leather bottom boxed pouch

my grandpa’s 80th birthday was today, and it’s father’s day, so it was a day for multiple celebrations! i wanted to sew my grandpa a gift, something that he will actually use. he loves to travel (though covid-19 has shut down any of his plans) and he loves the look of leather, so i made him a boxed pouch with a leather bottom. i actually really enjoy this pouch and want to make another for my dad too. i think the leather bottom complements the natural canvas really well, and the lining looks very clean and professional. here’s the details:

after making my first fennel fanny pack, i was dissatisfied with the clunky bias binding on the insides. not only was it time consuming to hand-stitch down, i also didn’t like the look. while searching through the fennel fanny pack hashtag on instagram, i came across some examples of a drop-in lining and thought it was the perfect alternative to bias binding. i became very eager to try this new style. sometimes, when i have an idea in my head of how i can improve on a design, my mind doesn’t stop scheming until i try and execute the idea in real life. this happens with backpack designs, clothing, and here, with the drop-in lining.

my family was driving down to where my grandparents and cousins live that week, so there was a slight time constraint. i had initially considered making another fanny pack for him, but the buckles i needed to complete the fanny pack wouldn’t arrive in time. i felt a travel bag/boxed pouch would be equally useful, and used the fennel fanny pack pattern sans waist belt attachment.

the other small modification i made was eliminating the front zippered pocket and adding a snap instead, mostly because i just really wanted to install a snap.

THE PROCESS

sewing with leather. always kind of a struggle. well, it turns out that my leather needle was already dull, which was the reason it couldn’t sew through thick pieces of leather and caused a whole bunch of problems. once i switched to a normal heavy duty needle, assembling the outer layer went really smoothly. so much so that i’m excited to add more leather bottoms to my bags; i may even get ambitious and try one on a backpack.

the drop in lining was easy to assemble as well, though hand-stitching it to the zipper was another story. for some reason, the fabric on each side of the zipper wasn’t long enough, so the lining didn’t quite fit the bag. this is probably a result of me ironing too large of a seam allowance, but by the time i realized this, it would have been a pain to fix. i went with it though and the bag turned out all right, just in the future, i’d leave myself more fabric to work with. as always, the hand-stitching was a little tedious. luckily, a little netflix really helps pass the time, and i feel like the extra effort is always worth it in the end. it looks SO good!

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