Leather tote project update

Almost two weeks after buying the tools and materials for my leathercraft project, here is how it looks now:

Halfway done with my project

Halfway done with my project: (clockwise) front of the bag, back of the bag with two D-rings and a triangle one, front top handle, back top handle

I am admittedly much slower with this project because I am not doing it for the whole day. I have bought the hardware from another store in Marikina Public Market, and I also begrudgingly returned to the leather supply store to buy a couple of tools to help me with the finishing: a steel ruler, edge beveler and edge slicker. I first finished the inside pocket within four hours and I was delighted to lend a more finished look to my product. =D It was actually fun to do the finishing, and I did it while watching Transformers with my family.

Steel ruler, edge beveler and edge slicker

Steel ruler, edge beveler and edge slicker

Inside pocket

Inside pocket

Back in the apartment, I continued doing the saddle stitch on the largest leather part, as well as prep the hardware and finished handles with contact cement (a.k.a. rugby, it is popularly known as rugby in our side of the world, but it is just a brand — similar to people calling Colgate as toothpaste, or Xerox for photocopying). I will then stitch those parts in, and hopefully my needles won’t break from three layers of leather. I’m also still a bit tentative on how I will stitch the sides because I’m not too sure if the bottom of the bag would be stitched snugly. I also noticed that my laziness to pull the first thread before pushing the second needle resulted to uneven stitches on some parts. If you notice the right side of the inside pocket, the stitches were not that pretty before closing the stitch.

It would have been nice to finish the project before Saturday, but I knew that I barely find the time to do it. I tried doing it in the wee hours of the night after work, but I ended up pricking myself several times. I had less casualties in the morning by the window under natural daylight, and that is when I usually continue stitching while watching a movie in front of the laptop. My stitches were getting better and better as well!

Leather craft project progressing little by little

Leathercraft project progressing little by little

Prepping the inside pocket

Prepping the inside pocket with contact cement; the leather still has ink stamp inside that I cannot hide

One thing Mon did not like about all of these was the mess I leave behind. I still have the original packaging from the stores where I bought the tools from and there were shredded newspaper everywhere. It was not a pretty sight, so I looked for a spare plastic tray to put all of my tools and materials in one place. Mon thanked me for my cleanliness initiative.

The tools of the trade

The tools of the trade

I also finally got the chance to open one of the books I bought from Book Sale yesterday. I originally credited one author, but it was actually co-authored by two writers: Jane Schaffer and Sue Saunders. I just browsed the fully-colored photos and illustrations, but I have read one section regarding leather types. It was a very helpful guide on classifying and grading leather, as well as identifying their properties and what makes them particularly interesting. There was one photo, though, that erroneously identified another Hermès bag as a Birkin. The photo in question was actually an Haut à Courroies (HAC) and not a Birkin. They look very similar to each other, but appearance wise, the HAC is actually much taller (thus the word haut, French for high/tall).

A modern reference update to Stohlman - "Fashion Design Course: Accessories'"

A modern reference update to Stohlman – “Fashion Design Course: Accessories”

This page is like a checklist of things I still don't have

This page is like a checklist of things I still don’t have

An Hermès Haut à Courroies (HAC), not a Birkin

An Hermès Haut à Courroies (HAC), not a Birkin

I’m hoping that by next Saturday, I would be able to finish my project because I’m honestly ready to move on. LOL Faye was joking that I immediately jumped the gun on making a big and complicated bag from a used-belt practice I originally did. My mentality, however, was ‘Go big or go home‘, and if I’m going to start a project, it should be as ambitious as I can dare myself to be. The only problem now is time, and with the ultimatum I have given myself, I most probably would not be able to finish it by the following weekend. A more realistic expectation will be before Christmas. =D On a different note, today is my 7th year working for the company. Time flies so fast!



    • Hi! I did not use a pattern, but imitated the size of each parts of the eco-bag. I just put a centimeter allowance for the seams. 🙂

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