My very own ‘For Pleat’s Sake’ Tote!


Lisa Lam’s free bag pattern is easy to sew and makes a great purse. Here’s my bag and my tips.


I’m so happy with my new purse I can hardly contain myself. I’ve made a few bags before, but none of them have turned out so cute or professional looking. Maybe it’s the real leather handles that I used for the first time (you can find them on Amazon). Or maybe it’s the gorgeous Japanese fabric from modes4u.





I used Lisa Lam’s For Pleat’s Sake Bag Pattern, which you can download for free from her shop. Lisa is amazing in her design and clear instructions. I must say that everything came together very easily. The top of my bag is not as curved as hers, but I was being pretty careful about making my pleats exactly straight and I think I should have relaxed a bit and let them make more of a fan shape. But it doesn’t take away from it at all, in my opinion.



The fabric I used was the top two from my modes4u package.


Something makes me think the bird print was made just for this project. It was exactly the right width, and when I centered the lighter bird stripe in the middle of my bag, it was framed perfectly, making birds on the sides too.




Modes4u also included this awesome scrap that I decided to use for an inside pocket. When I contacted customer service, Maggie told me that they always include little gifts in their packages, like a fabric scrap or some deco tape. love!


Another change I made was using felt on the inside instead of fusible fleece. I couldn’t find the kind of fusible fleece that I wanted, and I already know that I like the feel of bags lined with felt, so I decided to make my own fusible felt. Is that a real thing? Maybe I invented it. I used Spray N Bond on my felt pieces and after it dried, they were fusible.

Some tips if you try this… be sure to cover your work area first. That spray really comes out! And be sure to get the edges and corners well.  Those are the parts you want to stick best.


I’m quickly falling for my new oliso pro iron. There’s a review coming soon, but I can tell you now I never want another iron.


Last of all, Lisa suggests sewing your leather handles on by hand (there are pre-punched holes), but I could only stand about 10 minutes of that. Then I switched to my machine. After all… if my sewing machine could sew through my finger, it can handle a little leather, right? No problem. Black thread on top, pink on the bottom, and go slowly.


And thank you to everyone who has been inquiring about my finger. It is pretty much healed and seldom hurts unless I mash on it hard. As for the hole in my fingernail, I accidentally covered it with Spray N Bond during this project so now it is pretty much ‘fused’, lol! Have a great one!

Disclosure: some of my posts contain affiliate links. If you purchase something through one of those links I may receive a small commission, so thank you for supporting SewCanShe when you shop! All of the opinions are my own and I only suggest products that I actually use. 🙂