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!

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Handbag Heaven

In my pursuit of learning new things, I recently reviewed the Craftsy handbag class with Brett Bara. Although, I thoroughly enjoyed the Class, I have yet to design and construct a handbag from the instructions. I want to put a little more thought into the design. I did; however, experiment with some other handbag styles from some cool websites I found.

The first little clutch was based on a tutorial from http://u-handbag.typepad.com/uhandblog/2006/12/purse_frames_de.html and because I’m a visual person, I also viewed Daniela Tabois’ youtube video http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=AtcuPlzixs4&feature=relmfu.

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This turned out okay for a first time project but next time, I’ll use a larger frame.

The second handbag was based on another tutorial at Sew4home http://www.sew4home.com/projects/storage-solutions/lush-plush-trends-fabriccom-trendy-faux-leather-handbag.

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I really like the way this turned out, although the upholstery fabric was not as structured as the faux leather used in the tutorial. Next time, I’ll use interface and a heavier fabric.

Finally, the third bag was based on the tutorial from about.com http://sewing.about.com/od/freeprojects/ss/clutchpurse_2.htm

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This is a nice, simple design for an evening bag and it only took a few hours to make. Although, the instructions don’t specify using interface, I will use it the next time.

So, after paying $30 bucks for the Craftsy handbag class, I ended up finding free handbag instructions online.