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So if you read the post about the last purse I sewed, you’ll know I have A Thing for leather messenger bags. Which is to say I love them and my idea leather messenger bag is the unicorn of purses and does not actual exist in the world (much less for a price I’d be willing to pay).

Being the crafty sort, this of course means I have to make it myself. While my ideal purse is soft, supple red leather lined with a funky cotton print and an adjustable strap, the one I finished making yesterday is closer than I’ve gotten yet:

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I’m pretty pleased with this one. It’s very sturdy and sits up on its down (as opposed to the last one which just sort of… squished). The pink leather is from a swap claim and I got it with a bunch of other fabric samples. The lining is blue canvas, which I got at a thrift store. Which means the total cost for this purse was like… a dollar. Actually, it’s a little more because I broke like, three sewing machine needles in the process (at a couple of points, I had to sew over three or four layers of thick leather and Leah, my sewing machine (pronounced LEE-uh, like the girl’s name) was Not Having Any of That).

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I actually managed to plan ahead in some places, so there are pockets on the sides:

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It’s top stitched mostly all around, including the strap (which, despite the messy stitching on the blue side is actually really awesome), which I think looks really good cause I have a desperate love for top stitching.

There is one place where it is not top stitched though.

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I tried for like an hour and a half to sew the strap into this side. The thread kept breaking and I broke a couple of needles and the layers of fabric were too thick… it was a nightmare. And then I gave up and glued that sucker in there.

I used a really strong fabric glue called Fabri-Tack, which is machine washable (not that I would machine wash a leather bag but still) and will basically glue anything to anything forever. I mostly use it for felt because it doesn’t get absorbed like most glues do with felt, but it’s also amazingly strong. I’ve been yanking on the strap where it’s glued into the bag side and it isn’t budging. I suspect I’ll have to re-glue it eventually, but for now, I’ve thrown all my stuff in the bag and it seems to be holding up pretty well.

So: yay, new bag! I am also still working on the gigantic man socks (up to the heel turn!) and I should have some swap stuff soon. I finished and sent my Whedon package (and the one to me has been sent), plus I signed up for another round of Ongoing Wish Swap and made a claim. So yay! Swap!

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So beading… not my strongest craft. I don’t really have the finesse required. But I made things! I made earrings! I made three pairs of earrings!

For the first pair, I followed a tutorial by Mich L in LA

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I LOVE how these came out but they’re SO fiddly. The chain kept falling off the pin and the jump ring and there were ISSUES OKAY. Also, if you read through the tut, what Mich says about safety pins is true: THEY ARE SERIOUSLY ULTRA-HARDENED KRYPTONITE. It took a super long time to bend the ends of the pins into loops. SO LONG. It was definitely the longest part of the process.

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Still, I think they came out SUPER pretty, and Mich’s tutorial is fantastic. I’ll definitely have to make some more variations on these because they’re both punk and feminine-pretty. So yay!

The next pair of earrings I made were SUPER simple.

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Just a couple of jump rings and some leaf-shaped leather cut outs. They’re dangley and pretty and I like ’em.

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The last pair is like a combination of the above two:

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Simple leather shape on jump rings and some nonsense with a big red craft bead from a garland I bought at a Target after-Christmas sale (I have approximately 2397097837 of these beads) and a smaller bead cause the holes in the read beads are ENORMOUS.

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Of the three pairs, I like these the least but I do like the red-on-black color scheme so I imagine they’ll get a decent amount of wear.

Now I seriously need to make some sort of jewelry display as currently, all of my jewelry is in a jumble on either my dresser or table next to my bed. Should probably fix that so I don’t lose my new ones.