I never had any experience with Balenciaga prior to this Men’s Day bag. I have been extra concerned of what I’ve read about the leather being too delicate and the color being prone to fade. While I am not too keen with a brightly-colored bag, my to-go neutral tendency would do the trick.
So when I finally got this bag last week, I knew beforehand that the body of the bag has received a dye job. I might have forgotten to ask what was the original color, but judging by the color of the faded strap, it might have been gray. Again, I have no idea of these colors as I am colorblind, but my research points out that it might be a faded anthracite as well (whatever that color might be).
Balenciaga Men’s Day Messenger Bag before the dye job
I think the most amazing thing about finishing any project is those last moments that you know you’re about to be done. So, imagine how giddy I was when I was down on the last five stitches of this nappa kid leather bag I made from scratch.
Hand-sewn from the inside
DIY saddle-stitched leather tote bag (front details)
I first started doing the bag in November 25, and unsurprisingly, it took me a very long time to finish it. Aside from the lack of time to stitch, I kept on changing my mind on its details. Granted that it was designed with simple and clean lines, I must also be very sure with the details that I would add. If I were to carelessly apply contact cement, or worse, prick the leather with the awl and needle, I would automatically ruin it. Just like playing chess, it was touch-move. It is always easier to add hardware/details than remove them later on. So when I finally attached the hardware for the backpack-style, I know I can no longer have a change of heart.
The bag, as it is, is all ready to be used as either top-handle or as a backpack. However, one roadblock was my inability to decide on the design of the straps. I only have two dog snap buckles with me, and I needed two more. I also have to choose for an appropriately-colored canvas strap to sew in the leather and and the buckles. I am also half-sure on how to fold the sides in, to make it less broad and acceptable once I carry it as a sac-à-dos. I’m torn between sewing in magnets so they won’t be as obtrusive as the usual hardware; or I can add those pesky hardware behind the side-flaps thus making it possible to close them with a lock and/or attach straps for messenger-style. LOL
The parts of the bag
Last Saturday night, I’ve spent several hours figuring out what my actual leather craft project would be. I thought hard and I was too afraid I’d ruin the skin that I had earnestly searched for. It did not help that looking at the hide, its odd shape just made me shudder more to think that it came from a real animal. I had to give the leather some justice. I even had to cut a pattern from paper and assemble the parts just to see if they would work once stitched up. This is where my imagination should work vividly because I cannot afford to mess up. When I finally put the cutter on top of the leather, I was careful not to make a mistake. It was a lot harder than I had originally expected because I was too paranoid. It took me until Sunday noon to finish the cutting of the parts, and when I was already done, I knew I cannot start stitching because my hands were a bit shaky from all the nervous cutting.