Handmade Couture: Make this look - A Leather Frye Cara Hobo Bag

5/03/2017 12:23:00 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 Frye Cara Leather Hobo: 

The Cara Leather Hobo is a vintage style hobo that is classic and effortless style. It's made from a beautiful rich caramel colored leather. I love the look of this leather with the antique brass hardware, including the purse feet. It features a magnetic snap closure and the interior has a zippered pocket and a pocket especially for your smart phone. The detailing is effortly stylish, with it's raw leather edges, bottom accent panel and stitching. She measures 14" wide x 13" tall x 5.5" deep. At 398 US dollars, this beauty could be yours. 

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

Pattern + Hardware + Fabric= Handmade Couture


The Hippo Hobo by Emkie Designs has a very similar look to our inspiration bag. 

Like our inspiration bag, The Hippo Hobo has a flap over the top, which we can alter to secure with a magetic snap closure. It also has a accent around the bottom, which is in line with the look we are going for. The Hippo Hobo measures 15" wide x 13" tall x 3" wide, very similar dimensions to our inspiration bag. The Hippo has a hidden pocket under the flap, as well as an interior zippered pocket. So many pockets in this fun pattern!. You could easily alter this pattern to have only one flap to mimic the look of our inspiration bag. 


We will be omitting the snap swivel closure as indicated in the pattern and substuting magnetic snaps, you may choose to do this one of several ways. You could add the closure to the underside of the bottom flap AND between the flaps on the lining so it serves the function of keeping the flap down as well as securing the contents of your bag. You could omit one of the flap portions and just secure your flap with one snap. You could also just secure the bag by adding a magnetic snap in the lining, which ever you prefer. 
(1) Magnetic Snap Closure:

(1) Set of 1/2" Domed Purse Feet:
To recreate the look of our inspiration bag, we can add purse feet to the bottom of our bag. However, the Hippo is slightly narrower than our inspiration bag, so you may not want to add more than 4 feet to your bag.

Why not add your own "brand" monogram label with a metal hanging tag?


If you wanted to recreate our inspiration bag, you can find a similar leather like this beautiful rust brown available from the Tannery NYC here

If leather isn't something that you aren't comfortable using, you can find a fauc leather that would work well for the same look of our inspiration bag, like this faux leather 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 this chocolate brown.

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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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