First Leather Project

Last Tuesday I had my first taste of sewing with leather. My friend Joel had recieved 2 beautiful soft leather hides from his friends who had recently travelled through Europe. Knowing that I'm always up for a challenge and that I love to make things for friends and family, he asked me to use the leather to make him a laptop bag and a cross body bag. I decided to make the laptop bag first as I needed Joel's laptop to fit around and he needed it back as soon as possible.

Lots of different tools are needed for leather
This was actually the more difficult project as we wanted to create an folded envelope feel to it. Trying to figure out the pattern was hard as I couldn't pin the leather together because it makes little holes in the hide. Instead I used a clips to hold things together and a white-out pen to dot mark the sewing line. If you HAVE to pin, make sure you pin on the sewing line. I also sprinkled some talcum powder on the feed dog of the sewing machine to help the leather slide over the machine.

Figuring out the pattern was all a bit of trial and error

Playing around with the leather to find my favourite shape...
Joel and I had decided to use the jagged edge of the hide as a design detail. We wanted it to look as though a piece of leather was haphazardly wrapped around the laptop. We both agreed this look was very much his aesthetic and made it a very rugged masculine laptop bag.

Having sewn PVC before, I knew that I couldn't make a mistake with the leather or I would end up with tracks of holes. But, inevitably, I did make a few. Luckily, Joel nodded with me, when I said it only added character to the bag and it didn't look like a mistake. He also said that when the leather starts to wear the holes will slowly be disguised. Phew!

One more thing, I had originally made the bag too big. Later on when I was cutting the top flap in a jagged manner to fit with the rest of the bag, I accidently took out a huge chunk and you could see the laptop inside. I almost died when I thought I had ruined the bag! But because I had originally made the bag too big, I had plenty of space to fix the problem. I had to thank my lucky stars! So the moral of the story is - Whenever in doubt, always make your item a little larger to allow for mistakes!

Ta-daaaa! almost done. Just needs a closure and some better camera lighting.
The bag is not quite finished yet, we're still looking for some buttons to create a closure. It looks pretty good right? The camera doesn't do it any justice, just wait til I take a few shots with my new DSLR. I love that it's not your average laptop bag, it's definately unique and very GQ. Most of all, it's got Joelie written all over it!

Remember to check back to see the finished result and to see the cross body bag I'm also making.
Next Post - DIY Valentines Day Truffles... will be posted in a few hours :)


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