Twenty-two curious knowledge seekers gathered together Sunday at the Carriage House at Crabtree Gardens to test their skills on learning a new craft- stitching their own leather handbags. This was the first workshop that we organized with the hopes of educating others as to what actually goes into the construction of a finely crafted hand-stitched leather bag.
A two-panel bag with raw edges was chosen for its simplicity. We named it the “sling”. The leather parts were pre-cut and stitching holes were pre-punched so that the main task at hand would be learning the saddle stitch. To simplify the construction, hardware was pre-set into the leather tabs making it easier for our stitchers to handle. The bags were laid out and upon sign-in, Kristy discussed the thread color options (black, brown or white) and each one chose a bag to work on.
Kristy explained the saddle-stitch technique and gave a demonstration then both she and Dave canvased the room to assist. Our stitchers were very determined and each one finished their handbag within the time-frame that was scheduled.
Kristy originally designed the prototype bag to have optional hand-drawn, henna-like artwork that she effortlessly applies free-hand. She created some drawings then Dave painstakingly cut them into custom stencils so they could be traced at the workshop.
As they prepared the parts, Kristy and Dave came up with an ingenious idea to cut a leather hang-tag so the attendees could practice their art skills to get the feel for the leather and if they felt comfortable enough, they could then apply the drawing to their handbags. It worked just like they planned! Almost everyone drew on the tags and then some had confidence to apply the artwork to their handbags. They seemed to like the unexpected hang-tag too!
When the stitching was complete, Dave applied permanent rivets attaching the shoulder strap to the rings stitched into the bag. Each person had their handbag sized to their chosen length. It was a great custom touch!
At the end of the workshop as each guest was leaving I asked it they would be willing to display their bag. Here are the 22 one-of-a-kind handmade works of art! We were blown away with everyone’s enthusiasm and creativity.
We had five mother’s and daughters here and didn’t even realize it! Here’s the fifth mother and daughter, Laura (above) and Elizabeth, and the last to leave the Carriage House with their works of art!
After a fantastic job of instructing the stitchers and sharing her tips with everyone, Kristy headed over to the workshop to help with additional handbag accessories like our new leather flowers.
Some attendees chose to purchase colorful flowers adding additional spring pizzazz to their bags.
The Summer Clutchlet is our next handbag workshop planned for Sunday, May 22, 2016 from 1-3:30 PM. For additional information visit our event page on kristybag.com.
Note: We would like to thank Sassy Sweets from Conyngham, PA for creating a special take-home treat for our workshop. Molly created Rice Kristy treats dipped in chocolate and finished with sea salt for each attendee. They were the perfect finish to a wonderful day of stitching! I neglected to get a photo of the tray of sweets. I promise I won’t forget at the Summer Clutchlet Workshop.