I was looking for advice/critique of my first tote bag. I got some leather from a retired cobbler. The leather is quite soft but it was the right color so I though I'd experiment with it anyway. I based the design on a bag my gf wanted.
It was so fun to make and I learned so much in the process. I hand stitched everything and those long stitch lines on the sides took over an hour each. I found it very uncomfortable hand stitching the sides since there is no convenient way to hold the bag in place. I ended up placing 2 desk lamps inside the bag to help hold it in place.
I really like the idea of using a single piece of leather for the body of the bag and the idea of folding the bottom portion around the side to add structure so the bag can stand up. The leather is quite soft and almost immediately the bag kinda flops over. I think i'll make the next one with stiffer leather.
I also wanted to open up a discussion about tote bag straps. I spend a lot of time thinking of the best/most efficient/elegant way to do the straps. Since the leather is soft and a bit stretchy I thought I'd glue 2 pieces together and have a single stitch line running the length of the strap. But glueing, stitching and cutting such a strap was tough to get perfect.