Turn a narshty leather vest into something you'd like to be seen in.
This bag can be made from scrounged materials for almost no money if you're resourceful.
This is not a detailed instructable and there are some pictures lacking but hopefully it's enough to get you rolling.
Step 1: Needful Things
You will need:
Leather vest (or vest pattern).
A sewing awl (I'm partial to the Speedy Stitcher).
Sewing awl thread.
Webbing for the strap.
Snap buckles, rings, fasteners as per your design. I used things like copper pipe and bone.
Leather waterproofer like mink oil.
1 day if your fast, more if you're not.
Step 2: Waterproof
Apply your water protection before you stitch the thing together. I used lots of mink oil. It took a few weeks to fully absorb into new untreated leather.
Step 3: Cut It Out and Sew It Up
If you're working with a vest, you'll mostly be using the back.
Take apart the seams. The vest's back/shoulder area will become the bag's front. (see video in step 1) The lower back will be the bag's back and side gussets. This is all one piece so far.
Note at this point that it is possible to make the front flap out of the same piece of leather if you want your bag to be shallow. In my case I sewed a bit of the front on to serve as a flap.
Sew the straps over a large area. This way, if your leather is old and crappy, it will be less prone to tearing off.
Step 4: Copper Bits!
I used a construction harness quick release buckle. It needed an offset to facilitate easier closure. Copper pipe worked quite nicely. I squeezed it in a vice, hammered it flat and folded the corners down.
Wood in your vice will help protect your copper from excessive marking.
A bit of sandpaper can help smooth off small inevitable burrs.
Step 5: Buckle
The construction harness buckle has satisfying action.
Step 6: Toggle
Cut a piece of bone or nice wood to about 2 to 3 inches and sandpaper it smooth.
Loop string through the outer bottom corners of the bag. The toggle will go in ether of these.
My toggle fastens to a ladder lock buckle on the end of the shoulder strap webbing. This forms a sort of optional waist belt, courier bag style.
Drill through the toggle or carve a groove in the middle so you can tie it with cord.
Step 7: Use
Hopefully your result will be somewhere between a murse and a messenger bag. Mine have seen a lot of action.
Bike off into the sunset like you stole it.