CMGalvin

Purse (Bag) Back Pattern Pieces

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I wasn't finding a topic on it already. But I had a question around bag and purse design that I was curious on. This centers on bags in particular that have a fold over flap, and not ones that zip or close at the top. 

Is there a reason why you would make the back and flap two separate pieces? The designs I've made myself have all kept the back and flap as one single piece. But I see many that are two. Is this just to accommodate using smaller cuts of leather?

 

Thanks,

Charlie

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Yep. Smaller pieces.

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There are a number of reasons why you might want to have the flap as a separate piece.  First, as mentioned, it lets you use smaller pieces and possibly make better use of leather.  You sometimes want the flap to be a different color from the body, or decorated differently.  Often, you want the body of the bag to be thicker, stiffer leather and the flap thinner and "floppier" so that it folds over more easily.

Bill

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I've seen that too. I thought I read somewhere that it helps the flap hinge and close better. But I think it's more of an asthetic thing like billybopp mentioned. Maybe making decorative use of the seam where flap meets bag is a design choice people think about? It makes sense too to use up smaller pieces of hide to make the flap. 

I've seen similar things done with the bottoms of bags. You may not have a big enough piece for the front back and bottom to be one piece, so you cut all 3 out and stitch them together. I like both designs, but for some reason I like well executed stitching better haha. Just my fancy I reckon. Curious to see what the experts say on this.

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There can be quite a few reasons for having the flap as a separate piece. If the bag is fairly large skin cutting use can come into it. Many manufactures use clicker presses and getting a large cut can be difficult to cut through well. Often the front of the bag and the back can use the same size knife and the lid flap can then be this shape or that shape thereby getting for a lesser knife cost different bag designs.Also when a bag is lined it can be easier to apply the linings separately as the flap lining needs to be a bit shorter in length in order to not wrinkle up. Some bags make use of putting a pocket in the back and therefore needs to be separate.The bags I've made in the picture below all have back pockets on the outside.

handbags1.jpg

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11 hours ago, Stetson912 said:

Maybe making decorative use of the seam where flap meets bag is a design choice people think about?

That's the funny thing, I see the separate pieces and most of them are stitched straight across. To me that just screams opportunity to add a unique design element. I'm a sucker for details only seen by the owner. 

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Creativity is the only limiting factor in all this after all right? Nothing dictates you absolutely have to stitch straight across right? I'm sure there's a way to make it work with funky stitch lines and such. 

I would listen to what @RockyAussie has to say too. He's one of the experts with handbags. All his work is amazing and I'd be lying if I said I weren't jealous of his talents. I can't seem to make a bag to save my life haha. I'll keep at it though

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Thanks for the nice compliment Stetson912. but I have to say that it takes an awful lot of hard work to make it look easy:wub:. Regards (and Respect) Brian.

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@RockyAussie I understand that, I see how much effort goes into your items. that's why i always admire your work so much. I saw the pink leather and crock bag you made and it blew me away.

 I'm going to be making a bag but have no idea what to do. I have to hand stitch everything too. I eventually want to make my own patterns but I bought one to start with. I'm sure it's easier than I'm thinking it is, but I've made the mistake of thinking something's easy only to find out there is a lot more to it than meets the eye (as with the evil wallet nemesis of mine.) Nevertheless, I'm inspired by your work and it gives me a goal to aim for so thank you and I'll keep an eye out for more of your products .

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Thanks for the pics Brian!   Those bags look totally awesome.  It took a few moments for me to realize they are exactly the same pattern but made with different materials to give a very different look.  They are a really great example of how material choice in both leather and hardware can completely change the look of the final product.  Even the two ostrich bags, while clearly birds of a feather, look quite different.

Bill

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@RockyAussie I understand that, I see how much effort goes into your items. that's why i always admire your work so much. I saw the pink leather and crock bag you made and it blew me away.

 I'm going to be making a bag but have no idea what to do. I have to hand stitch everything too. I eventually want to make my own patterns but I bought one to start with. I'm sure it's easier than I'm thinking it is, but I've made the mistake of thinking something's easy only to find out there is a lot more to it than meets the eye (as with the evil wallet nemesis of mine.) Nevertheless, I'm inspired by your work and it gives me a goal to aim for so thank you and I'll keep an eye out for more of your products .

Thanks again. I hope to see your new bag as it develops. What sort of design are you wanting to do may I ask?

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Thanks for the pics Brian!   Those bags look totally awesome.  It took a few moments for me to realize they are exactly the same pattern but made with different materials to give a very different look.  They are a really great example of how material choice in both leather and hardware can completely change the look of the final product.  Even the two ostrich bags, while clearly birds of a feather, look quite different.

Bill

Thanks Bill, Here is a pic of a tote bag array that are all basically the same pattern but as you say make a wide variety of looks using different mediums and such.I hope as I get a bit more used to (confident) in this video making stuff to show a bit on how they are made etc.

DSC07576_resize.JPG

Azure & orange with lemon-001IFB.jpg

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In commercial bags, it can give the manufacturer the ability to use cheaper grades of leather and potentially lower costs by using lower grades of leather.  By using smaller pieces, you can work around the imperfections easier (You'll see this with gussets too).

On the other hand, separating the flap allows you to reuse the same pattern and simply swap out different flap styles for different products. I have several "purse" patterns that transfer into black powder "possibles" bags by changing the curves on the flap, the stitching style and leather used. Everything else in the pattern is identical. (Shh, don't tell anyone)  The two pictures below are rustic pieces that share the same pattern.  The frtinge version sells for three times what the "mountain man" version goes for.  I hate cutting that much fringe. :)

Personally, I try to keep stitching to a minimum when designing a pattern since seams are usually the weakest part of a piece.  

Man Purse.jpg

Leather Laced Purse.jpg

Edited by ScouterSteve

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On ‎6‎/‎20‎/‎2017 at 1:23 AM, ScouterSteve said:

In commercial bags, it can give the manufacturer the ability to use cheaper grades of leather and potentially lower costs by using lower grades of leather.  By using smaller pieces, you can work around the imperfections easier (You'll see this with gussets too).

On the other hand, separating the flap allows you to reuse the same pattern and simply swap out different flap styles for different products. I have several "purse" patterns that transfer into black powder "possibles" bags by changing the curves on the flap, the stitching style and leather used. Everything else in the pattern is identical. (Shh, don't tell anyone)  The two pictures below are rustic pieces that share the same pattern.  The frtinge version sells for three times what the "mountain man" version goes for.  I hate cutting that much fringe. :)

Personally, I try to keep stitching to a minimum when designing a pattern since seams are usually the weakest part of a piece.  

Man Purse.jpg

Leather Laced Purse.jpg

And I thought I thought of it first!:rolleyes2:

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