How to Attach Leather Handles

There are many details that we can add to a handbag or purse, one of them is a pair of leather handles which are readily available in haberdashery stores and online. They come in different colours, thickness and length; faux leather handles are equally easy to get, if you prefer not to use animal products.

It is a good idea to consider the purpose of your bag as a heavy load might rip the fabric off the handle or even break any metal part the handle might have.

It is important to sew the handles in place  on each side of the outside of the bag before you ensemble the bag  . I like to place the handles on the right side of the fabric and once I am happy with the position, I draw around them with chalk, this is because they will move as I sew them in place.

I also recommend to reinforce the fabric by fusing a couple of  pieces of interfacing (or two extra pieces of material) on the back of the fabric just behind where the handles will be sewn. To do that, I put pins through the holes of the handle , so that I can see at  the reverse of the fabric where the handle will be and I also draw the shape, that way I know where to put the interfacing.  

Finally, I sew the handles using a big needle and  a strong thread, the kind used for shoe repairs,  it is strong and waxy so it  goes through the fabric easily, although some people use embroidery thread instead, the important thing is to use several lengths of thread for extra strength. I start sewing from behind the fabric through one of the first holes until I get to the end, at that point, if the strap has an odd number of holes, I sew backwards to where I began until I come to the point where the last stitch makes the needle go to the reverse of the fabric and I just secure with a knot.

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