Big rustic leather totes have become a fashion blogger mainstay. Celine's shopper tote sold for $2,000 and is no longer available. Less expensive versions include Baggu's $240 oversized leather tote and the Madewell Transport Tote for $168.
Fortunately you can make your own with relative ease for less than $50. To make it, you will need:
- A piece of thick leather about 23 inches by 28 inches and another piece about 23" by about 7"
- Tailor's chalk
- Sewing machine with a needle intended for leather
- Rotary cutter, straight edge and self-healing mat
- A piece of thick fusible interfacing (72 or thicker)
- Fabric glue
- Leather handles. (I got mine on Etsy.)
Fold your leather in half with the wrong side out and cut a rectangle 23" by 14". (The long side should be on the fold.)
Cut two notches that are 3" by 3.5".
Sew up the sides. Box the corners and sew across the seam.
Cut a smaller piece of leather to line the inside bottom of the bag. Iron on the fusible interfacing to add stiffness. Glue to the bottom inside of the bag.
Glue handles to the bag and then sew the handles in place.
Get the complete tutorial and a free pattern at Bromeliad.