Sunday, 16 November 2014

LEATHERWORKED: BESPOKE BAG OF LOVE

It's here!!!!!!!!


I apologise now 'cause you're gonna get photo bombed. This bag is just. that. good.


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...

30 comments:

  1. Jillian, that is the most beautiful bag - like - EVER! I am just in awe of all the hand sewn goodness.

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  2. Wow wow wow! It's beautiful, so inspiring!

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  3. This is perfection!!! What a lucky gal you are! The functionality, the simplicity of design and the care and precision of manufacture make of this bag a work of art! Love it...

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  4. that bag is stunning! it's absolute perfection in it's simplicity. hand sewn? i can't even! lucky, lucky girl!

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  5. wow, that is amazing! I love how simple and clean it looks, its gorgeous. I have a piece of leather that I've been hoarding for months (too scared to touch), but now I'm feeling all inspired :)

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  6. It's truly gorgeous. And to paraphrase Salt n Pepa.... Whatta man!

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  7. Holy cow! It's beautiful! What a special gift.

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  8. So awesome. I hardly have words. I think you should be buried with this bag. I hope that's not too morbid but it's so special, so perfect & it was custom made for you. As if I don't have enough crafty hobbies I now want to take up leather bag making!

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  9. As a lover of handbags... one word - DEEVINE.. now where do you live so I can stalk the man to make me one.

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  10. Really, I just can't express how impressed I am with this bag. In fact, I showed hubby your instagram snaps of this bag last night. We were in awe with the hand stitching. Nick is starting to get itchy hands without having things to fix/renovate over here on top of his normal job (not that he has any time to do so anyway! But he lives in a parallel universe where he seems to think he has 48 hrs in a day...) So I was suggesting he make me a bag...don't think it's going to happen. But seeing this post has inspired me to keep sending him subtle messages! ;-)

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  11. It's so beautiful! Perfect proportions, beautiful details and hand stitching... how very very special.

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  12. Hot. Damn. This is sheer perfection. OMG this is spectacular! Your husband is an amazing craftsman! Hats off to your awesome, sir!

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  13. I know, right?? I'm terrified, utterly terrified. I might never take it out and actually use, I'll just put it behind glass and admire it!

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  14. Thank you Tassadit! I've often shown P your handmade leather shoes and I think he may be considering trying his hand!

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  15. It really does feel like a work of art, or at least of love. I am very, very lucky, Sasha!

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  16. Thanks Lisa. Yep, hand sewn. You can only work on so much at a time and then your hand cramps like a claw! Poor P when he had to re-cut and sew that strap...

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  17. Oh you have to get it out and work on it! P just goes at it with fearlessness and has absolutely no training and it works out just fine.

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  18. Whatta man, whatta, man, whatta man, whatta mighty good man! Thanks Sarah :)

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  19. It's such a special gift Morgan, and I'm terrified of staining it or messing it up in anyway. I still haven't used it!

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  20. I saw your triangle bags on IG today and you're already leatherworking! It's not much more of a stretch. Go for it!

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  21. Steph, thank you. And it'll cost you ;)

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  22. I figure it must be Christy, I don't know where he found the fortitude!

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  23. Get him on the job, Debbie! It is so totally manly. I tried some hand stitching and seriously you need some brute strength. On top of the hammered needle holes it's brutal. Put him in touch with P - he'll put him straight.

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  24. Thank you Sara. I was a bit crazy detailed on the proportions! I kept asking for 1cm of one edge, 0.5cm off another. It was a bit over the top. But I'm so glad because it turned out perfectly for me.

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  25. Amanda, hot damn indeed. P is both hot and an incredible craftsman. Bwahahaha!

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  26. I am just speechless. Absolutely stunning!!!

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  27. Awww thanks Gail! He is a very clever craftsman

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  28. Gabrielle Corbett22 November 2014 at 15:46

    What an amazing piece of work - such immaculate workmanship! And the bag looks so beautiful too, it's a lovely minimal design, perfect for showcasing that craft! If it didn't sound like such a huge amount of work I would be saying "give up your day job, Mr SewJillian!"

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  29. I like all my accessories to be minimal. I crave simple lines and minimal hardware. I guess when your outfits are often crazy prints it just works! I'm thinking about hiring P out by the hour for bespoke work. Might make us a mint ;)

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