Time to Vote! Refashion Runway: Week Three: Clutch, Tote Bag, or Purse

Fabulous Handbag

Let’s face it. We’d be lost without our handbags.

So we might as well have cute ones.

Have fun checking out the fabulous handbags these talented ladies have created this week. When you get to the bottom of this post, be sure to vote for your favorite by clicking on their picture and then clicking the vote button.

You’re in for a real treat!


Kara from While Camden Sleeps

“This week’s challenge was something I’ve never even thought about doing
before, but I loved that it gave me a chance to try something new! I got
these pants at a thrift store for $10 (pricey if you ask me). They are
100% polyurethane, but look like leather. I tried using a leather needle
on them, but quickly learned that my ball point needle worked much better,
as there is some stretch.

handbag collage

I think a big part of refashioning is using the original construction of a
piece to your advantage. I loved the edgy zippered pockets, so I made sure
to keep them on. They add functional pockets to the front of the purse,
which are great for my phone and wallet.



To construct the purse, I cut off the pant legs, and sewed a straight seam
over the curved seam that once formed the backside of the pants. Then, I
stitched straight across the bottom to form a bag. To give the handbag a
better shape, I pushed in the corners, and sewed horizontally across them.
To make the purse more versatile, I added a liner that not only looks cute
on the inside, but makes the purse reversible as well. Lastly, I added some
simple handles. I love how it turned out!”





Sarah from Life is Beautiful

“Hello everyone! I found this week’s challenge to be the most
difficult and challenging for me. I’ve
never made a handbag/purse/clutch of any kind before and had no idea what I
was going to make. I thought oh, I have almost a week to decide and make
it, then the day before our family’s trip, I realized I didn’t have all
week to turn it in, I needed to turn it in before I leave on our trip! So I
had one day to figure it out and make it and submit this post, but I made
it guys, WHEW! And I am very happy with how it turned out!


Sarah 1


I got this big leather jacket from the thrift store. I picked out the
longest and the biggest size I could find because I knew the bigger it was,
the more I would have to work with. It’s 100% genuine leather and I knew
from the beginning that I wanted to make a genuine leather handbag.

Sarah3 Sarah4


I was on a time crunch so I didn’t have the chance to take more pictures
during the process and write a tutorial. I knew I wanted my handbag to be
very simple, without any metals or hardware so the bags are made of leather
and thread, and that’s it! After making my 3-tier fringe leather tote bag,
I realized I still had a ton of left over leather from the jacket so I made
one for my little girl. And she absolutely loves it! It’s a hit and miss
whether my girls will like what I make for them or not, so I was so glad
she loved it.

















*What you’ll need*:
-A leather jacket(bigger the better so you have more to work with)
-leather thread
-leather sewing needle
*Estimated time*: 1 1/2 hours per purse your first try, 30-45 mins. after
your first.
*Budget*: $15
*Skill level*: A confident beginner to an intermediate

I am so happy to be in this wonderful competition that’s been stretching my
creativity and comfort zone. Thank you for your votes that are letting me
stay in this competition, it means so much to me. I hope to be here again
for the Week 4: Maxi Skirt or Dress, vintage dresses are by far my favorite
clothing item to refashion!”



Sylvia from Her Kitschy Majesty

“I’ve never refashioned anything before to even remotely match a handbag or
tote or anything of the sort. They say it’s relatively easy but for a first
time it was all scary.
The only thing I visioned to be remotely close to the assignment was one
skater skirt that was thrifted and too tight at the waist, even for my tiny
statuesque waistie. (I like to think it was children’s skirt.) And so it
was under my refashioning wheels.
I cut off the belt loops and the zipper and sew it all together. Next I sew
the bottom shut in the pictured way – I just turned it inside out, folded
the lower seam three times at the edges, pinned it and sew through it. Then
I also sew the lining shut, sew a bias tape of a polka dot pattern at the
opening to decorate it a bit, hand-sew faux leather straps and added those
handles rusting in my stash for years – they were reclaimed from an old bag
that went gutless but the handles definitely rose to a new life.
Since the polka dot bias tape was taken from the remains of an old dress
turned into a strapless top, I decided to pay it homage by wearing it and
pairing it with my brand new duffle/handbag eclectic creation. That polka
dot pattern with the Converse I’m wearing definitely brings me to a modern
rockabilly vibe, and it’s very contageous!”


week3-beforeweek3-during1 week3-during2




Laura from Accidental Seamstress

“For this week’s challenge, I took one of my dad’s old Suit Jackets and turned it in
to a tote. He actually donated it to my husband, but when it didn’t fit him right I
decided to take matters into my own hands 🙂 No piece of clothing goes to waste when
you’re married to a refashionista… I had to be strategic with my cutting because I
wanted plenty of pockets for my phone, lipstick, gum, etc. So I cut around the
existing pockets of the suit jacket.The small houndstooth print didn’t translate
very well in some of the pics, but there’s definitely a “fall” theme in the
coloring. To keep with the fall look, I found some maroon handles that I stole off a
previous purse that I wore out (I seriously never throw any usable clothing away).
To give it a little pizzazz (I found some coordinating scrap fabric in my stash), I
cut out a letter “L” & appliqued it on the front panel. I’m really quite fond of
applique. I use it a LOT. I used other scraps in the same fabric to attach all my
handles; a zipper foot made that job easier.
I sewed it all together and voila: I have a new Fall purse (Fall will be here before
we know it..).
This tote cost me nothing to make :)”













Gema from Sequins and Slippers

“Again – on the EDGE OF MY SEAT waiting to see what everyone else made this
week! I started with a hat I’ve had for a while, that I just don’t wear any
more… I deconstructed the hat, until it was almost all strips of
wicker… I pinched the base to make it flat, glued it…
And then sewed it back on itself, in a different shape – to make the basic
bucket bag shape.

Deconstruct Hat

I then thought about the lining, and made the inside from an old shirt,
adding a yacht-print pocket, and trimming with bias binding…

Lining the bag1

Before attaching the lining I made rope handles, from a t-shirt I turned
into yarn, before crocheting…

Rope Handle frmo Tshirt

And after sewing the handles on, and adding the lining, I also added
magnetic clasps – and small details to the outside, like an anchor motif,
and bag charm…
I also made a tiny coin purse to match from the yacht print fabric, and
lined it with the same stripy fabric as the bag itself…


SO! What do you think..? I took it to the park, and felt very happy to have
a bag that goes over the shoulder, but also is comfortable to carry by my
side (and doesn’t skim the floor).


From hat to bag…

Loving all your work, ladies!”




Marisa from The Refash Stash

“I started with a tote! It’s pink! My favorite color 🙂

image1 (2)

I sewed a new lining for my tote and kept the original inside pocket.

image2 (2)

I replaced the existing straps with these ties!

image3 (1)

I picked out a design, made a stencil and painted it on my tote.

image4 (2)

I even had enough fabric to make a matching bookmark and sleeve for my glasses! Yay!”

image5 (1)

image6 (1)








OK, now it’s your turn to vote for your favorite handbag refashion.

(Be sure to click on your favorite then scroll to the bottom and click the vote button)

The winner will be announced next Saturday.

About The Renegade Seamstress

I'm a busy wife, mom, grandma, and teacher who loves to create. I've joined the refashion scene and I 'd like to share and connect with all those talented and creative people out there doing similar things.
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37 Responses to Time to Vote! Refashion Runway: Week Three: Clutch, Tote Bag, or Purse

  1. Pingback: Refashion Runway Challenge 3: Tote, purse, or clutch |

  2. lucindalines says:

    These are fantastic and all are great. I refuse to vote because I can’t choose. I do know there are some great ideas here, and now my husband’s suits are not going to the garbage.

  3. SAB says:

    Okay, that was hard. All the ladies are so creative. I wish we could vote for more than one. Good luck to you all. 😉

  4. This one was hard…………I wanted to vote for three instead of just one!!

  5. singer1966 says:

    Love Laura’s humor and how indepth she goes with her explanations. Her ingenious designs are an inspiration! Love her blog, Accidental Seamstress!

  6. Abigail says:

    Loved Kara and Sarah’s, as usual. The other ones are good, but I feel like Kara and Sarah did more.

  7. Gema that bag took some serious deconstruction! Nice work!

  8. Sally says:

    Wow. All are very inspiring to get the sewing machine out & get creating but I particularly love the tassle leather bags, what a creative idea. Thank you!!

  9. Pingback: Refashion Runway Week 3: Handbag/Tote/Duffle Something | Her Kitschy Majesty

  10. Jenni says:

    I am so inspired every time your emails hit my inbox!!!

  11. Anonymous says:

    Life is beautiful leather fringe gets my vote

  12. Anonymous says:

    Life is beautiful bags

  13. Amy-June says:

    These are all amazing! The leather ladies have inspired me to give sewing with leather a go …. looks like you can get some great results!

  14. acraftymind2013 says:

    They all did a fantastic job!

  15. a wayfarer says:

    Awesome projects! I love the two black ones. And it looks so easy!!!

  16. Wow! Loved Sarah’s fringe bag, but have to admit, that Gemas creativity and vision really nailed it for me. Wow!

  17. Kathy says:

    That hat bag is nothing short of amazing!!!!

  18. Nora says:

    Beth..how many times can we vote for the same refashion runway seamstress?

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  20. Pingback: Speaking of Handbag Refashions… | The Renegade Seamstress

  21. Lisa says:

    Turning the hat into a purse was very clever.

  22. Pingback: Style Lab: Rediscovering the 80s TBT | Her Kitschy Majesty

  23. Pingback: Tote Bag, Purse or Clutch Refashion Sew Alongs | The Renegade Seamstress

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  25. deeReese says:

    All the refashioned purses are great – such a tough decision !

  26. Pingback: Refashion Runway Season Four: Meet the All Stars and Challenges Announced | The Renegade Seamstress

  27. Pingback: What is Refashion Runway Anyway? A Look Back Through the Seasons | The Renegade Seamstress

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