My New Go-To Bag

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Before we moved to New York, I purchased a remnant piece of leather from leatherhidestore.com.  I have plans on a line of leather bags in my store in the future, so I wanted to test out a thinner leather for sewing and design practice. Now that we’re settled in our new house, I was able to whip out the remnant and play recently.  The piece I purchased was called “Distressed Pecan Ale”.  As with most upholstery leather it is on the lighter side in weight, a little under 3oz which is 1-1.2mm. So the design possibilities are endless because it moves and shapes easily.

photo 5First I made a simple tote. Simple construction using my sewing machine, cotton/poly thread and a leather needle. I also made sure to have my teflon foot on my machine ( A roller foot was also recommended in lieu of a teflon foot).  Each handle was made with two identical straps stitched together. I also used a small amount of contact cement to adhere them together first.  The handle sides are unfinished ( I plan on showing how to finish leather edges on RS soon!).

2013-12-26 16.47.24The interior was made with my favorite 100% natural linen. I added a simple pocket and leather backed magnetic snap for closure. Both leather and linen are unlined but still very sturdy and holds my everyday items easily. Simple and clean worked best for me here. The leather has an aged and distressed look to it which I just love.

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Here’s another view to show the topstitching I did along both side seams and the bottom. It wasn’t really needed, but topstitching leather here kept the seams down while at the same time reinforced the stitching. With my tote done I had enough leather left to make a small carry-all pouch.

2013-12-26 16.46.07I had no problems adding a zipper with this leather. It was a breeze even when I took my teflon foot off and used my zipper foot. I just increased my stitch to about a 3 and went slowly to make sure my machine kept feeding the leather through. And did you see my little scrap strips I used to make a leather pull on the zipper tab? Snip, tie, done!

With both these projects done I still have enough material to use for small projects. Remember my mini open-wide pouch I shared earlier this week? Yup. Bottom is part of this hide. I just love when I can use my materials until they are literally gone, don’t you?

Hope your week is going well and for those of you sucked up in the Polar Vortex like we are, stay warm and SAFE! Cindy

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