It’s finished and has turned out just as I hoped it would. This bag has three panels as opposed to the larger bags which have five.
As you can see from the photo, I have used the same lining material as in the first attempt, but as it frays a lot I stabilised it with some iron-on interfacing. This also adds more substance and shape to the bag. It stands up on its own.
The first pocket was only small and there wasn’t enough space to have the long divided pocket as in the large bag, so I added a bigger pocket as well.
Now I’ve worked out my pattern properly and seen that it works, I’ll be making more of these in different leathers, so watch this space!
The new bag I’ve started designing is beginning to take shape. As with most creative processes “It always takes longer than you think”. This bag is smaller than I was aiming for. It’s pretty cute though and stands up nicely on its own. I can’t quite decide on the handles for it yet so it will have to wait awhile till I get my head together.
I do like the lining fabric though so that is a positive. I will reinforce it with interfacing for the next attempt as it frays a good deal.
So it’s back to the drawing board again. I’ve been sketching out some more ideas and thoughts as you can see. Will keep you all posted!
Hazel and I (aka The Leather Ladies) have recently taken delivery of another load of leather offcuts containing a good quantity of pieces large enough to make more bags.
The sorting and dividing-up-between-us process is hilarious “One for you, one for me. Aawe! I want that one…etc”. We can be very childish and extremely silly but so far we haven’t come to blows. So Hazel has pootled back home to her workroom with her stash and I am looking at the mound of super leather that’s threatening to engulf my workroom. These colours are calling me at the moment.
I’m going to try to design a medium sized bag, about 10 inches by 12 inches. I’ve started cutting out sections and mulling over lining materials etc.
Let’s see how it turns out! I’ll be back with more news soon.
I collected this commission last Sunday at Middleton Hall. The customer wanted one of my smaller bags with gold chain but in the sky blue leather. Luckily I had a piece of the blue leather just large enough to make one. I’ve finished it today and here it is.
The customer asked for it to be trimmed in pale tan leather and have a dark green lining. I made the internal pocket in the pale tan leather as well as it looked well against the dark green.
I threaded a continuous strip of blue leather through the chain as I really like the “Chanel style” feel and extra substance it gives to the strap. It’s not a speedy process, mind you, as the strap is a metre and a half long. I persevered and have perfected the knack of joining the strips of leather together within the chain and also the fiddle of rejoining the chain links after the chain has been threaded through the eyelets.
Here’s the back of the bag.
Now there’s just the cloth storage bag to make and we’re done!
It’s always interesting arriving at Middleton Hall Courtyard for the Leather Ladies’ fortnightly pop-up shop. We never know what we’ll have to contend with as we set up for the day. Last Sunday 10th April was no exception and quite the most exciting so far – we ended up in a completely different shop!
Luckily we’re pretty resourceful so we’d soon re-jigged our display to fit our new surroundings and were ready to greet our visitors. As the sun came out and moved round to our little corner Hazel suggested that it would be good to take our work outside. Hazel has been making some super plaited leather bracelets and she wanted to fix the press stud fastenings on them.
I love the little line of completed bracelets. Well the artisan-style hammering certainly got us noticed (that was part of the cunning plan). Then it was time for me to have a go.
The little press studs we were using are also known as “Durable Dots” so we now have new aliases, “Durable Dot and Rosie the Riveter”.
This was the one that started it – the cushion I made for my daughter’s birthday. I really loved these chevrons and how lovely the leather felt and looked. So I set to and started coming up with some new ones.
Because the leather I work with is usually offcuts, finding a whole cushion-sized piece is not easy. I thought about making a simple patchwork and came up with this minimalist 3 patch look.
I topstitched the seams on the front which helps the seams lie flat and adds firmness. The back sections were overlapped and laced as before.
I’m chuffed with this design. I’d love to make patchwork with leather but the nature of the material means it looks best when shapes are kept simple. Here are a few of the ones I’ll be taking with me to the pop-up shop tomorrow (Sunday 10th April 2016).
This is an old sewing basket which belonged to my grandmother. The handle is gone from the basket and the raffia flowers have faded away since the 1970’s. My favourite item in the basket is the little leather sewing kit or needlecase. The leather is beautiful and has the amazing patina from years of wear and use
I decided to set about making my own little leather needlecases. I harked back to the little handsewn and embroidered needlebooks we made at school as a child – a cover of embroidered and fringed Binca fabric with a sheet of felt sewn inside to take the needles.
I used felted wool from a vintage blanket for my centre and punched holes in the leather outer and blanket inner so I could lace them together with a strip of leather.
I’d folded over the ends of the leather to make the case more sturdy and provide two useful pockets for threads etc.
These little needlecases are proving very popular and are available online in my Folksy and Etsy shops. In the meantime I’ll leave you with a close-up of my Nana’s old needlecase which inspired me. “‘Tis plenty in small fortune to be neat”! We do our best.
It was my daughter’s birthday recently. She is a massive fan of the cult series, “Twin Peaks” and as part of her present I wanted to make her something twin-peaksy themed. The stunning chevron patterns came into my head, and off we went.
I had a good stock of high quality black and red leather, so those were the colours. Originally I set out to make a handbag but I couldn’t get the zigzags to look good within the size and style of bag I knew she’d want.
So, when all else fails, make a cushion! The pattern was drawn out full size on paper and the zigzag paper templates were used to cut out the red chevrons which were carefully positioned on the background black square using a helpful amount of glue. I then stitched round the edges of the red shapes to hold them down properly.
The back of the cushion was two overlapping pieces of black leather laced with thonging made from long strips of the red leather.
The finished cushion is about 12 inches square. I used a 14inch pad inside it so it’s plumped up nicely.
If you asked me to list “my favourite things”, high up on the list would be the colour red, leather and bows. Here are some of the red bow items I’ve made and have for sale at the moment. My online shops are: –