Wednesday, June 5, 2013

The other thing from Britex, and a small review

I didn't want to clutter up yesterday's warm fuzzy post with more of my loot, so I'm making a separate post today.  And because my second purchase from Britex was even smaller than my first, I'm including a little review as well.

Near the end of our trip, I had to go to the post office to mail home some books Hubby had acquired.  I didn't mind, since Britex was right on the way  . . .

I found myself in the remnants sections again, but still unable to really focus - until I spotted a box of leather scraps!  I think I kind of annoyed the saleslady with my extremely thorough method of sorting through the box, but hey - I ended up with some very nice pieces of leather!


These scraps are pretty small:  the largest is about 6" x 14".  But they are very supple, and I really liked the colors and finishes.  I figured I could use them for something:  contrast pieces, making piping, or even tiny zippered pouches. 

I wasn't able to capture it on "film" but the taupe skin has a very subtle pearlescent finish.  The green and blue are embossed with a faux snakeskin print.  I've got two pieces of the blue, four of the green and one of the taupe.  The whole lot cost me $15 plus tax.


You guys know that I've made several framed leather clutch purses, and for a long time I've been wanting to start making other kinds of leather bags as well.  But I knew I needed to learn a few things first, to avoid wasting a lot of costly leather. 

Well, luckily for me (and anyone else who bought it!) a new Craftsy class came out this spring called "Making Leather Bags."  The instructor is Don Morin, whom some of you may know from his blog Bagn'-telle.  For quite a few years, Don has generously shared - for free! - a wealth of knowledge and detailed instruction for making bags on his blog.  When I heard the rumor in early spring that he was making a Craftsy class, I knew that I'd be buying it as soon as it was released.

And not only did I buy it, I watched the whole class!  (I'm embarrassed to admit that although I've enrolled in over 20 classes on Craftsy, I've only finished about six of them.) Sadly, I finished it up about a week before leaving for SF, so much of what I learned is no longer fresh in my brain.  But the beauty of the Craftsy class is that I can read over my notes and watch the class again!

If you have any interest in sewing leather bags, I really recommend this course.  Don is a great teacher.  He's organized and helps you think through the order in which you should construct your bag, giving plenty of nifty tips along the way.  I came to the class with a couple specific skills I wanted to learn:  how to keep the leather from stretching while sewing, how to install a zipper in a leather bag, and how to recess that zipper.  All these questions were answered for me, plus I got a whole lot more information answering questions I would never have known to ask.

The "class project" is a large leather tote bag with a zipped top, exterior pocket, interior zippered pocket and rouleau handles.  Honestly, it's not the kind of bag that's useful to me in my life - I keep trying to go smaller rather than larger!  But by following along with the construction of this bag, I was able to imagine how I'd use those skills in other bags that do work for my lifestyle.  My goal over the summer is to make up some bags similar in size and shape to the large wristlets available from Coach - this is a really practical size for me.  I may even try my hand at combining fabric and leather in some designs!

Have any of you already taken this class or signed up?  Or if not, are you thinking about it?

21 comments:

  1. Your leather finds will make some wonderful bags. Looking forward to seeing them!

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  2. Those pieces of leather are gorgeous. I thought about you and your leather clutch purses when I was in London fabric shopping for my friends wedding outfit a couple of months ago. One shop had some simply stunning leathers for sale, but they were so incredibly expensive I hardly dared even look at them!

    Glad I'm not the only one who buys Craftsy courses then doesn't get round to watching them.

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    1. Hehehe - we should start a support group!

      I have a few skins that I've gotten for really reasonable prices and they seem to be good quality, but I've seen similar things at much higher prices. I'm very curious why there's such a disparity.

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  3. I'm looking forward to seeing what you end up making with that leather! I've been thinking about the perfect wristlet that I can use standalone or shove in my pack for my commute, but I'm definitely not ready to use leather.

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    1. There are two patterns I have my eye on that might work for you too: the Perfect Zip Bags by Elizabeth Hartman* and the Envelope Clutch** by Noodlehead. I'm planning on buying both of these and trying them out in fabric, and then maybe even in leather if the fabric ones work out well.


      * http://www.ohfransson.bigcartel.com/product/perfect-zip-bags-pdf-sewing-pattern

      ** http://www.noodle-head.com/2012/03/envelope-clutch-pattern.html

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  4. LOL, I'm smiling that Britex lured you in again and yippee! on finding some goodies. The textured designs are so neat and I like the sparkly sheen each one has. What a super find on Craftsy for leather for you. Can't wait to see you start tinkering.

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    1. Hehehe - I think the sparkliness is what drew me in!

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  5. very cool! I wasn't able to get the link to the class you're recommending to work. Sounds like it's on craftsy?

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    1. Huh, weird. It worked for me. Yes, it's a class on Craftsy - you can find it under the sewing classes.

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  6. You really are an amazing talent Gail and I can't wait to see the newest masterpieces you create.

    Thank you for all the well wishes, they have meant a lot to me.

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  7. oooh nice leather! and i just checked out the bagn'-telle blog... i have a tote bag i'm going to make soon and his info is tremendously helpful. glad i didn't already start cutting!

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    1. It really is a treasure, isn't it? I've always wanted to make his Weekender bag . . . but we almost never go away for short trips, so it's been hard to motivate myself!

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  8. That leather is beautiful! And I've got about 10 Craftsy classes of which I've only watched 4 or 5. I really should watch them!

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    1. I'm thinking of making a Page here up top, to shame myself into watching them!

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  9. Crafty is amazing, I cannot believe the quality of some of the videos there. This one looks great too. I'm not sure if I'll ever get this far into sewing, but I'm certainly going to enjoy watching your progress! That material looks like quite the find, I'm sure the creative gears are turning in your head.

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    1. Yes, I've been having fun holding these colors against the colors I already have, to come up with combinations!

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  10. Ooh exciting. Making bags sounds really in-depth to me. I bet yours will be awesome!

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