I don’t know about you, but the Corona virus quarantine has left me feeling a bit creatively numb. Life is really topsy turvy right now as we all adjust to a new normal and despite a positive attitude and the gratitude I have for my health, I have found it difficult to be creative. As a result, I’ve been looking for ways to incorporate not only creative thinking but stimulate my imagination to help focus on my ultimate goal – a footwear and leather goods brand of my own. This is where the 100 Day Project comes in…
I make no apologies for the terrible pun. This time I am going back to my design roots and discussing footwear, freedom, flexibility and fun. And any other appropriate F word that may spring to mind in the process…
If you’re a creator or maker you’ll probably already be familiar with the #marchmeetthemaker hashtag that has been dominating Instagram since the beginning of the month, but if you’re wondering what it’s all about, read on… Continue reading “#MARCHMEETTHEMAKER”
So the time has finally come to talk about my little baby leather project and the fact that I want to grow it into something more meaningful! It’s taken me soooooo long to come up with a name and a logo that I like… Continue reading “MISCHIEF & HIDE IS ALIVE!!!”
It’s no secret that when you’re starting out in leatherwork, it can be hard to find the answers to your burning crafting questions. Every maker has felt it I’m sure. Many (but not all) books are out-dated, numerous people at the top of their game have no desire to share their knowledge and Continue reading “5 GREAT BLOGS FOR LEARNING LEATHERWORK…”
I’ve been hand stitching leather goods for a couple of years now; small accessories made with painstaking attention for friends and family in the comfort of my little basement. It’s so satisfying to see a piece of leather change colour, take on a new form, become something functional and loved. But although I do enjoy the slow, therapeutic movements as I saddle stitch a wallet, I have often also dreamed of finding a sewing machine… Continue reading “CHOOSING A LEATHER SEWING MACHINE…”
So I’ve been talking about making leather accessories for a few years now and I’m happy to announce that in the past few months, I’ve FINALLY started creating things! I’ve bought tools and Continue reading “ADVENTURES IN LEATHER (1)…”
For a while now my passion for leather accessories has been gaining momentum! I always get excited when I see hand-made leather products and after so many years in the footwear industry spent working with synthetic leathers, even just the smell of real leather is enough to grab my attention! In pursuit of this, I decided to enrol on a course with Diamond Awl to learn more about the making process and create a messenger bag by hand…
The location for the weekend was an old cotton mill near Saddleworth, in Lancashire. I immediately fell in love with the studio which was an industrial-style work space filled with leathers, tools and all manner of eclectic objects, making it feel like a miniature museum!
Under the careful watch of Jason and David, myself and 3 other students learnt first how to stitch a small key ring. This was to introduce us to the basic techniques of preparing the thread, stitching, bevelling and buffing. The linen thread was hand-waxed and each stitch-hole was hand-made using a diamond-shaped awl. For a first attempt, mine wasn’t bad although it was so hard to control the stitches on the back of the leather, which are far less uniform than the front! We bevelled the edges to round them off and rubbed them down to create a smooth finish.
Next we moved right onto the bags. I had a smooth, matt black leather which was cut into 4 pieces to make the main body, 2 sides and strap. I stitched one side and David was on hand to help steer around the corners. After lunch, stitching continued right into the afternoon.
The next day, I finished stitching my bag and had to decide on the design of the strap and the main bag fastening. As the leather was so beautifully simple, I wanted to the bag to reflect this so there would be no additional stitching or decoration. I chose to make a small rounded-slot with a leather loop secured by a ‘Sam Brown’ stud to close the bag. I also added an asymmetric element to the finished design to create something simple but striking.
I loved the making process and was chuffed to bits with the final bag! David and Jason were knowledgeable, supportive and inspiring and thanks to them I was able to walk away with a bag that I will actually use!
I’m now rifling through a leather tool catalogue deciding what to buy first. I’d love to return to the Diamond Awl and make something else though so I don’t think it will be the last they see of me…!