I'm totally new to leather working. I recently bought a new Macbook and was looking around for a nice leather laptop sleeve. After a lot of browsing, I didn't find anything I liked so I thought I would try making my own. Initially I was thinking "Oh, it's just two pieces of leather sewn together, how hard can it be?" and "If I mess it up, I can turn it into an iPad case.... then an iPhone case" and I figure it'll be a good skill to have to make more nice personalized items in the future.
Well I'm working out the details now before I do anything and I see there is a lot more skill to it than I initially thought and I probably should have done more research before just going out and buying the materials based purely on the look I wanted. In any case I like this new challenge and I have a few questions that I'm hoping you could help me answer.
One of the nicest sleeves I could find is made by Picasolab (picasolab.com). I'd like to emulate some their design but I'm not sure how to achieve some of it.
I like how they incorporated a semi rigid frame. It gives the laptop some protection and makes it easier to slide the laptop in and out of the case. I've seen other flimsier/poorer designs that make it a pain to get the laptop in and out of. They have a few videos showing some of their process and features here: http://picasolab.com...king-your-case/
1. What are some ways of emulating the rigidity? I've read a bunch of threads about hot wax, wet leather forming, interfacing, kydex, fiberglass strapping but it all seems like overkill and I would like to think that there is a more elegant approach.
2. The leather I have isn't as thick (about 1/2 or 1/3) as what they're using and I'm considering adding a middle layer in between my outer and inner material. Although it's probably asking for a different kind of trouble stitching through that, I'm thinking it will be required to be able to give the sleeve some rigidity. The outer material I have is a brown oily pull up and the inner material is a lambskin. What would you suggest for adding a bit more structure to the final product using what I have?
3. I think this is a bit more of a oops and just a fyi for the future but I left the material lying on the floor on top of each other overnight and it looks like the oil from the dark outer material may have transferred to the lambskin leaving some slightly darkened streaks on it both sides (outer and flesh). If I glue/stitch the pieces together, is it going to absorb more oil over time? Is there something I should do about this?
It looks like I'll get to learn a lot about the various skills without getting too complicated in terms of shapes so I'm looking forward to getting going with this. Any help is much appreciated.