I had this rather huge chunk of vegetable-tanned leather left (the same one I used for my Pyro Bag) and thought it would make for a nice men’s work/laptop bag, so I decided to make a man bag for my brother (happy graduation!)
It has to fit a 15″ laptop and general work stuff, so the bag ended up being a pretty big project with a lot of rather muscle-building maneuvering
Pieces ready to be sewn. My brother said he preferred to leave the leather uncolored and natural, so that saved me the long step of coloring and drying haha
Then I couldn’t quite decide if I liked the brown thread or black thread more with it. In the end, I experimented with using alternating black and brown, which I think works pretty well and is a nice little detail that makes the bag a bit more special.
I’m pretty happy at my markedly improved hand-stitching quality hahaha. The back is still not as clean though, so I really have to work on that.
I have to attach all the elements onto the bag first before I can sew up the sides–the strap hooks, handles, pockets, etc.
Then comes the challenge of sewing up the sides, including the rounded edge
I must have sewn for nearly ten hours while binge-watching movies and TV series. Sore fingers afterwards.
But seeing the result, I knew it was worth it.
The completed man bag with buckle closure and detachable, adjustable shoulder straps, 100% cut and sewn by hand. The bag can fit a 15″ laptop (or two, or three), plus documents, books, etc.
I made the top have these double flaps which you can open while holding the bag by the handles or in the crook of your arm. Useful, I think, since I personally hate having to set my bag down when I have to get something from inside, or having to dangle the bag precariously on your knee or by one strap when you have to access your stuff.
All the flap edges bear decorative stitches in the same alternating black-and-brown style
And of course, the ever-important bag feet to protect the leather
I did use a pretty heavy 3mm thick piece of leather though, so the bag is quite heavy even with nothing inside. I suppose it’s a good thing then that it’s a man bag. I’ll just tell my brother it’ll be like lifting some light weights throughout the day?
Inside, I left it unlined due to the weight of the bag as it is. I debated at first whether or not to add lining, but I figured that my brother usually keeps the laptop inside a sleeve anyway, and the unlined interior shouldn’t be a problem for other stuff like papers or books, so it should work out okay.
All in all, not bad for my first go at making a men’s bag, although I might use a lighter leather next time so I can add the lining without making the bag too heavy. In any case, I think I’ve got some more ideas for man bags up my sleeves…