By Martini Severin

If necessity is the mother of invention for some, for me, impatience and lack of funds drives creativity. This year, the fashion house Céline debuted a two-toned leather pouch in a butterscotch and flamingo neon-pink with which I fell in love. I’ve been wanting this bag forever. Forever in this case for me is 3 months…a bit of an exaggeration, but it feels like forever. Truly. However, considering that the price of the bag is beyond my budget for accessories, I had two options: I could find a more affordable version of the bag, or I could get crafty.

Initially, I went with option one. Off, I traipsed from one boutique to another in Somerville, Cambridge, and Boston—in the rain, I might add. My favorite shop owners either ran out or hadn’t received shipments of the much sought-after budget friendly version of the leather pouches. So it would seem that I was left with only option two: make the leather pouch myself.

By design, the leather pouch isn’t difficult to construct. Simply, you take a piece of leather, fold it in half, sew the sides, and add a zipper to the top. At the end, I wanted the pouch to be big enough to hold a magazine or book, my phone, lipstick and wallet. Once at the sewing store, I chose the colors for what would become my faux-leather pouch. I should mention that the process of choosing a color took quite a bit of time. I had a choice between Kelly green, white, mauve or burnt orange. In the end, Kelly green won. I then picked up a 12 inch black zipper, thread the same color as the faux-leather, and a new needle suitable for sewing thick fabrics on my sewing machine. The last thing I wanted was a broken needle halfway through my project.

Later that weekend, the construction and sewing of the pouch took about 1 hour. At the end, I had a lovely Kelly green pouch. Doesn’t it look gorgeous in the photo? I unfortunately sewed the zipper incorrectly. As it stands the zipper pull faces the inside of the bag. As you can imagine it makes zipping and unzipping the pouch a bit difficult. I figure, this is a mistake that I will fix later. For now, I’m perfectly obliged, happy, okay with my new pouch, and may just make a few for my friends with the left- over materials. It may not be the two-tone Céline pouch, but I’m a fan—even with a faulty zipper.

In case you want to try to make a pouch yourself, visit the blog, Style Scrapbook for a quick photo tutorial. Just note that one yard of fabric will yield several pouches.

The following are a few fabric stores at which you can purchase fabric (leather or faux-leather) and notions (that’s fancy sewing speak for zippers, thread etc.) to create your own pouch.

Sew-Fisticated Fabric

14 Mcgrath Hwy
Somerville, MA 02143
(617) 625-7996
Hours: Mon – Sat 10am-8pm; Sun 12pm-6pm

Fabric Corner Inc

783 Massachusetts Ave
Arlington, MA
(781) 643-4040
Hours: Mon-Sat 9:30am – 5:30pm; Sun 12pm – 6pm

Sew-Low Discount Fabrics

473 Cambridge St
Cambridge, MA 02141
(617) 661-8361
Hours: Mon-Sat 9:30 am – 6 pm; Sun 12 pm – 5 pm

Winmil Fabrics

111 Chauncy St
Boston, MA
617) 542-1815
Hours: Mon-Sat 9 am – 6 pm; Sun 12 pm – 5 pm


Martini blogs on the Boston fashion scene at She goes in search of the latest trends and snaps shots of men and women around the city who really understand style.


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