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I am a mother, a new grandmother, and a teacher. But whatever happens in my life, I keep sewing. I have worked as a political communicator and now as a teacher in my formal life. I have also written extensively on sewing. I have been a frequent contributor and contributing editor of Threads magazine and the Australian magazine Dressmaking with Stitches. My first book Sew.. the garment-making book of knowledge will be published in May 2018 and is available for pre-order from Amazon


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Sunday, December 4, 2016

The cone of Christmas silence

This happens to me every year.

I get close to Christmas and although I am sewing more I start posting less. There are problems when your recipients also read your blog.

I also find this time of year is just busy. Lucky my husband and I were able to squeeze in another trip to Brooklyn, which is a recharge/refresh for us, but since we came back it has been nutso around here.

And now the government has shut out the kids from schools due to contract negotiations and the fact the premier is a bonehead so that's a lot of kids who will be needing extra care.

You get my drift.

I am able however to share one project with you, being made for a few of my male family members, because they, fortunately, have better things to do than read my blog.

I have been making men's shaving bags, Dopp kits to some, out of cut up leather jackets from Value Village.

I have tried to sew leather in the past, with mixed results, but Bernina Canada has lent me a 740 for my book writing project and I wanted to see if a better machine would do a better job.

The answer to that one is oh yes, it sure does. 

This machine has a dual feed built in and the power of my lovely vintage Berninas. Basically I am able to make these bags just as if I was sewing cotton, no skipped stitches, no problem with layers, which is amazing. I was geared up for a lot more stress I can tell you. I have used a denim needle as well as a leather one and to tell you the truth the denim was just as effective. Mind you this is garment leather I am using, I am not doing shoe repairs, so a leather needle might be needed if I went heavier. 

I used this free pattern from Thread Theory

Here is the leather I got from one $20 Value Village coat (I used my 30% discount for donating as well):

I lined with some heavy rip stop nylon. It is a somewhat wide and squat bag but useful I think:

The construction is interesting, basically you line and finish the short ends with binding and then sew the corners through all layers (this is the part where the machine impressed me).

Here is the lined version before that happens:

And here is sort of how the bag opens.

I am making more of these over the next few days and now I am wondering if after the smoke clears holiday wise if I will do a leather bag for myself next.

Talk soon.


annie said...

That's super-impressive. Not the school closing - the leather bag making plus the fabric source.

Carolyn (Diary of a Sewing Fanatic) said...

Really like the bag and I'm sure the recipients will too!

SuzieB said...

That is a very cool project & your example turned out great! Very impressed-

Anonymous said...

Very nice gifts for your lads.
Grrrr to the school situation.

Jane M said...

What a wonderful guy gift.

Anne Frances said...

That is a splendid and very useful bag. I spent yesterday afternoon helping eight year old granddaughter make a very similar bag as a pencil case for her Daddy's Christmas present. We used the tutorial at http://www.seasonedhomemaker.com/diy-zippered-box-pouch-tutorial/ which has all the seams and corners enclosed and it worked very well. And now she can work the sewing machine. I told her lots of adults are scared of putting in zips, but with wash away double sided tape to hold everything in place she had no problems.
What a great idea for leather supplies!It does sound as if the Bernina is ideal. I am looking forward to the book when it comes.

Catherine p said...

Your leather bag looks impressive. How clever of you to repurpose the leather jackets. I'm sure the men on your list will love them.

Anonymous said...

Super nice bags and the recycled leather makes them even more perfect. I suspect that I will make very few gifts this year beyond a couple porch chair pillows made from travel memento tea towels (hopefully amusing to the porch owners) and spiced nuts - a bout of flu in November has knocked a lot of my stuffing out and I am not pushing things.

Glad to hear the sewing book continues to unfold!


Anonymous said...

These are fabulous. I want one for me