Man Bag

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!)

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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

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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

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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.

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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.

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I have to attach all the elements onto the bag first before I can sew up the sides–the strap hooks, handles, pockets, etc.

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Then comes the challenge of sewing up the sides, including the rounded edge

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I must have sewn for nearly ten hours while binge-watching movies and TV series. Sore fingers afterwards.

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But seeing the result, I knew it was worth it.

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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.

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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.

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All the flap edges bear decorative stitches in the same alternating black-and-brown style

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And of course, the ever-important bag feet to protect the leather

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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?

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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.

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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…

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