From Old Leather Coat to Trendy Leather Tote

I followed Don Morin’s “Making Leather Bags” course on Craftsy and created this fabulous leather bag.  This coat’s Stitch Story starts way before I met it at a local thrift store and gave it a new life. The coat had a decidedly 80’s style.

One of the most challenging aspects of making this bag was constructing the rouleaux handles.  In order to construct the handles it takes 2 strips of leather about 30 inches long, two small  pieces of leather to be used as tabs to cover the ends of the handles, and cording for the inside of the handles.

The cording is placed inside of the leather strips, which is folded over the cording and then stitched on the outside.


Slits are made in the tabs, the rouleaux handles are placed on the body of the bag, through the slits and the tabs are then sewn down.



This is done before the two sides of the bag are sewn together.   The result is a beautiful custom handle on a one-of-a-kind bag.


The result is a beautiful custom handle on a one-of-a-kind bag!

Got an old coat you’d like to see re-tooled into a stylish trendy tote?


The I Love Paris Skirt

I fell in love with this fabric when shopping in the Fabric District in NY a few weeks ago.  I am reminded of cafes, long afternoons at sidewalk cafes with friends, Girls Night Out and summer fun.

This gently pleated skirt is made with the Paris-inspired fabric surrounded by black scuba/neoprene at the top which gives the waistband plenty of stretch and a wide border of cheery, cherry-red twill which adds plenty of body to the skirt.

Skirt with Paris Theme

Perfect for fall with a Gap Jean Jacket!


It looks GOOD at the Deepak Chopra Center at the upscale ABC Carpet and Home in NY.


Would like like one in your size?  Check out the etsy link soon!


Willy Otey Kay – Couture Dress Designer on Exhibit in North Carolina

“You have to like what you do, no matter what it is, to make a success of it.”    —Willie Otey Kay

Willie Otey Kay was a North Carolina native who walked the color line in expert fashion to live her Stitch Story. For more than 60 years Mrs. Kay created debutante gowns, wedding dresses and fancy ball gowns for North Carolina’s elite.  She was sought after by both black and white patrons and was careful to split her time 50-50 between the two communities.

She and her sisters created breath-taking one-of-a-kind dresses. An exhibit of works is on view now at the North Carolina Museum of History