This wasn't the bag I had planned for the Wardrobe, but it's the one that got made. I had intended to use the snakeskin print leather I got during PR Weekend 2007, but the leather was a little heavier than my sewing machine felt like working with, so I put the bag aside until I can pick up a heavier leather needle.
Instead, I used Amy Butler's Frenchy bag (appropriate for a Parisian vacation), and made the larger size. I've made several of the small bag but for some reason the larger one never got me. Silly me. The larger size is perfect for a vacation bag that doesn't look like a vacation bag.
I changed some of the interior pockets to suit my purposes - added a zip pocket on one side and reinforced the double pocket on the other side and added a strip of leather piping at the top for both style and structure.
Because the lambskin I used was soft and flexible (great for a jacket, not so great for a bag), I reinforced the lining with Craft Bond fusible interfacing. I didn't want to use too much heat on the leather, so I stiffened the lining instead, and did it after I had added all the pockets, just to put my machine (and me) through less strain. This was the perfect weight for what I wanted, and I made sure that the bag was only minimally larger than the lining so that the lining would in turn keep hold the shape of the bag.
There wasn't enough leather left from the jacket project to actually make the bag, but I wanted a black leather bag and I hated having a bag of leather scraps hanging around that were too small too use, so I pieced it. All of it. Even the straps. I think I managed to escape the 1970s "patchwork" look with my piecing. I used one of my machine's embroidery stitches to applique the pieces together.
For the lining, I came up with a 3/4 yard piece of black and white cotton printed with the Eiffel Tower. I got this at Paron's in NYC last summer - it was the end of the bolt and they threw it in the bag with the rest of my purchases when they saw how much I wanted it. I had no idea what I was going to use it for until yesterday afternoon.
I can't believe this is the last piece of the wardrobe. When I signed up for this contest, it seemed like this endless task stretching out ahead of me, and I've managed to finish it all (with the extra pieces) with two weeks to spare. It will take me that long to get decent pictures taken, I'm sure.
Now I can start thinking seriously about the spring clothes I want to make when I get back from vacation. I've already cut out a dress which I'll post about later, but for now, I think I'll let the sewing machine cool down for the rest of the night.