Leather Colorblocked Tote (+Giveaway!)

The Leather Hide Store provided the leather for this project and the giveaway prize. All content and opinions are my own. Make sure you read through to the bottom of the post to enter their giveaway!

leather, canvas, tote, sewing, knitting, bag

I think this might have been the hardest sewn gift to give away yet. I made my sister this knitting bag for Christmas, but when I slipped my knitting things into it for these photos, they looked so at home in them…

Leather color-blocked divided tote, knitting bag friendly - designed by sewfearless.com

That’s how much I love my beautiful big sister, who put up with my annoying “you are so bossy” complaints in my younger years, and now talks me into knitting projects so we have excuses to message and call each other as adults.

Leather color-blocked divided tote, knitting bag friendly - designed by sewfearless.com

Beth has classic style and loves autumn colors, and I tried my best to choose colors that reminded me of her, but my O.M.G LOUD COLORS!!!! preference burst through on the pocket lining. If she hates it, she can just keep that sucker closed. sorry, sis.

The Bag Design Details

At first glance, this tote looks simple and straightforward. Well, it is simple and straight forward, but it has some fun design tweaks that I am nerding out all over.

Leather color-blocked divided tote, knitting bag friendly - designed by sewfearless.com

First, leather! Is my leather enthusiasm getting to ridiculous on here? It just adds so much class to a project that I keep coming back to it. (I’ll tell you more about where I got my leather in a minute.)

Leather color-blocked divided tote, knitting bag friendly - designed by sewfearless.com

Second, this isn’t a straight up rectangle tote. The top opening is smaller than the base which prevents it from tipping over, and keeps the top “winging out” like  a poorly drafted a-line skirt (if that makes sense).

Leather color-blocked divided tote, knitting bag friendly - designed by sewfearless.com

Thirdly, the leather provides just enough structure to the bag,without getting into all sorts of stabilizers and interlinings. Structured, but not too structured.

Leather color-blocked divided tote, knitting bag friendly - designed by sewfearless.com

Finally, I figured out how to sew in a divider pocket into a flat-bottomed tote.  (happy dance of victory!) I really should write it up sometime, because I can’t be only Bag Making Geek that is interested in this sort of thing.

The Leather

Dark Copper Mountain Leather Hide remnant from leatherhidestore.com

When my package from The Leather Hide Store came, I was more excited than a kid on Christmas. They shipped it safely rolled in a long skinny box, and despite it being a “leather remnant” there.was.so.much.leather (about 20 square feet). I may or may not have danced around my living room wearing this hide as a cape. heh. The hide I chose for project is called “Dark Copper Mountain Saddle” and it is a nice thick leather, but it is not so thick that your home machine can’t sew through it. (See their Leather Buying Guide for more details.)

Dark Copper Mountain Leather Hide remnant from leatherhidestore.com

Leather really has a bad, and undeserved!, reputation for being difficult to work with. If you are intimidated by it, give it a chance to win you over! Use a “leather needle”(I used a size 18 for this 3 oz leather), a roller or a walking foot to help it feed nicely, and no pins. That will do it. I’ve cover these leather sewing tips in more detail here. 

To help you pull the trigger on your leather sewing, The Leather Hide Store is giving away a $50 gift certificate to one of you!

But what should you show with such luxury as genuine leather? Well, I’m glad you asked, because me and some other Super Fabulous Bloggers have been collecting all the amazing leather tutorials and patterns that we can find. Check it out…



Then don’t forget to…

Enter The Giveaway

This giveaway will award one winner a $50 gift certificate to leatherhidestore.com. It is open to residence of US & Canada, 18 years and older, only entry per household. It will run until January 27, 2014th at 11:59 PM EST, winner will be chosen and contacted within 48 hours and they will have 48 hours to accept the prize. (Detailed terms and conditions found in the link on the Rafflecopter widget.)  Enter using the widget below. a Rafflecopter giveaway

Leather color-blocked divided tote, knitting bag friendly - designed by sewfearless.com

Good luck!

Again, thank you to the Leather Hide Store for sending me this leather to work with and for sponsoring this giveaway.

The “Manly Poppins” – a DIY Camera Bag

Waxed Canvas and Leather "Manly Poppins" Camera Bag - using the SewFearless.com Mommy Poppins Bag pattern

Do you sew for your man? I must admit that I don’t very often. We planned this project so long ago, that I can’t remember if he asked for a camera bag, or if I offered to make one. But at some point I did promised and then it took an embarrassingly long time to follow through. (Sorry, honey!)

Waxed Canvas and Leather "Manly Poppins" Camera Bag - using the SewFearless.com Mommy Poppins Bag pattern

The goal was to start with my Mommy Poppins Bag pattern (available here!), but “man it up” and outfit it for a camera bag.

Waxed Canvas and Leather "Manly Poppins" Camera Bag - using the SewFearless.com Mommy Poppins Bag pattern

This “Manly Poppins” bag is made of waxed canvas (my DIY waxed canvas experience is detailed here) with genuine sheepskin leather accents. The interior is lined with foam padding with foam inserts for customizing the camera gear arrangement. [Read more...]

Experiments in Waxing Canvas

Waxed Canvas Bag with Leather Straps - SewFearless.com
This is certainly making new records for the Longest Running Bag Project Ever. It’s just another Mommy Poppins Bag, but “man-ified”, with a canvas exterior and me-made leather straps.

The thing was… the canvas was just. so. pristine.

Canvas and Leather Bag (before Waxing) SewFearless.com [Read more...]

Matching Bag Set

Mommy Poppins Bag and Wallet, designed by SewFearless.com

I think I finally figured out why I love making bags so much. Bags have the pleasurable challenge of 3D design without the body image crap that always comes up when I sew clothes. Planning and executing is a sure stress reducer for me and pre-Sewing Summit jitters resulted in these two Sacks o’ Happy – another Mommy Poppins Bag and a clutch wallet of my own creation. Well…. I didn’t finish the wallet in time to bring it with me, but I had it 90% done before I left and finished it up soon after I got back. [Read more...]

Off to Sewing Summit!

Sewing Summit Secret Swap - clutch

If all goes well, this Thursday morning I will be boarding a plane headed to Salt Lake City, leaving behind 4 children and a husband who has always been way more supportive of this sewing/blogging/business thing than is reasonable.  These next couple days are going to be crazy busy as I arrange rides and baby care, pack bags, do laundry, finish up a couple last minute sewing proejcts, shop and plan for food, and say many prayers that my husband still passes this semester even though his wife is abandoning ship at a crucial moment (sorry, honey!).

Sewing Summit Secret Swap - clutch

I am attending Sewing Summit, a sewing and blogging conference that I have been dying to attend for the last two years. [Read more...]