Black Flap Bag

One of the projects I really wanted to take on was to do a bag inspired by one of my favourite luxury handbag brands, The Row, whose minimalist aesthetic, focus on quality, and discreet branding I really love. I decided to do my own version of their leather flap tote, one of my favourite styles of theirs (among several), but to use a structured leather as well as a different approach in constructing the top handle.

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Getting all the pieces ready

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Clipping them together to check my measurements and alignments

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Sewing by machine

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The bag body

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Sewing up the edge and handle were the biggest challenges, especially with unreliable and moody machines like the ones we had in school

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After wrecking a few bits of leather a few times, I finally decided to sew the handle and bag edge by hand in order not to waste any more leather.

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The hardest bit to do was the top handle, because I needed a structure strong enough to hold the bag given the type of handle I was trying to do. In the end, I wrapped leather around a wooden rod to create that support, and cut holes underneath through which I could slip the handle. Sewing the handle was also challenging (which is why I gave up on the machine since it kept wrecking my leather) because I had to wrap the ends around the wooden rod before I could sew any part of it, which meant that I had to sew it while it was already attached to the bag, making it harder to manoeuvre–if all that makes any sense.

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And ta da, the finished bag. I’m pretty happy with how the handle turned out, even though it’s not as cleanly made as I would have liked. The leather is also a tad too structured to really be used with the “clutch” strap (which is probably why The Row used a soft leather). It works, but not that comfortably in the arm.

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Not too shabby.

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