I bought some vinyl that has a leather imprint (yea for pleather!) in the remnant section at JoAnn's and have held on to it for months, just waiting for inspiration. I had no idea how hard it would be to sew with, but after sewing with oilcloth I figured this wouldn't be too tough. This is a really soft pleather, actually, so I bet sewing with a stiffer vinyl would be a little harder to manage. Anyway, I also had a cute home decor weight fabric remnant that I knew would be fun for some kind of a bag, and when I saw this tutorial I finally had the inspiration I needed to pair them together. The lining fabric is actually cut from an old pack 'n' play sheet, and it doesn't match as well as I would have liked.
I totally cheated and didn't do the fabric painting and I didn't put the zippered pocket in because I didn't have a good zipper on hand that would have looked good. Also, don't look very close at the d-rings holding the straps on, because three are a darker tone of silver and the fourth is a brighter one. The goal here was to work with what I had in my stash, and you can't really tell anyway. I had no idea how this whole sewing with pleather experiment would work out, so I also didn't want to go crazy on the details before I knew I had a chance to make a decent-looking finished product. It's a pretty big bag -- probably bigger than I currently need as an everyday purse, but it would be good to carry along extra changes of clothes and snacks for the kids when we go out somewhere. Here's a shot of me holding it for a sense of scale:
One complaint I always have about hobo bags in general (not about the pattern or tutorial -- those were terrific!) is the lack of structure. I had to cram a bunch of towels in the bag to get it to hang nicely for the picture. I could have added some interfacing to the exterior fabric, and if I made the bag again I definitely would. I was just petrified of adding bulk when working with the pleather -- a completely unfounded fear.
I especially love the pleather straps. I followed the tutorial's suggestion to fold the pleather in thirds and then stitch down both sides. I then added a row of stitching down the middle of the strap as well for good measure, and the straps are super comfy on my shoulder. I had some issues with sewing straight on the top stitching (seriously, I would be a TERRIBLE surgeon) so it's not the most professional-looking bag, but it did turn out pretty cute.