1. Home Brother
  2. Blog
  3. Sewing Room
  4. 2024
  5. Rainbow shoulder bag
Metallic pleather rainbow shoulder bag

Ambassador Raph’s rainbow shoulder bag

As Pride Month approaches, I felt inspired to design a rainbow shoulder bag using a mix of black and coloured metallic pleather.

Choosing black pleather as the base and vibrant coloured metallic pleather for the rainbow hues, I aimed to create a visually striking accessory that symbolised unity and pride.

I chose to divide the main part of the bag into six equal segments to feature the colours of the rainbow.

To make it easy for you, I’ve drafted my own an easy-to-follow sewing pattern which you can download below. Read on for the step-by-step sewing instructions.

Brother sewing ambassador Raph Dilhan with A80 sewing machine

Materials needed

To make the same bag as mine, you will need: 

  • 6 x 20cm of pleather, one in each colour: black, red, orange yellow green blue and purple* 
  • Lining fabric 
  • Iron-on interfacing (optional) 
  • 135cm of rainbow webbing strap (30 or 38mm wide) 
  • 2 x o-rings for the buckle 
  • 1 x zipper, length 28cm minimum  
  • Thread – sewing and top stitch (top stitch optional) 

*The amount of fabric required isn’t much at all, so it can be a great way to use scraps of various fabulous fabrics you might already have! 


Equipment needed

  • Sewing machine
  • Standard sewing ‘J’ foot 
  • Zipper foot 
  • Scissors 
  • Pins or clips (I like to use clips, as pins can leave holes and marks in your pleather) 
  • Pdf pattern (download below) 


Download PDF pattern here

A note on the sewing pattern: 

  • The seam allowances are indicated in purple. 
  • Once printed on A4 paper, cut the excess paper away, and tape the main body parts A and B together to create the full pattern piece.
Brother A80 sewing machine with rainbow pleather on table

Step 1

Using the pattern attached, trace and cut all your pieces and remember to mark all notches and dots: 

  • 12 triangles out of the coloured pleather fabric (two of each colour)
  • One side and four tab pieces out of the black pleather
  • All your lining pieces (2 x body, 1 x side, 4 x tab pieces)
  • Cut two interfacing pieces (optional). 

Step 2

Starting with the front body of the bag, assemble the first six coloured triangles in the order of the rainbow: red to orange to yellow to green to blue and finally to purple. 

Triangle rainbow pleather pieces arranged in fan shape

Step 3

Stitch together by using a straight stitch and a 1cm seam allowance, taking care to stop your line of stitches exactly on the marked dot (I find it easier to assemble in sets of two first and then sew them all together).

Press or roll the seam allowances open (the pleather might not react well to ironing, so I recommend you press using your fingers or a small roller). 

Triangle rainbow pleather pieces sewn together in sets of two

Step 4

Topstitch the seam -allowance in place 2mm away from the seam using a long straight stitch (and topstitch thread if you have any). 
Two fan shapes made of rainbow pleather one with top stitching

Step 5

Repeat for the back body, going from purple to red this time to end up with a mirrored version of the front.

Once you’ve built both front and back, cut them to the main body pattern shape, and iron the interfacing on if using any. 

ag body shape sewing piece on rainbow pleather ready to cut

Step 6

Time to sew the zipper in! Sandwich one side of the zipper between the body front and a lining piece (right side of the body piece facing with the right side of the zipper and the lining).

Stitch using a 1cm straight stitch and a zipper foot. Open to reveal the zipper teeth and press flat.

rainbow bag body and lining pieces laid out with black zipper

Step 7

Topstitch all layers in place, 3mm away from the seam, using a long straight stitch (and topstitching thread if you’re using it).

Repeat on the other side, using the back body piece and making sure the zipper is correctly aligned.

zipper being inserted in rainbow shoulder bag

Step 8

You can opt to add in an optional pocket, so your bag can hold more items!

Fold a 28 x 28cm square of lining fabric in half, topstitch 2mm away from the fold and pin this 4cm away from the zipper onto one of the lining pieces. Stitch a single row of straight stitches down the centre, securing the pocket onto the lining only.

Baste lining and main fabric together by stitching a long stitch all around the body pieces, 5mm away from the edge. 

close up showing internal pocket in purple satin inside shoulder bag

Step 9

Now we add the tabs to the main body of the bag. On both end of the zipper, sandwich the project between one black pleather tab and one lining tab (project facing up, lining tab underneath facing up, and black pleather on top facing down).

Pin or clip together and sew, using a straight stitch and 1cm seam allowance. Flip tabs outwards and press flat, topstitch to secure in place 3mm away from the seam allowance. 

side tabs and interfacing clipped to sides of rainbow shoulder bag

Step 10

Now we’re going to build and attach the rainbow straps. Cut a 15cm length of rainbow strap, slide the two o-rings onto it and fold the strap in half on itself. Clip to one of the tabs, raw edges lined up, and baste in place using a long straight stitch 5mm away from raw edges.

With the remaining 120cm of strap, clip in place on the other tab and baste in place within the seam allowance. Double fold the lose end of the strap twice on itself (1cm and 1.5cm) and stitch in place. 

rainbow webbing strap with o-rings clipped to rainbow pleather bag

Step 11

The side of the bag has a pleat, to allow for more volume in the bag. Start by folding the black pleather length ways and right side facing, matching the notches. Stitch the two pleats down using a row of straight stitches - stop at the 2cm mark. Press the pleats open flat and baste in place 5mm from the raw edge.

Attach the remaining two black pleather tabs right side facing on either end, stitch and press flat and top stitch in place 3mm away from the seam. 

black pleather and purple satin pieces for bag pleat on table

Step 12

Repeat for the lining pieces. Place side pieces and lining side pieces wrong side together and baste together 5mm from the raw edge.
pleat for bag gusset being sewn together

Step 13

Now it’s time to pin the bag sides and body together. Working with the bag inside out, align the tabs together and match all the notches before pinning or clipping in place. Stitch all around using a straight stitch a 1cm seam allowance. 

Tip: it might be helpful to snip/clip the seam allowance of the side pieces at regular intervals to make sure both seam allowances smoothly align 

purple inside of shoulder bag with sewing clips holding together

Optional step: finishing the seams

Wrap the raw edges of the seam allowances using bias binding and stitch in place, stitching within the seam allowance.

I made my own bias tape out of my lining fabric. To do so, simply cut two rectangles (4 x 30cm) out of the lining fabric (ideally on the bias). Fold and press on itself twice and wrap around the raw edges. 

bias tape made from purple satin clipped to edge of purple satin bag

Step 15

Cut the corner of the seams at the tap and flip the bag inside out. Loop the longer strap through the O-ring and slide to your favourite length. Et voila!

Step 16

To complete your pride-inspired shoulder bag, consider adding any additional embellishments or decorations to personalise your creation further. You can include metallic studs, sequins, or even a vibrant patch to make your bag unique and reflective of your style.

Creating a rainbow shoulder bag for Pride Month was a fun and colourful experience. I hope this will inspire a few other proud sewers out there to make their own. I cannot wait to see your creations - you can find me on Instagram. Why not tag Brother on Instagram and Facebook too? 

More from Sewing Room

You might also like

Back to top