CRAFT: Leather Clutch Tutorial

There are few materials as satisfying to work with as leather. I find this to be especially true of vegetable-tanned leather. I love its clean, sturdy minimalism, the rigidity and smoothness of which reminds me of chipboard and selvedge denim. I also love the way it ages. There’s an honesty and history in its journey from one of untarnished taupe to oily cognac.

Last week I sat down to craft a little leather clutch. I did it the slow way; by hand-clicking the spaces where my stitches would need to live, and hand-sewing the seams. My home sewing machine is not designed to sew on leather, and until the day I really decide to invest, I sort of like this hobby-lobby way of creating something useful. My first experiment is far from perfect, but that’s okay. The mistakes motivate me to make another model –perhaps in a beautiful beige rough-out leather next time.

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. GET inspired. Sketch. Prototype.

  2. CUT your pieces out once a design has been decided upon.

  3. CLICK the spaces where your stitches will need to live. Be careful and deliberate.

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  4. TREAT, STAMP, and otherwise DECORATE panels as desired.

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  5. ATTACH the card-holder and rivet closure to the front pocket.

  6. STITCH the top of the front pocket. DOUBLE-BACK on your stitches for a uniform look, and for increased strength.

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  7. LINE UP your pieces and ATTACH the front flap of your clutch to the back pocket. Double back on your stitches.

  8. LINE UP the back of the pocket to the front, wrong sides together, and STITCH the pieces together, starting at either top corner. Make sure your thread is held taut, doubling back on your stitches the entire time.

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  9. DONE! Put your tablet in there and cart around your new creation.

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