It’s been a while since I made this project but it’s one of my proudest makes this year! This is the Bags and Pieces Modern Saddle Bag which comes as a kit with everything you need to make a professional leather bag.
(This kit was provided by Bags And Pieces in exchange for an Instagram post, with no obligation to post on my website.)
I chose the navy blue saddle bag kit with two interchangeable strap options, one is the leather strap shown and the second is a woven fabric strap. There are lots of options to customise including a selection of beautiful coloured leathers, a choice of hardware colours and personalisation options. You can also choose additional tools including a wooden clamp and thimble (which I found essential!).
Instructions are provided and many of the steps are explained in helpful Youtube videos. I had to watch them a few times to understand the techniques but they were fairly easy to get the hang of. Sometimes the instructions ‘clicked’ for me after I started following the instructions for how to put the bag together. The nice thing about the kit is that you don’t need a machine to make the bag. Everything is made using hand stitching. I learned the saddle stitching technique using two needles and found it really satisfying to do. At some stages I did get sore fingers from pushing the needle through the prepunched holes so the thimble really helped with this!
I would suggest allowing a couple of weeks to make the bag in stages. There is quite a lot of hand stitching so it is best to enjoy the process rather than trying to rush. As well as stitching, you also need to learn to glue the relevant parts, and apply several coats of base coat and varnish to the exposed edges to get a neat finish. You need to allow sufficient time to dry between coats. It’s a slow craft and I learned lots of new skills in the process of making the bag.
The hardware is also beautiful quality, it feels heavy and substantial. It was easy to install the rivets and magnetic button closure and rectangular brass detail which add a very professional finish.
In the photo above I have exchanged the original strap with a squiggle strap from LPOL. It’s great to be able to change the strap for a different look! You can also see the woven option in the reel below.