Leather Bottomed Pouches



You see, I have this thing with leather. I wouldn’t say it’s a new obsession, but one that’s been steadily growing over time. I’ve been dabbling a bit, here and there. There’s something about the beautiful qualities of leather that can’t be replaced by any other material.


I had purchased a these pieces of leather on Etsy almost a year ago and kept shying away from using them. So the other day I decided to just go for it, challenge myself to cut into the stuff. It was quick and painless and of course I decided to make zippered pouches.


One of these is for my husband. I realized the other day that I threw away his old dopp kit thinking I’d make him something. And time went on, we were packing for a trip and his usual packing pouch was no where to be found. Busted. After we got back from our trip I knew this leather plus Jennifer Sampou’s Studio Stash yarn dyed fabric were a match made in heaven.



So here they are, two Open Wide Zippered Pouches (in the medium and large sizes) all set to be filled!


I’m also considering upgrading to a full industrial machine (I have a semi-industrial machine I mostly use now) so I can continue exploring and challenging myself. If you have a industrial machine you love, let me know and leave a comment below, I’d love to know. I’ve got so many ideas floating around in my brain that it’s hard to keep my feet on the ground!

Pattern: Open Wide Pouch (medium and large)
Fabric: Studio Stash Yarn Dyes by Jennifer Sampou for Robert Kaufman Fabrics
Zippers: Zipit on etsy

Leather Bottom Open Wide Pouches by Anna Graham, Noodlehead

23 thoughts on “Leather Bottomed Pouches

  1. Connie Keith says:

    Nicely done! You didn’t say what you used for lining material — is it waterproof? I sew with a domestic Janome and Juki so can’t help with a professional machine recommendation. I have used them with faux leather and heavy vinyl for bags and had no trouble, though. I like reading your blog and have your book and some of your patterns. Thanks.

  2. Vanessa D. says:

    I’ve been thinking of making cushions for my couch using suede on the bottom – similarly to the way you have it on the pouches without the zipper of course. My hope is that the suede at the bottom will eliminate the annoying slipping around that fabric pillows do on leather couches.

  3. dolores says:

    Hahaha…so did he have to use a ziplock bag?:)

    Those are beautiful. I would love to mess around with leather but my vegan son makes me think twice about stuff like that!

    I would love to know about your semi-industrial sized sewing machine!

  4. I have been sewing on an industrial for several years now and love it! I have a Janome DC2012 that I use for specialty stitches, etc. But I sew all my bags on my industrial Juki 8700. The Juki can also sew garments, quilt weight cottons, vinyl and softer/thinner weight leathers on it as well.

    I can’t tell you how many open wide pouches I’ve made on my Juki 8700! And the leather you used in the bags you shared today are fantastic.

    Cindy 🙂

  5. Kimberly M. says:

    I have an industrial machine, the Seiko version of the Consew 226. If you plan to sew lots of heavier weight items, can’t beat it. The smallest needle I’ve used is a 16 (up to a 24) because if you really let it rip (3500 stitches a minute), the needle gets so hot it will smoke, or break — it also sounds like a freight train going through your house. Go for the bigger bobbin machine as well and make sure you get the walking foot attachment. Best way to get a good jeans hem to look store bought too — I paid for my machine, over time, doing $4 jean hems and zippers… LOTS of them, and patches too. I don’t use mine as much anymore but can’t bring myself to sell it and as for sewing delicate or lightweight fabrics, I use a domestic Bernina 530. I guess it all depends on what you will be using it for the most… a great investment for mass production! My Seiko sews just as nicely today as it did 20 years ago, just with taking care of it (oiling it every 8 hours of sewing) and keeping it clean. I think these days you can get a self oiler. Go for the best you can buy because this is not a machine that you can easily throw into the back of the car and take it to the shop 🙂 Good luck, take care.

  6. Tara says:

    These are great! Leather is such a great touch on any bag

  7. Karen says:

    I don’t know, Anna. I hope the bag you gave you husband doesn’t come filled with fabric (I think that’s what I’m seeing) or maybe you’ve commandeered it and are making him another one 🙂 I love the look of leather, but wouldn’t have any idea about all the decisions that must have to be made to buy a piece! These pouches are gorgeous!

  8. Sona says:

    these look very chic!

  9. Patti says:

    Lovely bags! I love the darker colored one!
    Sorry, cannot help you on the machine but I’m laying in bed next to my hubby who is leaving on a 11 day elk hunt and I just said “can you have the taxidermist do that to the hide?” (Showed him those pictures of your pouches) and he said ” oh yeah no problem! ” so here’s to hoping he comes home with one! I would love to try out some leather but don’t really know what to look for on etsy.
    Once again your bags are so beautiful!!

  10. Tammy says:

    A Juki LU 563N Is my industrial machine. I’m still learning how to tame it, as it sews very rapidly and is still new to me. My husband likes to use it, as he says ” You could sew two 2 by 4s together with it.”

  11. Trine says:

    Oh wow! These are so beautiful ♡

  12. Eva Leisure says:

    They’re looking great! Like your combination.
    No industrial machine on my hand, only an about 30 year old mechanical Pfaff from my mum 🙂

  13. Alison Wood says:

    Beautiful looking and beautifully made, as ever. Your work is so precise and thought through, and perfectly photographed. Always a pleasure looking at your blog. Thank you for sharing your creativity – will be putting your book on my Christmas list!

  14. Debbie says:

    The leather is such a terrific touch!

  15. athens11 says:

    There are so many leather choices on the Etsy site. Do you remember what you ordered? Thanks. I love the pouches.

  16. ybat says:

    I love the way you use leather in your designs. In fact I made a zippered wallet with leather accents using one of your tutorials as a gift for my sister and she loved it. I have an industrial machine its a JUKI DDL 8700 and I love it. Depending on the type you buy it can be expensive but I have never regretted the money that I spent, in fact I am always grateful that I have it when I am sewing some heavy duty stuff. On the bright side the accessories are much cheaper than the domestic machines. I hope this helped.

  17. Linda Smith says:

    I picked up a suede skirt at Goodwill for $2, thinking I would find some way to repurpose the beautiful, soft leather. This could be it! Even Dolores’s vegan son might let her get away with repurposed leather.

  18. Kathy says:

    Gorgeous! You obviously did an amazing job with your domestic sewing machine. Special needles?

  19. Love these, Anna! Now to hunt for some leather!

  20. Colleen says:

    You really have to figure out what you want your “industrial” sewing machine to sew
    Remember an industrial sewing machine is just a sewing machine capable of sewing all day long or all day and all night! They are set up to sew fancy silk underwear to leather boots !
    Good luck

  21. erin says:

    i love that you are always trying new materials. these look great! (i think i am going to use this pattern for teaching the 8th graders how to sew zippers. i’ll keep you posted!)

  22. Morgan says:

    Love these pouches!
    When I was a tailor (3 months ago or so) we had the most amazing machines at the shop: Juki DDL 8700-7, two of them. They were so powerful and wonderful to use that I’m thinking of buying one even though I no longer do professional stuff – my domestic is so weak and clunky compared to them! The feet are pretty cheap too, I think, they handle any thread you like (not like my domestic which does NOT like the cheap stuff), auto-cut the thread underneath the work and have a lovely accessible levery button thing for going backwards. They can even be reasonably priced if you get one secondhand. Two things I will say in the negative for them: getting the mechanic out to fix them is not cheap, and definitely test the machine first if you can. Our machines were very different beasties even though they were the same model – one was an absolute darling and the other didn’t really like going backwards (the thread would break sometimes) and didn’t handle the thinner fabrics well (the sheer, really fine stuff). Overall they were great though. I dream about them sometimes.

  23. Bh says:

    How did you add on the leather?

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