I showed my leather back pack (here) at college the other day and everyone was impressed at the look and the finishing. I have even brought it out for a dry run and so far, it seems to be holding on quite well. With my new-found confidence in sewing leather, I continued on my adventure and progressed to an easier bag to construct. The leather tote.
This bag was requested by a colleague of mine who really love the green leather lying around in the store-room and dreamt of owing a bag in that colour. This was a perfect opportunity to try some of my ideas in constructing the bag.
As with everything else, I started out by drafting a pattern for the bag. I already had an idea of how to construct it so drafting that pattern was very straight forward and also helped by the fact that my colleague even gave me the dimensions for the bag. With the pattern drawn, I proceeded to trace the pattern on the leather and cut it with a sharp rotary blade.
As you can probably see from the pattern above, the main part of the bag consist of one whole piece of leather. I kept the pattern seamless as I remembered the agony in stitching thick layers of leather accompanied by needles breaking every now and again!
Apologies in advance as excitement must have gotten to me because from the point of tracing the pattern out to finishing the bag, I forgot to take progress pictures. I also nearly forgot to take a picture of the finished item but remembered while I was running up the stairs.
I was very pleased when one of our student commented that it looked like a Celine tote bag. Last time I had checked, a Celine tote was priced at around £850, so being able to make a similar looking one in a day is not so bad. I even managed to put in a pouch inside the bag.
I really love this bag as well and might make a similar one for myself as it is big enough as a weekend bag. Maybe after I have tried some different variations of leather bags and to also see if I can utilise the scraps of leather to make something smaller. Maybe a purse or card holder?
This bag was finally passed to the owner after a night locked up in the office with paper stuffed in it, almost like one of those expensive bags in the shop waiting for someone to buy it. Receiving a text from my colleague saying she loved the bag has really made my day. After all, if the role in fashion is to make people happy, it is definitely worth the effort and the risk of breaking a few needles (fortunately no needles were harmed in the making of this bag).