I love leather. All my shoes (except for Converse's) and bags are leather. Being a expensive material, I rather have less and made of leather than lots of cheaper and uncomfortable versions. For bags, it is a question of feel and look but for shoes, it is definitely a matter of comfort. Experience tells me my skin hates plastic.
So, I am so happy to have learnt to make my own bags, I encourage all of you sewers to learn the trade and give it a try. Leather is not expensive if we look for remnants (a small piece will suffice for a bag) and we have a ton of possibilities in the kind of leather, the colour and the design, which combined, give us a myriad of models at a very cheap price if we compare it with the prices leather bags have in stores.
After the White Leather Bag I made last fall, and following what I learnt with Don Morin, I made my second project in leather, and I am really happy with the result.
First, I made a mock-up with felt, only to realize the real bag should be 5 cm wider, and that the lining should cover the zipper.
Secondly, I constructed the lining (and I forgot to interface it, damn! According to Morin, the leather will stress the lining by friction and will ruin it with time. If that happens, I will have to remove it and replace it, but now it is too late).
After preparing the machine for leather sewing and testing it with a piece of the leather first, I sewed the zip to the rotary cut leather. I passed the thread tails to one side and knotted them up.
Hand stitch the lining (folding the hem 1 cm inwards) to the zipper.
I sewed the sides of the clutch together, including the lining in them. I cut the leather seam allowances to 1 cm, cropping the corners, and sewed the lining enclosing them.
Turn the bag over to the right side.
Make the handle with a 5 cm strip of leather overlapped in itself, so that we machine-stitch the layers of leather together (for this leather is thick enough, and hurray for my machine). Pass a small leather strop through the zipper hole and glue it inside the handle. Finally, make a small leather belt to encase the top of the handle and hand stitch it tight.
I am wearing it tonight!!!