Thursday, March 14, 2013

Crafts - My Mom's Leather Tote

I'm not really fond of sharing my work here on After the Denim. I try to keep a distinction between, what I make and what I write about here. Of course it's interlinked, but I prefer the distinction most of the time and if you want to see examples of what I make, you can just check ATD's Facebook, Tumblr or Instagram. However every now and then I make something that I'm really proud of or really satisfied with, and  this is the case with this tote that I made for my mom as a Christmas present.

Now this tote is similar to another bag that I featured on the blog previously, however I've become more comfortable with bag construction and this worked out a bit better. The concept is pretty much the same; a simple, rugged and completely handsewn (as in using two needles and absolutely no machines) tote with one big compartment and an inside pocket. This tote was sewn with a braided polyester thread, as I wanted a optic white thread as a contrast to the turquoise leather, that I hand picked for my mom, when I visited the Tärnsjö tannery in Sweden in the summer. My mom has never been afraid of colours and her favourite colour is turquoise, so it was an easy choice. Luckily she liked it, and has been using it daily for some months now.

It was quite a lot of work folding the edges and sewing them, but I think it adds a nice touch. My fingers looked terrible afterwards, this braided thread is hard on the skin and some thousand stitches took its toll on my fingers.

Leather backed double capped rivets

The burnished edges aren't holding up as well, as I would have liked because the handles get bend quite a bit.

This leather has quite a bit of grain character. It's normally used for shoes, but proved to be an excellent material for bags.


  1. Thank you so much, Jim.

    I looking forward to following your crafts as well. Are you on Instagram? I would really like to follow your daily works.


  2. Wow, would you make more to sell?

  3. Hi Cory, I definitely would, but they would become quite expensive, as their very labour intensive. I think it takes about 30-60 hours with all that cutting, hand sewing and finishing.

    I've made a couple of simplified version that doesn't include as much hand sewing. I'll take some pictures of them in some time, when I've seen how they've aged and how they function.

    Thanks for commenting.

    1. Hi Cory, you'll be able to see to new tote bag versions, if you follow the link to my Instagram profile. Basically same construction, but other dimensions, sans so much saddle stitching.

    2. No problem what so ever. Just e-mail me with any enquiries or questions, if you have any.

      Have a great day