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Summer Handbag

This no-sew handbag makes a lovely addition to any summer wardrobe.




  • Ultrasuede fabric, Ultrasuede,
  • Scissors
  • Heat-n-Bond paper, Therm O Web,
  • Iron
  • Press cloth
  • 1/2-inch-wide wooden chisel
  • Hammer
  • Yard stick
  • 2 wooden handles, M&J Trimming, 


  1. Step 1

    Cut out 2 rectangles of Ultrasuede fabric, measuring 18 by 32 inches.

  2. Step 2

    On the wrong side of the first rectangle, center a piece of Heat-n-Bond, paper side up, and fuse with a preheated iron on silk setting. Let cool and remove paper.

  3. Step 3

    Lay other piece of Ultrasuede, wrong side down, on top of first rectangle and fuse together with a press cloth. Glide iron at a snail's pace, slightly overlapping prior area until entire surface has been bonded. Allow material to cool.

  4. Step 4

    Using a 1/2-inch-wide wood chisel, hammer perpendicular slits every inch on the 1/2 inch, 1/2 inch from the lengthwise edge of Ultrasuede. You can also use a utility knife to create the slits.

  5. Step 5

    Cut a 1/2-by-17-inch strip with excess double-sided Ultrasuede fabric.

  6. Step 6

    Thread strip through cut slits. Pull to gather and tie ends to handle.

  7. Step 7

    To make a knot, put strip through hole of the front of the handle, so that it extends four inches. Wrap strip around, overlapping itself in the front, and then rethread strip through hole in the back of handle. Push through hole again from back and push down through loop you've created. Pull to tighten.

The Martha Stewart Show, May 2007



Reviews (31)

  • JavaGurl 9 Aug, 2008

    there are great fabrics w/ great designs on them other than ultrasuede

  • JavaGurl 9 Aug, 2008

    I was cut off early, the ultrasuede is so pretty but if you look you can find great fabrics

  • JavaGurl 9 Aug, 2008

    I am gonna take Stephowens advice

  • stephowens 7 Aug, 2008

    I made this bag tonight and have to say that it is really cute. I was unable to find the ultrasuede locally, (it is available online through Mary Jo's in Gastonia, NC I know this place well and highly recommend it.) but the fabric runs $37/yd and I did not find that practical for a first go at it... I bought some trendy brown and pink polk-a-dat/ diamond shaped fab at $4/yd and with the boding paper it is stiff enough and looks beautiful! I bought a hot pink ribbon to accent the colors.

  • DebbieDurham 5 Aug, 2008

    I can not resist adding a comment to DeeDeeDeb. My name is Debbie but my family calls me Deb. I am disabled and my very faithful companion and best friend, my dog, is named Dee Dee. She is named for my initials DD. I loved it when I saw your name!

  • heidicookie 5 Aug, 2008

    Licialynn, I followed your directions, too

  • terrie-bear 5 Aug, 2008

    Licialynn_-- I tried to follow your directions.... I got it to switch to Part I, but it just sat there and would not play. Any further clicking and it switched back to Part II. Oh well. HELLO>>>>> PLEASE FIX THIS!!!!!

  • bunnyandrosie 5 Aug, 2008

    I also cannot get the start of the video, but I believe their directions are wrong. step 5 should come before step4

  • CraftieCathie 5 Aug, 2008

    Just remember ... whether sewing ultrasuede by hand or by machine, use a leather needle for best

  • LouLou2007 5 Aug, 2008

    Yeah, this pattern can be adjusted in many ways. I love it though; it's quick and easy and I like that. My motto is "IF I CAN'T GLUE IT THEN I DON'T DO IT. LOL...Seriously though, it's worth it to get out the machine to tweak this one a little

  • MiloHappyCat 5 Aug, 2008

    This will work for any material as long as you hem the edges- the Ultra Suede won't frey, which is how they can keep the project no sew, but if you sewed the 2 pieces wrong sides together along the edges, leaving a section open so you can turn the piece right side out- then sew the opening by hand or machine. you have the exact same thing but with any fabric you want to use! Instead of the slits, make button holes to keep edges from fraying- use a great grosgrain ribbon

  • elizabeth6401 29 Jul, 2008

    I fused two pieces of fabric together, then sewed button holes along edge and finished as decribed. Cute!!!

  • kathiguam 24 Jul, 2008

    Try your local GW (Goodwill) or thrift store for donated clothing made from ultrasuede. I recycle fabric for craft projects in this way and for a lot less than buying new fabric. A very sustainable way to create new from old!

  • CherylH72 10 Jul, 2008

    Has anyone attempted to make this bag and if so did you use the ultrasuede? I'm having a difficult time locating it in my area. I would like to try other materials, but would hate to waste the money if it won't work properly. Thanks!!!

  • amynv 8 Jul, 2008

    what is the finished size? The friend I'm making it for doesn't like her bags any longer than 12".
    Any help is appreciated :-)

  • mando 5 Jul, 2008

    Do you need to use the ultrasuede? Or could other materials work just as well?

  • DeeDeeDeb 4 Jul, 2008

    Thanks Dee! I had not seen the beginning of the show so I didn't know. I think they're so cute, I'm going to make some for Christmas presents for my friends and daughters... Maybe some in school colors for football games. With the right type of handle, I think they can go into the fall.

  • sewnatural 4 Jul, 2008 name is Dee to.....

  • sewnatural 4 Jul, 2008

    DeeDee, the reason there are two layers fused together with heatbond is to make it reversable....I watched the show today and that was a feature of the could change probably adds more body to the bag being doubled too and no worry about raw unhemmed edges...Dee

  • DeeDeeDeb 4 Jul, 2008

    I too would like to see part 1. Does anyone know why the suede is doubled? Seems like one layer would be enough.

  • kimpressions 4 Jul, 2008

    This is too cute!

  • SandrineKing 13 Jun, 2008

    We need PART I !!!!!
    :( :( :(

  • SandrineKing 19 May, 2008

    part 2 does play after clicking on the pause/play button twice - but not part I

  • Licialynn 12 May, 2008

    I was just able to do it again...try after you click the video at the bottom click the second arrow > and then the play button becomes pause, You will have to click it twice. It should work... I hate no one can see this cause it is a cool idea.

  • margaretherndon 12 May, 2008

    HELP - all that happens is the ad runs again and again. I tried to click on the bar like Licialynn suggested but all that happens is the ad plays AGAIN. Can someone get this fixed so I can watch the craft?

  • Licialynn 29 Apr, 2008

    I just wanted everyone to know it is hard to play this video but I was able to make it play. If you double click on the part in the center that shows how much of the video you have watched then click the pause/play button it will start. If it still doesnt click on the button to advance the video and then go back and click the play/pause button and it will work. I hope you guys get to see it. It is a very cool process. Let me know if I can be of help.

  • margaretherndon 27 Apr, 2008

    Argh - please fix this so we can watch the video!!!!!

  • h2obearr 7 Apr, 2008

    This is just looping the ad.I need to see the video of the awesome bag.Come on,make it work ,people!

  • pkildow 22 Mar, 2008

    Yeah, it's just looping the ad for me too. Would really like the instructions about the bag!

  • Darko 19 Mar, 2008

    Hallo, I just want to inform you that the video doesn't work on the "Summer Handbag", can it be fixed please, thanks, kindly regards, Maureen ( Belgium)

  • pamelacanquilt 13 Nov, 2007

    This is looping the ad. What about the bag?