This is the bag that I made with the 1/2 metre of black unleather that I bought...in retrospect I should have bought a little more as I used every last bit of it and the amount that I had to work with did dictate the design of the bag a little. The black that I've used for the bag has a little more a sheen to it than the brown that I used for the iPod holder in the last post. I wish that I didn't know that this wasn't real leather as I'm completely unable to objectively decide whether it's doing a realistic leather impression or whether it is very obviously a piece of plastic impersonating pig's clothing.
My mannequin is modelling the bag here...they are not my empty, floppy arms.
The material was much easier to work with than I expected - apparently one should use paper clips, rather than pins, to hold leather (or unleather) in place while sewing, but I found that the paperclips just became misshapen, so I kept the pieces in place using my hands. Other recommendations are to baste the pieces together using glue and to use a Teflon sewing foot, due to the material being a little more slippery than usual. I don't have a Teflon foot and my past history told me to avoid the glue if I wished for a modicum of success with this project - I am incapable of gluing neatly, and have long since given up attempting to use the beautiful purse frames that you glue to fabric. My inbuilt walking foot seemed to hold everything in place nicely and a leather needle punctured through the fabric in a way that left it unscathed.
I have a couple of small changes to the shape that I'd make, but I'm thinking of writing this bag pattern up as one of my paid-for-patterns. Perhaps also showing how it would look in wool suiting and a summer weight fabric. It's very simple and for my unleather version I even omitted any top stitching, as I like the minimalism of it that way, but I'd probably add some in for fabric bags.
Inside is a zippered pocket (yes, the grey zip colour is dubious, but it was frenzied sewing that didn't allow for a trip to the shops to purchase more zippage), as well as an open pocket. I lined it with some Hope Valley by Denyse Schmidt - I'd earmarked it for the facings of a corduroy skirt that's in the works, but ended up using it here as it felt like a suitable partner for the outer fabric...now I must re-buy it for the skirt.
What do you think....should I refrain from buying any more unleather...or is it a viable alternative? It feels gorgeous...I'm less sure about whether it looks that way. Honest answers on a postcard...or just in the comments section.
Zebra girl took this picture of me and my bag before school this morning - I love that her silhouette standing on the bed is reflected on the wall behind me.