I really can't call this a Fabulous Free Pattern Friday piece as this was done by The Weekend Designer back in August of 2008. And since no pattern was published, it really doesn't fit in the Thrifty Thursday file either.
But it's a great bag that is super easy to make, so in the event that you haven't seen this bag, I think you'll really enjoy making one for yourself.
The suede bag was originally sold in the Sundance catalog, and like most things in the catalog, it was very nice, but fairly expensive.
They came in a lovely selection of colors.
I didn't have a piece of suede that was of a suitable weight, so I made mine out of a supple piece of leather. As long as I don't carry bricks in the bag, the lighter weight of leather should be fine.
You can find all of the detailed instructions for this bag here.
In the instructions for the bag, there is a graph for the pattern.
Rather than make you count the tiny squares, I thought I would just draw it out for you. You can see that the bag is really nothing more than a few connected rectangles.
The width across the bottom is 9"
The side length is 11"
The length of the handle is 9"
And my apologies, I neglected to add that the width of the handle is 2 1/2"
I did not draw out the bottom of the bag, but it is a simple 9" square.
In order to achieve the curved edge on my handle, I used my curved ruler, but to be honest, you can easily draw the curve in by hand.
The bag has 4 sides, so since I didn't cut the handle on the fold, I will need to cut 4. I was able to get 3 sides out of 1 skin.
Once all of the pieces have been cut, it's time to start sewing them together. Leather can be a little tricky especially since you can't pin it. The instructions say to use mounting tape. I have never used tape on any leather project. If you would like, you can use paper clips to hold the pieces together as you sew. You can also use a walking foot. But to be honest, I don't use either. Just take your time, be patient and practice a little with some of your scraps and I think you'll get the hang of sewing with leather. One thing to keep in mind is that you must use a leather needle. Please don't try to use a regular needle. The leather needle has a special point specifically for sewing leather. It makes all the difference in the world.
Once you sew the seam, I used 1/4" seams on this bag, you can either glue down the seams with rubber cement, or you can top stitch them. I prefer to top stitch my seams. It must have been the angle at which I took the picture as my stitches look like they are on an angle, but they really aren't.
If you have never sewn with leather or suede, I urge you to give it a try. This is a great first time project. If you are a little concerned about spending the money for leather for a first time project, there are a lot of home dec fabrics that mimic leather, so that's a nice alternative.
The Weekend Designer no longer writes at that address. You can find him at http://bagntell.wordpress.com/
The blog is full of wonderful information and projects. He also has a Craftsy class that teaches you how to work with leather and you can find it here.