Here is a tidbit about the difference between making a leather bag and a fabric bag. I don’t know if any of you are into making leather bags, but here goes.
Thickness is the enemy of the bag maker! In leather to overcome the thickness of a turned edge leather bag, the leather must be skive no matter what type of machine you have. If raw edge then thickness becomes less of a problem, yet will remain a problem depending on the weight of the leather. The weight will determine if skiving is necessary.
If you don’t skive the bag will have a bulky homemade look. If you look at a high quality bag the edges are thin and have a refined look. This happens even when using heavy fabric to avoid this look and give your bags a better look, consider flatten the seams. The closer the stitch is to the edge will also give you a more professional look.
If skive properly and you have a walking foot attachment, you can make a complete leather bag on a home machine, yes it’s possible I did for the longest time. The purple leather bag below was made on Linda’s little Singer 221K if you google it you can see how tiny it is, she got when she was a teenager. Remember though I have been making and designing bags for 25 years, so don’t try it but it can be done.
When buying a machine and working on leather the machine must be a walking foot, so the leather is fed from the bottom and the top.
When thinking about buying a machine for leather you can kill two birds with one stone by buying a cylinder, with the adjustable table that also allows for the cylinder to work like a flatbed. With this combo you get two machines for the price of one and save thousands of dollars. The cylinder will allow you to close your bag much easier and it allows you to make structured handbags two which are sewn completely different.