I really like these bags. I often call them my double flap bags. They are built of 100% leather - no hardware, no lining, no zipper, etc. - not even any thread is used. Truly hand made - no electrictricity is used to build them. I don't trace my patterns - I just mark where each hole is with an awl. I then punch the holes with a drive punch and a rawhide mallet on a 1/2" thick slab of some Teflon-like stuff. I then use a 12" shears to fine cut around the holes. After cutting my laces (with a series of 12 razor blades spaced 1/4" apart) I cut a lace to a point and screw it into a brass needle that has threads in one hollow end of it.
materials - 100% leather
basic tools used to build - 12" shears (scissors), awl, drive punch, rawhide mallet, Teflon board, lacing needle, lace cutter, and a tape measure to determine the length of the strap.
I must add that the woman who ordered this bag was very pleased with it. Here is her email to me after receiving it. Check out her entries to my web site guest book.
Hi Dave - My beautiful bag just arrived and I can't begin to tell you how thrilled I am with it. It's perfect in every single way, and I can't believe how incredibly soft the leather is. I just added a comment to your guestbook, and am really speechless now! It's by far the most beautiful bag I've ever owned, with my Sennit bag running a close second. I just don't know what else to say...
Many, many thanks for the beautiful job you did! I am so spoiled now.
Below is a thumbnail of the 'Sennit bag' that Joanne refered to above. It is linked to a page with pictures of several similar styles and sizes of the bottom pleated bags with zippers.
These pictures are of this bag made using a brown (Rust) leather. I have several nice brown tones to offer for these bags that can all be seen on my swatch card page.
These two thumbnails are of the bag above.
Check out these links to other braided leather things that I make and read my guest book to see what others have said about the leathers they have purchased from me.
After using her bags for a while she emailed me and added:
Hi Dave - I had to laugh to myself this weekend... my girlfriend and I were shopping at Macy's and I was waiting for her to make a purchase and wandering through the purse department. What freedom there is in knowing I finally have the most perfect handbags on the face of the earth! I've had dozens and dozens of handbags, all different brands, and yours are the only ones I'll ever carry from here on out. I must admit I felt pretty SMUG walking through that department! :-) j
The small purse on the left in this picture is a smaller version yet of this double flap style. This one has no gusset or pleats to form the third dimension. I usually make it large enough to hold a check book. The small single flap bag on the right will hold a check book horizontally. All the braided leather straps can be made to any length.
All six of the pictures below are of the same bag - the flap is just flipped over the opposite way. Excluding the strap, this bag is made with just two colors of leather - Mahogany and Rust. To me, it looks like more colors than that because of the different grain and suede sides showing. Like the bag at the top of the page - it is about 13" wide, 10" high, and 5" across the bottom.
The strap of this bag was made with 8 laces - five different colors.
Here are the names of those colors from darkest to lightest.