leather shapes leather shapes

KINGSMERE CRAFTS

HAND-CRAFTED LEATHER GOODS

How to make a sewn shoulder-bag

This is a comparatively simple item to make if you follow the Figures and instructions given below.

One of the better leathers to use to make this bag is a faux exotic such as a crocodile or alligator embossed skin, in brown or black, though a plain vegetable-tanned tooling leather, which can be decorated or left plain, is equally desirable, because of the superb finish you can achieve on the edges. You can also dye the tooling leather any colour you wish.

body of handbag

gussets for shoulder-bag

Figure 1 above shows the shape and dimensions for the body of the shoulder-bag, along with the two gussets, also with dimensions. You can alter the size of the body, either increasing or decreasing them, but working out the new shape and measurements for the gussets can be fiddly, the length for the straps is easier.

how to do the stitiching

how to rivet straps to gusset


The method for stitching is shown in Figure 2. Thread your needle then pull it through the first hole until you get to the centre of the thread, then put another needle on the other end, and continue to sew as illustrated, first one, then the other needle, through the same hole.

Allow 2¹/2" of each strap for rivetting it to its gusset, with two holes 1" apart, punched through both strap and gusset beginning 1" down from the gusset top edge, see Figure 3. Push through the rivets fastening them together from either side of the gusset, ensuring the cap is on the outside, then using the appropriate tool and anvil, (see page 31a) tap gently together using either a rawhide or polyethylene mallet. The straps themselves are of equal length, one having the buckle, the type that you've chosen deciding the slot size cut for its prong, allowing 1¹/2" to 2" turnover to insert the rivet fastening. The other strap is the tongue, which has its end rounded accordingly, with five holes punched 1" apart, starting 1¹/2" from the end.

rivetting the buckle end of the strap

stitching in the gussets and continuing round flap

clasp/turnbuckle for fastening bag

In Figure 4 above you see how to rivet on the appropriate buckle of your choice, first establishing which shoulder the bag is to carried over. The ideal is for the buckle to be facing to the front, so that determines which strap end it is fastened to. Stitch round the gussets as shown in Figure 5, continuing round the flap and finishing at the centre front. You can of course punch holes for thonging (lacing) instead of for sewing, in a manner of your choosing. The final result will be equally pleasing.

Fix the clasp (turnbuckle) in the cut-out you have made in the body, suited to its size, only then, by folding over the flap to establish their position, can you cut the slits in the bag front, for its back fastening. 

finished bag - closed finished bag - open

That's it, except for your choice of a wax polish or a Super Sheen finish for its surface.


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leather shapes leather shapes