Tuesday, January 13, 2015

bag lady (leather edition)--homemade leather tote

Remember the other day when I was using a gift bag for a purse?   Not anymore baby!  I built myself a purse.

I have had this leather since my 9 year old boy was a baby and just haven't dared use it.  This is the year of no fear for me.  I'm committing to my projects. I'm just gonna DO IT!

So I did...

*wiping brow*

So this turned out to be a medium sized purse.  With shoulder straps. 

 An over the shoulder phone holder...

*cricket cricket*

It was supposed to be completely different, but my pattern evolved several times over the years.  I consulted my mom who knows all things sewing and asked her if she thought I could sew leather on my Brother sewing machine.  I also consulted the world wide web. Everyone said go for it. Go for it with a heavy duty (leather) needle mind you, but go for it.

I forgot to take pictures about halfway through the process because I became so engrossed, but here are the ones I did get. 

At the first.

When it was easy...errr easier.

I sewed right sides together and then sewed across the corners to make the bottom boxey (is that a word?).

I used clamps (off curtain clips) to hold it in place.  No pins obviously because unless you want a sieve instead of a purse, you don't want to pin it.  
Also, put tape on the bottom of the sewing foot so the leather slides right through.  Also, you should use polyester or another 100% synthetic thread on leather.

My leather was soft and a little on the thin side so my machine did just fine.  The needle I had in my machine didn't fare so well, but it lasted up until the very end.  I put in a heavy duty jeans needle though (because no, I didn't have a leather needle, and no, I wasn't driving 45 minutes into town to get one) and finished strong.

This experience was exhausting and exhilarating.  Something that I never want can't wait to do again.

This purse didn't turn out picture perfect, but it's perfect in its function and it's leatha (!!!) and I finally committed to my project. Bonus, I learned a whole lot in the process and now I don't have to carry around a gift bag for my purse (or buy a leather sewing machine).

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