Wednesday, January 18, 2017

My First Leather Bag

As we kick off 2017, I've set a few goals for myself, one of which is to challenge myself to try new techniques and push my self outside of my comfort zone. Last year I started working with vinyl, and while I am far from an expert with it, I do feel much more confident incorporating it into my normal sewing. This year, one of my goals was to try sewing with leather.

 I saw this jaw dropping bag that Sincerely Jen made for the Bag of Month Club in which she had used reverse applique on black cork. The bag is absolutely incredible, and as always her workmanship is impeccable. Her reverse applique is what inspired me to give this technique a go, and in true me fashion, with a medium I have never tried before...leather.

I asked some advice of some talented bag makers who have experience working with leather and they were able to answer some questions for me and steer me the right way.

The hardest part was the applique, only because I quickly learned that any holes punched in leather, STAY in the leather and can create an unsightly mess. I had to cut away my original applique design and re work it to cut away some areas that I had messed up on. Once some of the initial mistakes were made, I ended up with this design:

Top stitching around the edges was the hardest part, only because I knew there were no take backsies. Once I had completed the panel, constructing the bag with the leather wasn't a challenge. However, I only did two panels with leather. I think that was about the extent of what my machine could comfortably handle. 

I chose the Miss Maggie Bag by Emmaline Bags, along with her Long John Strap Anchors. I went with Miss Maggie because it's a a perfect "basic" handbag that is like a blank canvas. It's a simple bag but that's what makes it such a cool pattern, there are so many ways to change the entire look of this bag by adding different features, hardware or panels. I am so happy with how this bag turned out, I used some of my favorite Alison Glass prints, one of which a sweet friend sent to me because it's so hard to locate. 

Of course, every good bag deserves a tassel. I made this one with a scrap of leather that was a perfect match for this bag. I added some bling from Emmaline Bags to top it off. 

The back of the exterior doesn't feature the applique, and I still love it. 

I'm so over the moon with this bag and I am so excited that it worked out how I had envisioned it, despite having to alter the applique a bit. Leather was less scary than I thought and I am looking foward to using with it more and learning more about it. 

Do you have any new things you want to try or techniques you'd love to learn in 2017? 


Missy Shay said...

Your bag turned out great, I've never worked with vinyl or leather before.

Danette said...

This is really just awesome! I haven't tried leather, yet, but love your ideas.