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GJM

My first bag

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Hi all,

I'm not sure if I am in the right place as this is the first thing I have ever posted. I have always fancied trying my hand at leather work, but didn’t have the courage to give it a go, so I spent a long time admiring others work online. 

About eighteen months ago I was not too well and told that I would not be able to do anything for at least six weeks. I thought this would be a good time to give it a go. I bought some leather, a bunch of tools and a host of books. l've no idea what leather I bought, and the tools were a random collection of things I had read about that would get me started. I read the books, cut up the leather into pieces too small to make anything, so I stitched lines that didn’t lead anywhere and edged every piece of leather, no matter how small. I ended up with a whole bunch off cuts with cool burnished edges, but nothing to show for my long nights on the dining room table.

More leather, still didn’t know what I bought, but it was quite thin. I made a tote bag. It was ok, bits of it were quite good and other bits not so. But the bottom line is I made something that did what it was supposed to. Totally excited, I made a few other small pieces, a couple of journal covers, an iPad case and a wrap over purse. All of these items followed the same pattern, some bits were quite nice, other parts not so. I didn’t take any photos as I didn’t think they warranted it. But I did give them away, and the people I gave them to really liked them, so hey. I think if I had taken a bit more time and not been so impatient to see what each step looked like, I may have produced a better Finnish.

I'm starting to think this post is too long, my apologies. Anyway, I bought some more leather with a view to make myself an overnight bag. Same as all the others projects some bits are good, some a bit flakey. Overall I am really pleased with the result considering I did it from scratch with no real understanding of what I was doing. Just a vision of what I wanted. It looks quite good as long as you don’t get too close.

Anyway here it is, thanks for looking and reading. I would be most grateful of any comments that may help with improving my finishing.

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You seem to be going about it the right way, and enjoying what you are doing.. :)

Only thing I'd say is ..when you take your photos, have the light behind you, or be outside, very hard to see your work against the light.

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Thanks for the tip. I was a bit embarrassed about posting a photo in the first place. But I suppose if you are putting it out there it makes sense to show it in a good light. Thanks much appreciated.

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:) ..When taking photos of items outside , an overcast day ( but not actually raining ) is better than a sunny day..gives a "light box" effect, well lit, no harsh shadows..Not too "busy" a background..leather and logs or leather and the sawn face ( top ) of tree stumps looks good.

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Thanks again, I’ll give it a go next time. Cheers.

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Looks good to me, I would use it quite happily 

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That’s an ambitious project, @GJM! Looks like you pulled it off quite nicely. What’s the leather?

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Thanks both for your comments. Sad to say I don’t know what leather I used. To be honest I find whole thing about choosing the type and thickness of leather a bit daunting and somewhat challenging. The leather came from a company called Pittards, who have an outlet store in Yeovil UK. I called in and picked it from quite a large selection.

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Your bag look good to me.

Have you checked around to see if there is a leatherwork guild or association near you, where you can get some hands-on advice? Also ask the store where you buy tools and supplies from, about what they have, what it is good for etc.

Other than those possibilities, maybe there are members here who are 'not 1000 miles away from you who would share some insight'.

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Thanks for both your comments and suggestion. I’ve held back until I gained a basic understanding. But now that I got something that looks half decent, I might try and seek out some like minded people. Thanks again.

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