Sunday, 30 October 2011

Finally Made It! Hellooo Leather City!!!


I finally finished my red leather City bag. There were lots of tense moments. Some skipped stitches, knots, a broken needle and I even managed to steam myself with the iron this morning. It was totally worth all the angst though, as I have achieved my goal to make this bag in leather.


I decided that the side seams would look nicer with a bit of top-stitching, rather than just pressing them open. Every extra seam is a risk, especially top-stitching, as any seam that is un-picked will show as a row of tiny holes. I recommend that if you are top-stitching leather, that you ensure there is plenty of bobbin thread. I am glad I took the risk, as the finish is far superior to just pressing the seams open.


Inside the bag I included the zipped pocket from the pattern instructions. This time I matched my zipper with the lining and pocket fabric. I used some of the same Ink & Spindle Bonsai fabric for the pocket as I did for the feature panel.


I forgot to take pictures of the purse feet that I put on the last City bag I made. The purse feet will keep the base of my bag from being scuffed. I didn't follow the instructions in the pattern for the base, because they don't include purse feet, instead using this tutorial instead.

My straps were constructed differently to Nicole's instructions in the pattern as well. Being leather, I wanted to reduce a lot of the bulk at the ends where the rings were attached.


I really didn't think that I was going to be able to sew the loops to the bag, because of all the bulk, but I managed to do it. I actually did this bit with the industrial machine turned off, and just turned the hand-wheel. It is normally quite difficult to turn, but I have found that if I push down on the pedal a little, this reduces most of the resistance, and the wheel turns easily. I also only have two hands, so when turning the hand-wheel with one hand, and holding my work with the other, that left me with no hands for the back-stitch lever. I got Noah to hold it for me. I would never get him to do that with the machine going, but he was quite pleased to be able to help me make a bag! I guess an alternative would have been to put a big book or a brick on the lever, but a brick wouldn't have been so proud to help.


I was quite happy to find that I was able to line the zip up with the centre of the ring tabs much better this time around with the leather, even better than I did with the denim bag.


Here I am holding my newly completed City Bag, just to give an idea of size. There is still one thing missing, I need to put in an order to Nikki for some zipper pulls for both of my City bags.



  1. Hooray! It's absoloutely divine! I love everything about this bag. You're inspiring me to make one myself! Beautiful work throughout, and thanks for the detail photos as well.

  2. That is really lovely - how clever working with leather - looks great and well worth the effort!!

  3. Carmel, I knew it was going to be gorgeous but had no idea of how stunning all that detail would be - woman, you need a T-shirt to wear everytime you carry that bag - it needs to say
    "My bag is the bomb-diggety and I made it !"

  4. It's a stunner!!! (and yes - a zipper pull will complete it!)

  5. Oh that is beautiful, well done! You will love carrying it around.

  6. WOW! It is so lovely, I'm amazed- have tried a leather zip purse and it had epicfail written all over it! The detail is divine. LOVE Jodie's comment, and totally agree!

  7. Wow, Carmel, that looks wonderful! Congratulations on a brilliant bag!

  8. oh my God, it's are absolutelly professional!

  9. WOW!!! That is simply stunning. I bet you get lots of compliments when you wear it.

  10. It is beautiful, you've done a fabulous job. Just gorgeous.

  11. Fantastic! I'm soooo jealous!

  12. Amazing! It looks fantastic. Saw the sneak peek and thought oogh. Well done.

  13. Jo McKay ( Breakfast Jo)30 October 2011 at 21:39

    I am IMPRESSED. Loved the description of the two hands and one child (?) collaboration. I was waiting for you to tell us you used your chin or something!! Seriousley well done!

  14. Beautiful, I love red. You've done such a professional job on this bag.

  15. Absolutely sensational. The best bag ever. Out of this world fantastic. AMAZING. Like A-M-A-Z-I-N-G AMAZING, not just a little bit amazing. You are one righteously talented person. Bravo Carmel!


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