One of the great benefits of the shoe making course is that I was able to pick up lots of discarded leather pieces. In the photograph below I include my feet, for scale.
I think the dark brown is probably sufficient to make a skirt, if it is pieced. Or maybe a pair of shoes! I love dark brown leather. The bright pink, and the green are pigskin, used for lining. Some are patent, some are suede. We have metallics, some stretch, and a piece of leopardskin printed leather. Upper right you can see small sample books – I always say yes to a sample book although these pieces are very small. I thought if I ever make jeans again these would be nice on the back waist band. My friend Linde suggested you could make a colourful binding by stitching them all together which is also a great idea.
I took this selection in case I get around to making a few little presents for the forthcoming season. I am not doing Secret Santa this year – it is just too much pressure – but I am want to make small, handmade gifts for everyone. You know the time pressures I am under currently so I need something nice, personal, thoughtful, colourful. And quick.
Last Christmas I was impressed with the padded patchwork purses that Jenny the Lilac cat made. I actually bought the supplies but never got round to it – maybe I will manage one or two this year.
I started thinking about what I might like for myself (useful and beautiful)
- somewhere to safely store my earphones
- a little purse for a couple of cards, a fiver and a housekey, when I need a minimalist approach
- maybe a traditional looking wallet but in interesting colours
- coasters to protect the surfaces of Nick’s wonderful furniture
- fabric bags with leather straps (Jenny again)
This weekend I have started to play around with ideas of how to create small leather items.
Thinking of closures I bought an useful piece of inexpensive equipment with hundreds of colourful poppers. These apparently work on leather and will allow me to introduce more colour. I also have quite a large selection of short colourful zips that I won last spring from William Gee. As a garment maker I could not see the point. Now I can – they may be good for small bags or purses. They also gave me some strong khaki thread that will work well on leather.
Total cost of the popper set, including next day delivery, was about £13. So if I can do everyone’s Christmas gifts for around a tenner, I will be pleased.
I am going to start with the three sample books.
These are precut leather with a hole that are asking to be made into small purses. I want to add textiles to the leather and I will use two other fabric sample books I have had for ages. One is my Linton tweed plain crepe wools in strong colours. The other is digital printing on different types of fabric that was sent to me by a company that has now gone out of business, Fabpad. So I thought I might combine the leather with the wool lining and use the digital printing for an internal pocket.
Bottom right shows my prototypes. I realise I need rubber glue – after six weeks of inhaling it every Sunday (bootmaking) you would have thought I would have procured some already . Some of the fabrics will need interfacing. Even using a leather needle and the strong thread my machine doesn’t really like doing this.
Any tips at all for someone who has never made non-clothes items?
The problem of writing these posts before Christmas is that everyone now knows what he or she is getting.