Hi readers! Its been a while since my last update, I’ve made quite a few awesome things that I am excited to share with you. Today I am sharing my latest make with you – my Mr Elephant Bag!
I fell in love with Loewe’s elephant bag when I saw it online, alas, it cost over a thousand dollars for one, there’s no way I would spend that much on a bag. There are plenty knock off versions, but none of them made with real leather. So I decided to pick probably the most difficult thing to make as a first time leather project – the elephant bag!
It took a few weeks, but I am really quite pleased with the result:
And the bag on its own:
I decided to go with all black for edge coat, threads, zippers, hardware, because its my first time working with leather, a uniform dark color would hide mistakes well. For those of you who are curious, I’ll list out the material & tools & pattern resources I used.
First, the how to – I pretty much figured it out from this video from Loewe – thank you Loewe for sharing! Then there are snapshot of the video where the pattern was lying flat, which I enlarged and enlarged until it is good enough to be a pattern. I had to make it symmetrical, which I did by folding the pattern and cut according to one of the sides.
Then its materials:
- Leather from Etsy (this seller), it was real cow leather, 3-4oz thick, 2 sqft (1ftx2ft). ($16)
- Hardware from Ningbags, I bought way more than I needed – D-rings, swivel hood, and cone feet. But I ended up only needing the D-rings ($22, $5 if only the D-rings)
- my usual black Rayon Satin from fashion fabric club
- zipper in my stash
- thick, waxed black threads from my stash
- ready made shoulder straps ($14) I ran out of leather at the end, and got lazy about making the straps. This one had the perfect match to the leather and hardware!
- Feibing’s Edge Kote ($10)
- Dye roller for the edge kote ($9)
- Leather glue ($8)
- hold puncher for punching holes for hand sewing bottom of the bag on. (do not recommend this – it doesnt punch a hole but a slit, not very aesthetically pleasing) ($10)
- wooden block, hammer
- needles for handsewing the bottom. (next time I might just try to machine stitch this on though, handsewing is a pain, i bent at least 2 needles)
- I used my regular brother sewing machine with a roller feet for any other stitching than the bottom. It went much smoother once I remembered to change the needle to a thick needle. ($7)
So not the cheapest project – I spend about $100 total, but it makes me so happy carry Mr Elephant around!
Some thoughts for myself if I make this again:
- I didnt quite get the chin right – I tucked it in too much and the elephant is not extending his trunk out.
- Would want to try to machine sew the bottom on, and pleat the bodice while machine sewing. I glued the bodice and then hand sewed it on – it was a messy process.
- I did something right by sewing the lining to the zippper before the bodice was pleated.
- I need to make this just 1 inch longer so it can fit more iphone more easily.
You can also check my instagram feed with tag #juebejuemakeelephantbag to see some of the pictures of work in progress and close up of the bag! This was a great project that is really fun to share via instagram, it feels like I had a lot of sewing friends cheering me on in my sewing room!
Some more photos of my modeling the bag. I am wearing my me made dress from last year, its proven to be a favorite!!
The bag is a very small one, I wanted a mini black cross body for a while and this fits the bill just right. It is just big enough to fit my Iphone (without a case ^_^) and other things I usually carry around. The iphone was challenging as its so big and flat, but the bag is more round. But I am making it work.
Anyways, hope this helps anyone out there who wants to make a repli-elephant!