Slouchy Hobo

This was the last bag project I did but prototyping for it actually started several months before, inspired by another one of my favourite bags from The Row. I had intended on making this a lot sooner, but I couldn’t get the shape and drape (rhyme not intended) the way I wanted, so I put the project aside for later revisiting.

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Above, one of the earlier failed prototypes. See how it has the right round shape but the bag is flat and has no dimension.

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Fast forward six or so months later, and I was faced with the impending end of school (more importantly, the end of machinery usage haha), so I decided to take the project out of hibernation in order to try tackling it again. Lo and behold, a small scale leather sample seemed promising, and after some reverse engineering to get the pattern and measurements, I was able to figure out how to scale it up. Probably the first time since high school that I’ve actually made use of algebra. Still waiting for those hours of trigonometry and calculus to pay off.

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Once I was able to scale it up, I prepared my leather and other components

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Test clipping (hello again binder clips) stage

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I was glad to see that the slouchy pleat thing I wanted seemed to be happening (as opposed to a flat round bag like my brown prototype)

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To add another interesting element, I decided to create this twisted leather strap, which would act as the connector between the two ends of the bag, as well as the part that would sit on the shoulder when the bag is in use

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Partly because I was too impatient to wait for a machine but also because I thought it would be a nice little detail, I sewed the zipper and zipper pullers by hand with contrast green thread

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I closed the base via machine but sewed the top handle also by hand (since it was too thick for the machine). Not perfect but I’m really happy with how the shape and pleats turned out.

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Because I used a thick pebbled calf leather, the bag, even without lining, is quite heavy, but I think the thickness helps in creating that rich voluminous effect in the way the leather drapes. I probably still have a few more adjustments to make before this hobo becomes market-ready, but it’s definitely getting there.

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