A couple of weeks ago I attended a Saturday workshop to make a leather handbag run by Gosia Weber, a local designer maker here in Birmingham. The class was held at Bilston Craft Gallery, which runs a really good selection of courses which are also cheap! I booked the class back in December as a Christmas present to myself:) I’d seen the course advertised previously but been unable to make the date so was adamant that I was going to make it this time around. As it happened I had to travel to Istanbul for work the week of the course – but arrived back on Friday in time to attend, if rather tired and keen to spend some time at home.
Making a leather handbag was actually easier than I though and was mainly made up on a sewing machine – with some hammering of metal fastenings also involved! Gosia made it easy by providing a pattern for the three main pieces involved – the back (which also formed the flap), front and bottom/side piece. These were all cut from small leather off-cuts.
In order to personalise the bags we each cut out a small motif and sewed this (by machine) onto the bag before the bag was assembled. I used the hand wheel rather than the pedal to keep sufficient control while attaching the motif. My choice of a moon and star motif was influenced by the color scheme of my bag. Plenty of tea was provided to keep us going.
The picture below shows all of the bags produced in the workshop. You can see we all went for different colours, designs, and even placement of the clasp!