How to make a leather bag.
Thanks Engineer Hubby for modeling your new bag!
Take some hardware from an old bag.
Grab a bag pattern or make your own. I made my own...as you can see. I got some dimensions online from a briefcase I liked at Macy's.
Tandy Leather and grab a hide of leather. You can't buy leather by the yard like you do at the fabric store. You have to get the whole hide and it's measured and priced by the square foot. They also carry hardware for bags, so grab some while your there if you need. I bought belt buckles for this bag. You will need a leather punch (to punch holes in the straps), some leather edge finisher (leather dye) for the raw edges, and a couple bags of rivets to attach the straps.
Make sure you use leather needles on your sewing machine and some strong upholstery thread. My Bernina handled this project pretty well, although I felt bad for it a few times.. like I was pushing it too hard. :)
To give my bag some stability, I cut out some poster board just a little bit smaller than the pattern and sandwiched it in between the leather. With the flap of the bag, I sewed two pieces of leather, wrong sides together, with poster board in the middle. I then dyed the edges to give it a finished look. Other parts of the bag I sewed right sides together, such as the sides. You can do what you want or whatever is easiest. Just be creative!
Adjustable strap. I found this video on You Tube describing how to assemble an adjustable strap. Mine was 52" long.
Rivets are ready to go and holes are being punched.
Here the holes are punched through the bag and through the strap, held together with rivets. It's easier doing it this way than having to sew it. The leather is just too thick.
It's coming together!! Use a belt you already have to mark where the holes need to be on the strap ;)
And there you go! Fancy shmancy and it cost about $65. That's a good deal considering how much leather bags cost at department stores!