Machine-Stitched Bag

The machine-stitched bag is the last project in my year-long workshop at Amblard Leather Atelier. Can’t believe I have gone through Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced sections and am well into my last project in the Master class! I did a lot of homework in order to make it through all the required projects. The motivation behind this is that I will get to design my own project next! If you think my anticipation in working on my first TOTE when this journey began a year ago was over the top… it pales in comparison in my excitement in design my first bag! šŸ˜€

But first I must finish this machine-stitched bag! I wanted a smaller cross-shoulder bag for everyday use but was told that the smaller the bag, the more difficult it was to be sewn on the machine. So a compromise was struck.

After my usual blacks and greens, I decided to go with a fabulous medium dark slate grey leather named Oceania. It reminds me of stormy sea and will work perfectly with jeans. The project normally encompasses top-stitched seams on the sides with two straps on the front and back. I wanted a two-tone asymmetric design and moved the seams in the front and back pairing Oceania with Black for a more contemporary style. This also enables me to have the tabs with the attachments for the long cross-body strap (one instead of two) on the sides of the bag.

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Piping is one of the techniques and I surprised everyone by choosing an accent color in mustard yellow named Kayak! It is reinforced by having the tabs and the entire interior lining in the same color!

A couple of classes were spent on putting all the pieces together ā€“ phone pocket, zippered pocket, tabs, bottom with feet and piping, etc. Then it was time to learn how to use the industrial-grade Juki leather sewing machine. It took a bit of getting used to but with my sewing experience since the age of 10, it wasn’t too difficult to pick up ā€“ except for the fact that you can’t pin or hand baste anything before hand AND if you make a mistake, the holes are permanent!

The up side? It’s FAST! I machine stitched the bag and its lining in one day ā€“ something that would have taken days and weeks if stitched by hand ā€“ and there is no finishing required except for a handful of areas!

My homework is to finish the edges on the strap, then add the binding on the top edge next class and my last required project will be done!

Now off to design my next project … so exciting!

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