Sunday, June 14, 2015

Scalloped Leather Tote

Madrid leather tote
Scalloped Leather Tote

New tote and my Colette Iris shorts!

Beautiful matching side seam!!

I just finished another Seamwork project, a modified version of the Madrid tote bag! I've been wanting to make one for awhile, and finally did with some beautiful leather from Tandy and some lovely light purple, slightly nubby, upholstery fabric from Jo-Ann's. This was my first time working with leather, and I learned a lot!

Drawing my scallops and re-drafting the Madrid

Use tape rather than pins when sewing with leather

Piecing the tote together

I knew that I wanted to make some changes to the shape of the Madrid tote, and I get really bored piecing together PDF patterns, so I decided to draft my own version of the Madrid tote. It was great because I was able to make the tote exactly the size/shape I wanted and then use the instructions from my Madrid pattern to complete it. I added scallops for a fun twist - and traced a magnifying glass/compass from my childhood to make them! After drafting, I cut out my fabric/leather and started sewing. When you are sewing with leather, you can't pin your seams because the holes will stay in the leather and it's also just too thick. Instead, use tape and binder clips to hold your seams together while sewing. Make sure to keep the tape out of the way of your sewing, it can gum-up your machine if you sew over it. Use a good amount of clips and take your time, because leather tends to stretch and spread-out while you are sewing. It's worse than a knit fabric, because you can't just redo a seam easily - any holes you make in the leather are there for good.

Use binder clips to hold leather seams together while sewing

Inside of tote + lining (with pocket) = match made in heaven  :)

I made a really large pocket for the inside lining, which is all made of waterproof ripstop fabric. I am very happy with my finished tote! It's not perfect, but I learned a lot on the way that will help me with my next Madrid tote!

Seamwork Magazine Madrid

Madrid leather tote

Beautiful squared corners!

Seamwork Madrid tote

We've had some super warm days already here in Richmond, but Josh was nice enough to get out in the 90+ degree weather today to take some pics with me! We stuck around our neighborhood, and were inspired by all the pretty flowers blooming  :)  I kept cool in my Colette color-blocked Iris shorts!

Updating the fabric stash

In other news... I just ordered a bunch of sale fabric (and a pretty knit I splurged on) from Mood, and I can't wait to get started on some new projects. I see summer dresses, cropped sweaters, and ankle-hugging slim chinos in my future!

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