Nappa watcha?

Yes! Another leathercraft project! I just had another brainwave and realized that I am ready to commit on this new one. But my primary stipulation was that the leather should be significantly supple if I were to finish it in a much shorter time. Given this consideration, I was also not sure if the leather I’d be buying would hold up well given the nature of the stitch. But, alas, I’m ready!

Another Saddle-Stitch Project

Another Saddle-Stitch Project

On my way back home in Marikina, I dropped by my ever-trusted leather supplier. I was very ready to carefully pick the leather. I keep on thinking of lambskin but it was a very delicate leather in my opinion.  I just thought of the Balenciaga bags and the owners’ issues on how papery and sensitive it tends to become. Arriving at almost 12 noon, I was still accommodated and left to inspect every leather I could get my hands upon. Not too thick, not too thin. And just like Goldilocks, I wanted it just right.

While inspecting a pebbled grain leather, I suddenly remember my lambskin fixation and I immediately asked for one. I was given a black hide and it was so soft to touch. I just ran my hand on it for a couple of times. It was so beautiful. I even saw one last lambskin in sky blue, but I could not imagine how it would hold up with my daily demands and I needed a thicker one.

Lots of leather pieces

Lots of leather pieces — for practice and small stuff

I’ve spent almost two hours choosing the right leather before finally being given the one I’d be taking home – a kid nappa leather! It was so soft to touch, but hardy enough not to be stretched easily. It was also not a pain to cut, unlike the calfskin I previously worked on. I have only spent a couple of hours cutting them. But as we know, deciding on the right cut could take a longer time. Cutting leather is a commitment and there should be as little error as possible.

Cut out kid nappa leather

Cut out kid nappa leather

And the best part of all? I’ve spent a considerably less effort to puncture them with an awl before doing the stitch. My hands thanks be significantly because of this. I’m already halfway done through my project. At this rate, I think that I’d be able to finish my extra large leather tote bag in four more days! I’d like to think that my stitches are getting better, or maybe because it was an easier leather to manage.

I'm quite faster now with the stitching

I’m quite faster now with the stitching


I had to remodel the handles, though, and I have wasted around four 24″ x 1.25″ leather on strips I could not use. My final handles are about 4″ shorter than the earlier planned ones. I had to find the perfect spot on the remaining leather just to get two 20″ x 2.25″ parts. I’m not underestimating the task at hand because I’ve wanted the stitches to be as clean as possible. Let’s see how the final product will look like, considering that the mock up I had earlier made has perfectly fitted parts. I’m worried about the bottom part as it is the trickiest part to work on, but let’s see!




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