I made a leather bag!!

Leather bag making workshop with April Rhodes | Willow & Stitch

Ok, Let me just get this out of the way first of all:

I MADE A LEATHER BAG!

I MADE A LEATHER BAG!

I MADE A LEATHER BAG!

Sorry.  Just a tiny bit excited about this new skill that I’ve learnt!  

If you follow me on Instagram you will have seen that this month I was lucky enough to fly up to Sydney to spend a weekend sewing with the very lovely April Rhodes.  It was such a great weekend - so good to spend the weekend being creative, sewing and hanging out with some beautiful ladies.  

While I thoroughly enjoyed all of the workshops, (we made the Staple Dress and the Pop Over Poncho and also drafted our own skirts), I have to say that the leather bag making session was my favourite.  I’ve never done anything remotely close to sewing with leather before so it definitely fits into the category of ‘Trying Something New’!  

 Some of the hardware we used.

Some of the hardware we used.

 The beautiful selection of leather to choose from.

The beautiful selection of leather to choose from.

 Using clips to pin the leather in place.

Using clips to pin the leather in place.

 Some of the many weird and wonderful tools...

Some of the many weird and wonderful tools...

 My starting materials.

My starting materials.

There were a lot of new techniques to learn but once you’ve got your head around those the leather was surprisingly easy and satisfying to work with.  The fact that you can leave all the edges raw makes constructing the bag actually pretty easy.  

Probably the trickiest (and most expensive) thing about it was all the hardware required - I’ve already put all the tools on my birthday wish list, although sadly it’s not my birthday until October - I may have to come up with another plan…. I had started to do a little research to find out where I could buy the tools from - until an announcement popped up in my IG feed saying that April Rhodes was going to open her own supply shop which will sell all the materials needed! Excellent - that’s that problem solved then...

Leather Bag Making Workshop with April Rhodes | Willow & Stitch
Leather Bag Making Workshop with April Rhodes | Willow & Stitch

I’m so pleased with my bag (just in case you haven't guessed that already!). I sewed a little inside pocket to hold my phone and a pen, and we added these fabulous handmade tassels (I can see another obsession developing around tassels but that’s a story for another day…)  I also decided that I would wrap my handles with rope (just to add a little continuity from last month!)  

Leather Bag Making Workshop with April Rhodes | Willow & Stitch

The bag also has a detachable shoulder strap so that I can wear it like a messenger bag if I choose. I won’t tell you how much we struggled to work out exactly how we needed to thread the strap through the fittings to make it adjustable - I think our heads nearly exploded but we got there in the end, and had a lot of fun trying to work it out!

Once again, I have so enjoyed this month’s Try Something New project - and once again I can see it turning into an expensive habit if i’m not careful!  At least I haven’t rushed out and spent hundreds of dollars on leather yet, although that’s not for lack of wanting to!  I have a feeling that all of my nearest and dearest are going to be receiving leather bags for christmas - whether they want one or not!

Leather Bag Making Workshop with April Rhodes | Willow & Stitch
Leather Bag Making Workshop with April Rhodes | Willow & Stitch

 

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