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Attaching leather handles to hooked handbags...My favourite method is to just wait and attach the handles right on top of the hooking, quite late in the assembly process. Not only does this reduce the likelihood of miscalculating the placement or leaving the wrong sized space for the tab, it also results in a more sturdy attachment. By sewing through a thicker foundation (i.e. backing plus hooking), I feel there is a more secure base. At the last possible moment (likely right before sewing the lining in place), sew handles to purse with coordinating upholstery thread. I like to use two strands of dark brown (it most closely matches the stitching on the Grayson e. leather handles) and I tend to backstitch, likely going around twice (until it looks good). Undoing any buckles will make sewing easier. Some suggest that upholstery thread should be waxed prior to sewing…but I have also sewn without it and never experienced any problems. I do recommend using a blunt (tapestry) needle to sew, since I find it easier to find the holes.
Many people are interested in using the beautiful Grayson e. leather handles on some of my hooked handbag patterns (and some of their own designs, too). There are several different methods you can use, including sewing on the handles prior to hooking OR tracing the tab shape onto the backing and leaving the space unhooked (later sewing tabs in reserved space) OR simply attaching the handles right on top of the hooking. I have tried all of these methods, with mixed results.