I have something a bit different to show you today, which is this little clutch bag that I made for my sister, who absolutely loves it. I first spotted it on Instagram when Kirsten from Fifty Two Fancies made it, and instantly though that my sister would like it.
The pattern is called the Ida Clutch Bag, and is a free pattern from Kylie And The Machine.
One of the bags on the introduction page is leather, as is Kirsten's, and I really loved them, so decided to give it a go myself.
Much googling finally brought me to Leather4Craft on ebay, where I bought some veg-tan goat skin leather for £22.00. It came as a rectangle of leather, which I stupidly forgot to measure, and is lovely and soft. There was more than enough for this little bag.
More googling was done on cutting and sewing leather. I used my rotary cutter to cut it out, and pattern weights to hold the pattern piece down. I say pattern weights, it was really my phone and some masking tape...
You can maybe, sort of, judge the size of the leather from this photo. There was enough leather to the top to cut out another pattern piece, and there was a bit left over that is probably about half as wide as the bit that my rotary cutter is sitting on.
Sewing the leather turned out to be a lot easier than I thought, but leather needles are a must. I practised a dart on some scrap leather first, and my machine handled it beautifully. Sewing leather is a bit of a one shot deal, you don't want to be unpicking, and my walking foot was great.
I marked the point of the dart with a pin, which left a little hole in the leather, then clipped the dart ends within the seam allowance.
I marked the dart legs with a pencil on the wrong side of the leather.
I obviously couldn't use pins on the leather, as they would leave little holes, so I used a mini clothes pegs to hold everything together. Quilting clips would be great, but I don't have any.
This is what the darts look like from the wrong side,
And this is the right side.
The instruction page on the interfacing mentions that the sample leather bag is interfaced (I think it's in the comments), but I was a bit too scared to try that! So I just interfaced the lining. I used a medium weight interfacing for the whole bag lining (Piece B), and then a woven interfacing on top for Piece C.
Next came inserting the zip, and the instructions for it are brilliant. I didn't take any photos of it, but here's what it looked like when it was finished.
The pin in the photo above is marking the tailor's tack for the snap placement, which leads me on to attaching the snaps. I wasn't looking forward to this, because I was afraid of ruining the leather. But some more googling showed me how to do it.
Everything I read called for interfacing, but, as already mentioned, I didn't want to interface the leather. So I didn't use any, and it's grand. Here's what I did.
First of all, I practised on a leather scrap! The snaps have two prongs on the back that are secured with a little washer.
I stuck a pin through the lining and leather where the tailor's tack was (the tack was just in the lining), to mark the snap position on the leather. Then I used the washer as a template, and marked the position of the prongs with a pen (making sure it wouldn't bleed through to the front!).
|Admire that lovely top stitching!|
Then I snipped into the leather using some embroidery scissors.
The prongs on the snap go through the holes from the front, then it is held in place with the washer. I just put it through the leather, so the snap is not visible on the inside of the bag.
Here's what it looks like from the right side.
I did the same with the other snap, and here's what it looks like when it's closed.
As suggested in the instructions, I sewed the edges of the bag with a zipper foot. It was tricky to get over the closed end of the zip, and I ended up just turning the hand wheel.
I'm delighted with how this little bag turned out, and leather definitely isn't as tricky to sew as I thought.