The Story – Part 2

Now this is starting to become a bit obsessive. Not sure my wife can remember what I look like. Other than occasionally heading into the dining room (or as it is now called the “Man Make Leather Cave”) to ask if I want more tea she lost me for a whole weekend, well about 10 more hours) but at the end WOW! Bag No.2 was finished. Again well beyond my wildest dreams. All the more complicated pieces had fitted together correctly (good planning helps), a working zip was installed; working buckles for the shoulder strap, and the “signature” key accessory sat proudly on the side.

Slide DT bag

You might have noticed that on the glasses case that I made on my course I used a key to secure the closing strap in place. Again not an original idea, I have seen it on a picture or two and really liked the concept. So Radley have their dog so I am going to have a key on each piece of work. Can’t fault Ebay in this regard, any number of old, antique keys available to bid for. Hopefully you see the plan.

Slide DT bag 2

On the Monday I walked into work with my new bag, the bag that I had made. Yes it really was very exciting. See More Pictures on Google Photos! So from there the monster has been unleashed!

Project three was a pencil roll for my friend and colleague at work

Pencil roll (2)

Closely followed by a “Moleskin” A5 notebook cover. I had the good fortune to find some “Moleskin” books heavily reduced about a year ago and decided to buy about 10. The book cover just adds a bit of sophistication to what is already a good product and could lead to some Christmas present production for this year. By this point I was running low on the heavy light brown leather (005 and 008 had used most of it) but there was just enough to produce two Iphone 6S cases one each for me and my wife.

So the light brown is now exhausted but the initial leather purchase included a length of relatively stiff pink leather so I wondered what I could best make with this material and with that the Small Pink Bag 011 was born. Small pink was an experiment in designing a basic bag model and then finding ways to customise it. So project small bag has taken the shape of three bags each taking about three hours to produce.

Pink bag Slide1

From the basic construction I produced three different handle designs, one with purchased handles, and one with a lid. In my head I could see three bridesmaids walking down the isle with their matching but unique bags in hand. They would also look great with flowers in I would suggest.

Small tote pink (2)
Small tote pink (3)
Small tote pink (1)

At this point we are heading inexorably toward the end of April (yes this is only April, and yes I do have a full time job) and I am now virtually out of leather so on 29th April I head back to Cheddar to get some more. This time with some specific projects in mind and yes this time it did cost me more. £210 later I walked out with four larger pieces and even more projects sculling about in my head. Yes not turning out to be a cheap hobby but most of what I make will be given away as presents and will make others happy so it seems really worthwhile.

May started with the design and creation of Rucksack 007. My middle son is heading off to university in September and I thought it would be nice to make something for him to take so Rucksack 007 was born.

Designing a bag: My wife asked me what part of the process I liked the best and it really is the design phase and then seeing your design finished. Firstly I spend a bit of time on the Internet looking at pictures (rucksack pictures!!!??) and then pull together a “mood board” which is designed to give the general feel and shape of the rucksack as well as showing any specific detail ideas that I can incorporate. Stage two is to sketch out the general design onto some blank sheets of paper and start to detail the dimensions of the bag with the location of the key pieces, metalwork, buckles, straps etc. once this is completed the general design is transferred into a cutting pattern. This is completed on 250g Manila card. At this stage I need to remember to put in the sewing seams and create cutting pieces for all of the straps and accessories. For example if there is a buckle then the piece of leather that holds the buckle has to be designed and created. In the case of the rucksack it will have a zip in the back to access the inside so the pattern should also mark the location of the zip and the metal work. Once the cutting pattern is drawn and then cut out of the manila card you are ready to start with the leather.

All you have to do (Ha! Ha! Ha!) is to now lay your pattern pieces onto your leather, making sure to minimise leather wastage, weigh down the pieces (I use small jars filled with flour, good enough for me) get your knife sharpened or even a new blade and then using appropriate metal straight edges and good judgment cut out the pattern pieces in the leather. Note: If a pattern piece is not symmetrical then make sure you have marked what you want to be the front then make sure the piece is the correct way round when you cut it. This could be an expensive mistake.

So that is a feel for how it all started for more information on the progress of this project take at look at the Leather Gallery and for more details on how you could own a Kahoodol Leather bag then look at the Kahoodol Bespoke page.