Monday, April 16, 2018

Hot Patterns Niarobi Leather Purse

So you guys know that I've been trying to find a great pattern for a leather purse. I tried Hot Patterns Red Hot Mama Tote here and, while it is large enough, there are some issues that I don't love about it. There's nothing wrong with the pattern if you can figure out the directions. The pattern just doesn't work for me. Namely, the giant pouch in the middle of the bag is too big and sloppy. Yes, that's a thing. By making that purse, I also learned that there is such a thing as too many pockets. I can never find anything in it. I also don't love the handles and where they are. That's an easy thing to change and modify so that's not really a big deal. I went looking through my purse patterns and went back to the Niarobi bag which I've made before. I know that I like it a lot and wore it until the teal suede got all scratched up and the handle got all stretched out. Having more experience, I would have changed some things when I made it the first time. But, this time, I love it. It is THE bag and I added a bunch of well-placed, thought-out pockets for my stuff. I bought this leather remnant at Tandy Leather (which I just discovered and have since been back about 9 times) for, wait for it, $24.99. There is enough left over to make another whole bag!! While I was there, I actually bought three skins. One is a dark brown and one is an embossed leather with a cool pattern on it.

The only modifications I made to the pattern was to make the straps long and add a buckle so it is adjustable and I can wear it as a cross-body bag. That's my preferred way to carry a bag. 

Look! Blue skies!!! I love the neutral color of this bag too. 

Here's what you want to see. The close-ups. 

See the vertical-ish lines on my facing? It's because I stitched in the ditch from the front to make the facing behave. This baby was NOT staying down until I did this. And yes, I used a rubber mallet on the seams. When I make this next time, I will move the pocket placement down 3/4" or so.

I used Antique Gold for the metal hardware except for the magnetic closure. I could only find that in bright silver. 

Here is how it compares to the Red Hot Mama Tote.  They are both pretty large bags. The Niarobi bag is just simpler and looks sleeker. 

And this is my true test of whether the bag will work for me. Can it fit these two things?

A few other details:
  • I used a 100 and 110 leather needle and a Teflon foot. Midway through construction, I felt like my needle was having a harder time going through the leather so I switched to a new needle. 
  • I used a quilting cotton for the inside lining. 
  • The magnetic closure was bought at JoAnn's and the other hardware was bought at Tandy Leather. 
  • I used Eco-Flo EdgeFlex in Neutral for the raw edges of the leather on the straps and the loops that attach to the bag. 

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