Left without a (right) leg to stand on

Remember those stylin’ leather pants? Well, that left leg is still hobbling around, waiting to become useful. The right leg, however, now THAT’S a different story entirely. It has gone the way of all good jeans…it’s now living a full life as a purse. Someday, Lord willing, I’ll happen upon the *perfect purse* – very unlike the *perfect storm,* by the way. Just thought I’d make that clear.

I’ve been carrying it (like I do every purse I make), to see what I’d change if I ever make one again ( and you know I will – I still have another leg!). Only two things I don’t like about it: (1) I think I made the flap too stiff and short, and (2) it scrunches up on one side (no doubt that has something to do with being overfilled). I know what I’ll do  – I’ll take some stuff out of it and try it that way. What a concept…carry less stuff! I can do that. I think. Anyway, I do think I’d change the measurements a bit if I remade this – make the flap longer and not use the stiff interfacing in the flap part, and make the handle loops shorter. I think I’d use a zipper closure too, instead of a snap.

Just in case you’d like to try making one of these from a leather pants leg (I just know you have one of those lying around), here’s how I did it, complete with boo-boos.

I started by trying to figure out the best use of the entire leg and not have much left over. I’d already used part of it on the other purse, so this piece measured about 24 1/2 inches long, about 15 inches wide at the top and 13 inches wide at the bottom. I figured that if I used the entire length, then I could make the width of the purse half its length, so I measured it out at 12 inches wide by 24 1/2 long. That left enough to cut out the two side pieces and the two small pieces for handles.

I drew out a pattern for the side pieces on a piece of paper, measuring 9 inches long and tapering from three inches at the bottom to two inches at the top. I rounded the bottom corners, using a spool of thread as my guide. That nine-inch height made the purse just about the right size for me…well…almost the right size. I find, after carrying it, that I may *not* be exactly a size 4 purse. I might be closer to a size 6, but that’s a story for another day.

I didn’t have enough left of the right leg to make a shoulder-bag handle, but I did have a handle from another project that went south. It works for now, until I figure out whether to scavenge from the left leg for a handle, or just bite the bullet and buy some stuff at Jo-Ann’s Fabrics and be done with it. Decisions, decisions.

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7 thoughts on “Left without a (right) leg to stand on

  1. oh my!!!! I LOVE your blog!!! I didn’t know where to post my comment because I really love all the bags you make!!! You’re really a profesional sewer =D Your bags look extraordinary, and you dare trying with leather and jeans :O that seems difficult when you face them (not between them, but to work with them).

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    • Thank you so much! I totally enjoyed going and looking at your stuff too, especially that cute little striped bag. I found the leather to not be as hard to work with as I’d thought, but the suede was a little more of a challenge. It tended to hang onto the presser foot and drag a little bit. I was probably using the wrong presser foot though. But that project (my black Kindle cover) came out really cute. Thanks so much for stopping by!!!

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      • I sewed once faux-leather, and it didn’t run very well under the presser’s foot, but I think that’s because it’s some kind of plastic, nothing to do with real leather. That’s great to upcycle clothes, to give them another life =) Love it!!
        I’ve got a language question, do you make any difference between ‘cuero’ http://ala-liberacionanimal.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/cuero-tosc1.jpg tougher than ‘piel’ (what you used in your bag) I think you call both ‘leather’, but I’m not sure.

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          • Mmm… I don’t think so. I think both cuero and piel are leather, suede is different. Skin means piel, that’s correct, but we also call piel to a softer leather. I’ve asked a Spanish blogger who has lived in the US for some years, but I think she’s gonna tell me there’s no difference. I think it’s like the French ‘légumes’, they have only one word for that, and we differentiate ‘legumbres’ and ‘verduras’.
            Anyway, thank you so much =D

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