Vegetable Tan Leather

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    I purchased the class a couple weeks ago but really got going Sunday. Prior to the class I complete a t-tote bag, hand stitched with veg tan leather (4-5 oz) and it was nearly impossible to turn inside out once sown together. With some muscle and plenty of tug and help I was able to get the bag right side out. I know there has to be an easier way to construct a veg tan leather tote bag. I have seen the seams sewn up the sides, but I am not a huge fan of the thread work showing. I have seen others turn their work inside out and the final product is far from perfect as it suffers from wrinkles and dents. Most veg tan designs I have seen have a outward gusset with the seams showing but burnished edges. It doesn’t look bad, just need to know if I need to change my design focus. The first assignment is a t-bottom tote that I will try to construct another way, but thought I would ask you option first.

    I have completed the patterns (master and lining) will points be deducted if I do not add a lining to the bag as I do not plan to work with it until I complete duffel bags. But as I have learned, the linings are glued to the veg tan leather so there would be no need fore a lining pattern…please correct me if I am wrong.

    Also, there is an error with the video and the written instructions. the video call for a 2 inch gusset and the written a 2 1/2 gusset, might throw a couple people off if they are following both sets of instructions.

    Thank you in advance for your time


    Hi Candice,

    In handbag making your biggest enemy is thickness! When using veggie tan leather you absolutely must skive the leather if you are turning the bag, especially if it’s 4-5 oz.

    If you are going to use veggie tan go down 2-3 oz leather and even then you will still need to skive the leather to get a good clean professional look. You always need a lining pattern, you can work from the outside pattern but your lining no matter how you do it will need to be smaller, not by much but it has to be smaller, you don’t want the lining showing when you stitch a raw edge bag.

    Thanks for pointing out the error, I will correct that but remember I want you to create your own dimensions for every part of the bag. If the T is 2″ it creates a 4″ gusset if it’s 21/2″ it creates a 5″ gusset.

    Here is another tip! When choosing your leather don’t go 4-5 oz to get the structured or support you want from the bag. In most cases designers are looking to hold the silhouette and shape with those thicknesses. In fine bag making we build the leather up to achieve the look, Bontex, Pellon and other backing materials and remember reduce thickness.

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