I find if I paint what I am making, as limited as my skills are, it helps me to understand what I am doing. I am not working from a pattern or a prototype, but just a general sense of what the piece should look like and what the leather seems to dictate. The top is my new carry-on bag, quite a big one. I combined leather remnants and a black pebbly jacket. The bottom two, espresso and grape, as I have photographed before.
bags and purses
I started making hooked bags with purchased leather straps and gradually began adding leather to make them lighter and more interesting. Then I began making my own straps. On the right is a selection of my hooked bags.
I still love the texture and variation of the hooked bag, but have also become smitten with leather. These two bags are made from upholstery remnants and leather jackets.
The linings are as enjoyable to make as the bags. I often use silk screened cotton canvas, but inside the expresso bag is wonderful Waverly fabric.
I have been asked how you go about purchasing one of these bags or the canvas bags which I wrote about earlier. If you are interested, please leave a comment with your email.
This is the second all-leather bag. It is made from a remnant and I had just enough. The leather is pebbly, like a basketball. I lined the flap with a piece of the bubblegum pink skirt that I have been saving. I love those two colours together.
Inside I used some great ‘bird’ fabric.
I have been using the red bag that is the same size as this one–the one I posted about a few days ago. I am finding the size to be perfect and am enjoying not being laden down with too much stuff.
Yesterday I was in Toronto for the day to get supplies. I visited my favourite places for leather remnants and came home with the pile see here. Most of the pieces are remainders from upholstering, except for the pink in the middle, which was an indulgence. Not sure what I have in mind for it, but the shot of colour is oh so welcome.
I finished my first all-leather handbag on the weekend. It is made from two different remnant pieces and the shoulder strap is a rather classy snakeskin belt. All in all, it came together well. It is the perfect size I have been looking for–big enough to hold phone, money and notebook, yet comfortably portable. I’m now working on an orange one and also eyeing the midnight blue for a third. The interior flap of this one is a red suede skirt. I have enough bubblegum pink to line the orange one, and some beautiful turquoise to set off the blue. Now to get down to it!
On the hooking front, I am almost finished the centre of Fireworks–will post this week. Thinking of the border.
This is the new canvas/ recycled leather tote. At 15″ tall, 16″ across with a wide base, it is made to carry lots of stuff. I wanted a large tote that is strong enough for groceries or art supplies, but still manageable enough to carry for a distance. And with lots of pockets. I think this may be the ticket. I must thank my good friend Melanie for helping me make this wonderful text-fabric.
I made some new large totes of recycled leather and canvas on the weekend. We sourced some #10 and #6 canvas for canoes and bags last week. I like the strength of this weight of canvas for totes. The family has had a long love affair with canvas, starting with my husband who made his first sail for his ice boat when he was in Grade 12. The canvas came from Eaton’s–mail order to a small Ontario town–and his mother’s sewing machine was never the same.
Below is a fid, a sailor’s tool used in making sails, and I find it perfect for inserting into corners of the bags. This particular fid belonged to Jack Braidwood, a well-known Belleville sailor, and it accompanied him on his sail around the world in the 40’s. I love the smooth beauty of the conical shape–the wood is lignum vitae, one of the strongest woods available.
I also got some screen printing done on the weekend, linings and pockets.
This is the reason for the trip to Toronto–my new walking foot machine. And it can walk through many many layers of leather. I’m just learning about all the adjustments, so taking it slowly. Below is my first project with my new machine.
I got this great remnant in Ottawa. I lined it with black leather from a pair of pants; the strap is made from another pair. Who would wear red leather pants??
And here is a new piece of Jenny Clark’s ceramics, also from the Toronto trip. I love her work. I first met her at the One of a Kind show several years ago, and have been collecting pieces ever since. They are so whimsical. I am using this for a spoon rest on the stove so I can look at it every day.