Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Aeroplane Bag for Cristina

 
Do you have people in your life you cannot say no to?  Cristina is one of those people in my life.  She began sewing with me when she was in 7th grade.  And now she's graduated from the University of Iowa with a degree in Fine Arts - she's a painter.

She's going to spend the winter in Lake Tahoe before getting herself back into school.  So I offered to make her an Aeroplane Bag, figuring I've done four and could just knock this one out.  Except she gave me a piece of leather her father brought back from Uruguay.  Leather?  Leather!

Okay.  I gave it a go.  And guess what?  It turned out!  I did have to make some modifications with the pattern.  For instance, you can't iron fusible interfacing onto leather, which is how you normally affix the extra-heavy interfacing that gives the bag its shop.  Instead I just sewed it onto the leather.

 
 In hindsight perhaps I should have tackled the leather straps like I do with cotton.  However, I did some practice runs, increased the needle size to 100, and forged ahead. 

Luckily Cristina found a fabulous batik for the top of the bag.  Joining the leather bottom to the top of the bag worked well, and I even managed to sew through the handle parts.   Inserting the zipper was business as usual so that went well.
 Because this project has a boxed bottom I had to get creative with this step to keep from sewing through two thicknesses of leather and two thicknesses of the extra-stiff interfacing.  This part sort of worked but my math was off - no surprise there.  But somehow it all worked. 
The lining of this bag is from a dress project that Cristina did when she was a senior in high school.  And the pockets are from a recent quilt of mine.

The zipper tabs are made from leather, and those look the roughest.  But they work.  And I think with time after the bag is broken in, they will be fine.  And if they are, then maybe we need to visit a shoemaker.




I won't do a leather project again.  But I am most proud of the one mechanical machine I have and what a great job it did sewing through all these thicknesses.   Check out the side of this blog for index entries about Cristina - she's an extraordinary girl! 

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