Metallic Leather Tote

DIY Metallic Leather Tote

In addition to shoemaking, I’ve also decided to try my hand at making handbags. So far, I’m experimenting with simple tote shapes. My friend, Joy, is in the market for a basic tote so I offered to make her one.

Metallic Leather Bunny Fabric

Here’s a shot of the two primary materials used. The metallic leather is from Global Leather. Jot picked up the bunny print upholstery fabric when she was studying abroad in Paris. (As a side note, I did make a test tote out of faux leather first.)

DIY Metallic Leather Tote

For the straps, we decided on this contrast tan colored leather from the scrap bins at Global Leather. As you can see in the photo, I have not yet figure out how to achieve an industrial finish with the straps.

Bunny Fabric Lining

For the lining, I used the wrong side of the fabric. We thought the “X-ray Bunnies” looked rad with the metallic leather.

Metallic Leather Tote

And check out that inner pocket. Here, I used the right side of the bunny print fabric. All in all, it was a good learning experience. For the next few projects, I might tackle something simpler. I’m thinking a zippered leather clutch.

See it modeled on me here.

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A Cordwainer’s First Pair of Shoes

Made My First Pair of Shoes!
Spoiler Alert: I made my first pair of shoes!

Bow shoes

A couple of months ago, I decided to take a beginner’s shoemaking class just to see how difficult it is to create a pair of shoes from scratch. I now have my answer: It is not at all difficult!

Caveat: Although there is nothing terribly difficult about the process, it should be noted that it is incredibly time consuming. Materials and labor costs can add up very quickly. In addition, those who do not have some sort of sewing or pattern-making background may find it hard at first to wrap their minds around the process of draping the pattern pieces and understanding how they go together.

Bow Shoes

The materials used for the upper are tweed and lambskin leather. I clearly have an obsession with both of those materials.

Bows!

The bows were handcrafted with the same tweed material as the upper.

Bow shoes

In case you were wondering: they don’t actually fit. I draped the pattern off a standard size 7.5 last (the shoe equivalent of a dress form) and I generally take a size 7.5 in shoes. I was not at all surprised when these ended up being roomy. I have extremely narrow heels, high arches and bony feet, so I often have trouble filling out shoes.

Shoe Soles

So far, I find that I really enjoy the craft, and plan on taking more classes. I will continue to work on standard shoe lasts until I’m ready to start crafting shoes for myself. For that, I will have to get a last custom made to my feet size. That is something I will eventually look into doing.

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