August 16, 2010

the making of a waterstone handbag


This will be interesting. Not that I'm being prideful - that's not it at all. It's just that everything I do is one-of-a-kind and mainly in my head. I usually don't sketch an idea. I decide what my main fabric or leather will be, then play until an idea is formed. While keeping that in mind, I'm going to walk you through my thought process and work experience. Entering my head can be EXTREMELY scary so we'll take it in baby steps. Capeesh?

Making a Waterstone Handbag - Part 1

I've had this gorgeous leather jacket for a good while now - pondering and thinking and not wanting to make a cut until a general idea had been formed.

waterstone recycled leather handbags and accessories by lori plyler

waterstone recycled leather handbags and accessories by lori plyler
The deconstruction begins. The process is slow, usually involving a seam ripper and small pair of sharp scissors and hours of mindless ripping.

I heart mindless ripping.

waterstone recycled leather handbags and accessories by lori plyler
This is the reverse side once the jacket has been deconstructed and the lining pulled away.

waterstone recycled leather handbags and accessories by lori plyler
My pile of fun stuff. If not used immediately, each piece, from the lining to the zippers, is saved for another project.

waterstone recycled leather handbags and accessories by lori plyler
By this point, I've played with the larger pieces and formed a rough plan of action, mainly involving the size and main shape of the bag. I will either just measure and draw directly onto the reverse side of the leather or use one of my homemade patterns.

waterstone recycled leather handbags and accessories by lori plyler
My exterior recycled leather, lining, and inner lining have all been cut now and I've decided on any accent fabrics I'll be using as well as the recycled zipper and handle.

Next Tuesday, I'll cover the next step:

Part 2 - What I like to call, "The Birth of a Handbag"
Work with me. You'll get the punchline in the end - I promise.


13 comments:

  1. I'm in love with that strap/handle and already wondering what the finished bag will look like once born!

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  2. LOL ! I hate when I push the button too soon ! I thought of you this weekend - Have you seen the latest *Ballard Designs* catalog ??? It's got French Script all through it ! From lamps to headboards !!!

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  3. Very interesting... I'm looking forward to finding out what this becomes!

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  4. This is really interesting! Thanks for sharing your process, I look forward to tomorrow!

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  5. I love learning about the process others go through when creating. I have experience sewing but I would not know where to begin when working with leather.

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  6. I can see "mindless ripping" as being quite cathartic!

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  7. I was wondering what kind of machine and needle you use?

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  8. Thanks for sharing the process! I don't sew (mom still has the finger guard on the sewing machine for me), so this was interesting. The "mindless ripping" sounds like you are in a zen moment. It is sort of like when we are sawing, we go to another place and it is nice and tranquil. I hope it is the same for you!
    I can't wait to see the second portion and what the jacket metamorphosis's into.

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  9. Hi Debi,

    I'm using my 20 year old Singer. It was one of the better ones and is heavy, but I'm wondering how long it will continue to hold up. Already looking toward a more industrial machine. I just use leather needles.

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  10. I have been wanting to turn a leather skirt I picked up at Goodwill into a wallet and a cute handbag...this is just the thing I need, to see how it is done!!! What is the number on your leather needle? I have looked at Hobby Lobby and they only go to an 18, but I don't think this is stong enough to sew through leather. Thanks for sharing this wonderful process!!!

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  11. Hi Amy,

    I can't exactly remember the numbers but I believe they're on the low side, like 11, 14, and 16 with 11 being more for heavy fabrics. When I buy my needles I look not for universal but for heavy duty. Hope this helps. Let me know how the project comes along.

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  12. SO fun to see your process Lori! Can't wait until the next step!

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  13. Hi, I'm popping over from Hope Studios and this looks so cool. I can't wait to see the final product! I will definitely be back!

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I love reading each one of your comments. Thanks for your visit and have a wonderful day.

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