I have been dealing with leathercraft for a couple of years. The reason I learned this technique is that I found too expensive these products and I also regarded leathercraft as a challengeous activity. By now I usually make these products to order such as this bag. Principally I use cowhide, because that is the most accessible material which is heavy-duty but also esthetic.
Now I will present the making of a ladies bag, from blue cowhide.
Step 1: What You Need
As you can see on the picture, I used these materials and tools, to make the bag:
- Cowhide (blue, and a little piece of black)
- Lining leather (black)
- Shoemakers glue
- Belt buckles x2 (for 2 cm belt)
- Waxed thread
- Round awl
- Lacing chisel (2x3mm)
- Hole punch pliers
- Tracing wheel
- Sewing awl
- Harness needle x2
- Diamond awl
- Tabletop lace cutter
- Lacing needle
Step 2: Making Patterns and Marking
First I design the parts of the bag on a sheet of carton, then cut them with scissors. After this mark them to the leather with a round awl.
Step 3: Tailoring and Punching
I cut the marked parts using a blade, then with a lacing chisel(2x3mm) and a hammer, I punch it around approximately a half cm from the edges. Now I punch the strap with the punch pliers.
Step 4: Sewing
The parts to be sewed should be attached before the lining so that I can get an organic surface, then hide all the thread. At this point I sew up the strap and buckles by hand. First I mark the place of punctures with a tracing wheel, after I finalize them with an awl. Finally I fix the parts with saddle stitching.
Step 5: Sticking and Punching
I stick up the lining to the parts, taking care of the smooth surface. For that I must consider the drying time of the glue, because the faster it dries, the less time I have for smoothing the leather. After drying, I punch the lining with a diamond awl along the external holes. Finally I cut the surplus lining leather with scissors.
As you can see, I sticked the parts to the front side of the lining leather, because the backside is more scratch-resistant on this type of leather.
Step 6: Lace Cutting and Lacing
I cut laces from the rest of lining leather, adjusted to the size of the holes(3 mm wide) then I lace around the bag. I use "triple loop lacing", but you can use any other lacing techniques as you wish. I recommend to read the book "Lacing & stitching for leathercraft", you can find many useful techniques in it.
I hope you enjoyed my description, and took a liking to make your own bag, like this. If you need any help to make a same bag, ask in comment, and I will try to answer.
For curiosity here is some pictures about my other creations.
Thanks for reading!