07:46:00 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 Chanel Gabrielle Large Hobo Bag:

Gabrielle is made from a luxurious calfskin leather, and does something we don't see a lot: mixes hardware finishes. This one features both gold and silver hardware (I know some of you bagineers took a collective gasp along with me). It measures 10" H x 12.2" W x 3.9". I has a zippered top closure, and a mixed leather and chain strap. 

This is the newly released Gabrielle for Chanel for spring 2017. In fact, it's pretty hard to find online, it's only available in select retailers. You can read about it in the latest style watch, but you may be hard pressed to find your own to add to your collections.  Luckily, we are going to show you how to recreate this look, unless you want to scope out your own for 4,000 USD. 

Like the look of Gabrielle?  Lets be our own brand.

Pattern + Hardware + Fabric= Handmade Couture

PatternBlue Calla Tansy
The Tansy by Blue Calla Patterns is the perfect template for us to recreate the Gabrielle. 

Tansy measures 15" W x 10"x 3.75" D, and is a zippered top tote with the same shape as Gabrielle. Tansy has a lot of great features and is a great pattern on her own, but is also easily modified for our purposes here. To recreate our inspiration bag, we can omit the front zippered pockets and instead, quilt our main panels. Tansy already has a bottom accent and the straps are attached to the sides like our inspiration bag. Instead of the contrast fabric at the top, we can add a contrast binding. 

We can simply shorten the side strap tabs so that they are not as long, by just cutting them shorter and making strap tabs out of them.  We will also be cutting two shorter straps, instead of one long adjustable strap, we can make two shorter straps that end with a D-ring so that we can feed the chain through it. 


(1) Single Link Chain in Nickel:

If you want to really recreate the look of the chain strap on our inspiration bag, we can weave a small piece of leather through the chains in the strap. 
(2) 1.5" O Rings:

We will use these to attach our strap anchors to our straps. 

We will attach these to the ends of our straps, so that we can feed the chain through to attach to the O-rings on our strap anchors. 

We aren't Chanel, but we are our own brand and handmade is better! Swap out that Chanel pull for a Handmade pull instead. 


As always, The Tannery NYC has the perfect leathers for us to recreate our inspiration bag. Like this Apricot Leather and this black smooth grain leather:  

If leather isn't something that you aren't comfortable using, you can find a faux leather that would work well to recreate our inspiration bag, like these available from fabric.com:

Available here

Available here

Another great option is natural cork fabric, which is available from MM Cork Supply in Canada or from Sew Sweetness in the US.  You can get cork in a various colors and finishes, like the cream and black corks:

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. Will there be more information about making the above posted bag?

    1. HI Patty, There is a link to the pattern in the post so you can sew the bag too. Is that what you are looking for? I would love to help!


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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