My Ugly Baby

I have been obsessed with all things leather! The look, the smell and more importantly, the construction of leather bags, purses and accessories! There are some wickedly talented folks out there who’s creations are uber stunning! I can’t tell you the countless hours spent on watching how-to videos trying to de-mystify the process! With each video, I came away thinking that I needed every tool used in the video to accomplish similar results! So far, I’ve only purchased a few tools and have an extensive wish list of other tools that will undoubtedly make “the experience” easier and more enjoyable! I would even accept the items on my wish list as a Christmas or birthday gift from my hubby!

So what I’ve accomplished thus far by watching Arthur Porter of Dallas Designing Dreams videos is this tote bag.

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Not too bad for my first time but it definitely has its’ flaws! I sewed it on my old commercial Singer machine that sews race-horse fast which is very intimidating! Needless-to-say, my seaming suffered because of it! And as we all know, there are no do-overs with leather! After ringing my hands over some irreparable damage, my inner Tim Gunn kicked in and the front panel which was originally planned to be a single color, became two-tone! In hind-sight, I like it better now!

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So, not all foul-ups are a bad thing!
The hardest part was figuring out what kind of straps to make and how to construct them properly!
For months, this project lay dormant just needing straps! How intimidated was I by theses freakin straps! I finally said to heck with it and threw some straps on just to get it done! They are awful! But I still had a sense of accomplishment knowing that I finished it! And because I live by the mantra of “If I make it, I wear/use it”, I now use it for my work tote! As I’ll-constructed as it is, I actually have people wanting me to make them one!

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Go figure! I even have a name (jokingly) for my collection..my Ugly Baby line! Even with the flaws, I love the functionality and roominess! No need to carry a purse with my Ugly Baby! Hopefully, with more practice, the UB line will disappear only to be replaced by beautiful babies!

Burda Lovin

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Well, I am in love with my latest completed project (insert Cheshire Cat grin). To think, it all started with a downloadable (DL) Burda sleeveless waistcoat pattern! http://www.burdastyle.com/pattern_store/patterns/long-fur-waistcoat-102012 And since Burda DL’s don’t include seam allowance, I thought it wise to make a wearable muslin first! After a little tweaking of the muslin, I was ready to dive into the gorgeous faux shirling I bought at Joann Fabrics with my 60% off coupon! The total coupon price for 2 1/2 yards was $22.00! There’s just something magical about fabric, sewing and coupons! Said like the true addict I am!
So let’s start with the muslin. The fashion fabric used from my stash was from Walmart for a mere $1.00 per yard! Didn’t need a coupon for that! The fabric is a sturdy denim that probably is more upholstery than fashion but it worked wonderfully for this project and if it failed (not I, but it), I would have only lost $2.50 of the $4.00 paid for 4 yards! Piece of cake! The fabric used for the sleeves was also purchased from Walmart for a $1.00/yd. it’s the most awful mystery knit I’ve ever used but perfect for sleeves! Awful because it kept breaking my thread even after many tension adjustments. image
The real star is the faux shirling coat! Since I can’t do much with a sleeveless waistcoat, especially with the winter we’ve had in Michigan, I paired it with upcycled leather sleeves that were originally skirts I purchased from the Salvation Army for less than $10 bucks total!
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I originally wanted to go with an animal print lining, but found this instead in the clearance section of my favorite fabric store Habermans for $4.98/yd.
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Since the neckline is wider than an average coat, I made a fleece infinity scarf/hood which allowed me to get some animal print in!
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And since I had the entire top half of the tan leather skirt leftover, I made a purse with animal print lining!image

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I left the skirt zipper and fashioned it into a pocket to keep my cell phone or keys.

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For those still reading this rather lengthy post, I say thank you! Now off to continue admiring my handy work!