Wallet and bag for Laura

I wanted to make Laura a new bag and wallet for a birthday gift because it's so hard to find beautiful bags and wallets that aren't plastic or super-pricy. My leather supply is running low and I had just enough leather left to make a wallet, but not enough to make a whole bag. I had been pinning bags that are a nice mix of textiles and leather, so drawing from that inspiration, I came up with this- 

I was going for a roomy hobo-style bag that she can use this Fall. The single shoulder strap is generously wide and is hand-stitched to the sides. It's lined with a creamy linen and I even added inside pockets with minimal sewing swearing.

The body of the bag is canvas I dyed (also with Rit- we didn't know that we were both using it at the same time for our respective gifts!) with a mixture of Denim Blue and Black. Then I waxed the canvas with beeswax. I think it's a pretty nice finish and I'm hoping it will wear well. The whole waxed-canvas thing is new to me and I am looking forward to making more waxed canvas projects soon. 

OK, back to the bag. There's a roomy leather pocket on the back that echoes the shape of the bag-

And I'm happy with the all-leather closure detail. 

I'm pretty pleased with the bag and had fun drafting the pattern for it. And it was a pleasant surprise to sew something that actually turned out. 

Next up- the wallet. Laura uses a large organizer-type wallet with cash envelopes inside. She made her previous fabric wallet and it was getting worn out. So I made this one for her.

This was my first time doing hand-stitching and it's not perfect. You have to mark each little hole and then hand-punch it before you even get to stitching. I tried saddle stitching for the first time, which uses two needles and looks the same on both sides. It's a slow process and my work has much room for improvement, but I'm happy with it overall. The leather I used was actually a bit too thick for this size project, so the whole thing is a bit on the heavy side. But it will soften and gain lovely texture over time, and I figure it will wear really well. It's got room for her checkbook, envelopes and cards- 

And the pretty closure style is directly inspired by a bag closure that I also pinned to my leather & shoes Pinterest board. I like how there's no hardware on this wallet- it's just leather and linen thread.

I am looking forward to making more bags and wallets soon, it's satisfying to make something beautiful that gets daily use. Working with leather has been such a fun new thing to explore, but I've wasted a good bit of this expensive material and had to toss a few mess-ups, so I'm happy to have a few finished projects to show for it. I've got a small leather camera case in the works, I'll post about that soon.