By Diva Els
Since I made my last leather bag I felt the urge to sew another one for everyday use. I save my bags although they are be worn out or out of date but I cannot throw a bag away. One of my favourite bags ((bought 10 years ago) was worn out but I still like the design and the hardware was good enough to reuse again.
So I made a copy of this bag.
A piece of dark green butter soft leather was in my stash and waiting for a use.
I measured the bag width, length, height, and depth and made a paper pattern.
The original bag has a center seam at the side where the zipper pocket is placed but I had enough leather to skip that seam. I interfaced the leather parts with a fusible non-woven special leather interfacing which can be ironed with a warm iron.
The non-woven interfacing is cut with seam allowances. The bottom and side part could use a bit more strength so I added an extra layer of a sturdier interfacing between the first and second layer (this one without seam allowances).
The shoulder straps also could use a bit more strength so I did some testing and used a piece of petersham ribbon as an extra layer.
The opening of the bag where the zipper will be attached is stabilized with fusible seam tape as well as the lining opening.
I used leather glue to hold the leather seam allowances, and a hammer to flatten the seams. The bag has two pockets on both sides, one is an open pocket,
and on the other side a zippered one.
The lining is interfaced with a fusible cotton red interfacing. The inside pocket is made of a double layer of the lining fabric.
The inside pocket
has a double function, the outside is a zippered pocket while the under layer is an open pocket,
This pocket is sewn at the lining by topstitching around the edges. I also added a key ring at the side depth of the bag.
When I was sewing the short end of the zipper at the bag with the hardware ring attached, I noticed I made a mistake. The hardware has a silver colour and I used a matching green with brass colour zipper teeth.
I removed the green brass zipper from the opening but left the pocket zipper because that side is not shown to the public while I wear that bag. I wear my shoulder bag on my left shoulder so the zipper pocket is towards my body. I bought a new green zipper with silver teeth which had a nice zipper pull,
but the colour was not spot on and the zipper was not working properly. It was stiff. I tried to smooth it by rubbing beewax on the teeth but it did not help. So I decided to use another zipper from my stash. This time a grey one that worked okay but needed to be covered to hide the grey tape.
I used 2 strips of leather to cover the tape.
I stretched the leather a bit while sewing the leather at the zipper tape so the zipper has the same shallow shape, to match the bag’s shape.
So the zipper is sewn in on a different way. The original bag zipper opening is topstitched and the zipper tape was partly visible.
It was easy to sew this bag on my Pfaff sewing machine because the leather was soft, the hardest part was sewing in the zipper. I needed to do some tests for the zipper to see which order to sew it. I found out that the short side of the zipper, where the ring is attached, needed to be sewn in first. Secondly, the zipper long ends on both sides, and lastly the other short end where the shoulder straps is attached.
The lining is sewn in by hand at the zipper tape,
because I had already glued the leather seam allowance to the inside.
The final step was to add the bag stop,
which helps to prevent the shoulder strap gliding of my shoulder.
Done and ready to use.
A source from the US which sells Pro_Tricot fusible interfacing for leather is