Disclaimer: I didn't sew this... hubby did. He is the most awesomely brave leather craftsmen, full of heart and the most amazing sense of shape and design. I am the luckiest wife ever, oh yes I am.
Let's be clear here. This gorgeous work of art started as a loosely formed idea in my head after hubby asked one day "what would you like me to make you". I mean seriously - offer to make something for me as opposed to me begging!? That's true unselfish sewing as these pieces take a whole lot of blood (literally, those needles are viscious), callouses (you try hammering each and every single hole through which to sew), tears (when something you spent hours on just doesn't quite work... we'll get to that later) and time (a good few months).
But oh my, oh me, just look at her awe-inspiring perfection.
I set about finding a few inspiration bags and hubby designed a pattern from scratch, creating several "muslins" (made outta cardboard) until I felt it was perfect. To. The. Very. Last. Millimetre. P has the patience of a saint.
I spent literally hours at Birdsall Leather trying to find the perfect hide. We decided to buy a coloured chrome side in tan rather than dyeing it ourselves. I really wanted a uniform colour and when we've done the dyeing ourselves in the past it has tended towards uneven colour.
We managed to find one lonely last skein of Irish waxed linen thread in the perfect colour and we were off.
And just in case you still don't quite get it. This bag is made entirely by hand. From the cutting and finishing of each piece, the punching of every needle hole, to the very last stitch.
Which is why it's so devastating when something goes wrong. We thought we were done a few weeks ago as you may have seen if you follow me on Instagram. But when we went to attach the shoulder strap we realised one of the ends (the buckle end) was way too short.
The shoulder strap is two lengths of leather sandwiched and sewn together. This lends strength to the strap and also means you don't have raw leather against your clothes (which kind of leaves some flaking behind).
It took hours and hours to hand sew.
We had to start again. Not happy.
Loss of hubby's sewjo and a short break.
But finish P did. And man, what a finish.
|Rear strap fixing for buckle|
And since P loves this photo because he says it feels so "panoramic" and world conquering...