Quite for some month I´ve been designing and redesigning this bucket bag in my head. Last week I finally hand sew the “Gloria” for my sister Gloria after we discussed her requirements. A magazine (about DIN A4) should definitely fit in and I extended the size even a bit to store a 13 inch Macbook inside. A bespoke leatherpatch with one of her favorite slogans “no guts no glory”makes the bag even more unique. The bag is still at my leather workshop but it will get handed over to her tomorrow. The bag was completely sewn by hand and saddle stitched with two needles so it´s really handmade (not “handmade” by operating a sewing machine with the hands). The Leather is probably the most eco friendly certified leather you can buy in Germany/Europe. The tannery is located in the south of Germany and the hides are from cows from the alpine region close by as well. For me it´s an important thing to support the local tanneries and craftsmen as i hope my clients do as well. The size of the bag is approx. 35 x 25 x 15 cm. Inquiries about the bucket bag via my website.
I´m probably one of the first who hand sew a iPhone 6 coverout of leather. I went yesterday with the specs of the new models by Apple to the carpenter next door to get models out of wood. There have to be some little adjustments to be made, but basically the size what I have taken for the leather were ok. The leather is still a bit wet from the shaping over the form but in about an hour or two the leather will be a nice chestnut.
I just finished a improved version of my leather tote bag. First of all the leather is a bit darker and has even more character. Then I extended the length of the straps a bit. The major change went trough the inner pocket. It is now out of the same material as the other bag. I added 2 loops to hold a pen and a bigger Mont Blanc pen or Kaweco (or a mini maglite) and as well a pocket for a small knife.
Thanks to my friends of Passion Franceto equip me with some of the nicest pocket knifes France has to offer. Not only can I offer the Douk Douk or aSujetvarious knifes from Thiers, Laguiole and St-Martin are on stock now.
On the 2nd last image you see a scar on the hide. I did choose to not hide it or cut around it. Leather is a natural material which should be treated with respect and care. The scar adds character to the bag and let us memorize that it was actually from a living creature which has its life and accidents. (since the scar is hardly a fraction of a millimeter deep, rather just on the surface, it won´t seriously harm the strength of the bag).
+++ Update October 2019 +++
More than 5 years later, I made quite a few of this bags. My leatherworkshop became my profession and passion. The bag in it´s style and concept has envolved just a bit since. To get more information an updated images please check my website – Alexander von Bronewski Manufaktur
It was in my mind for a long time to finally hand sew my firsthandbag. The ingredients were simple. First of all the best vegetable tanned leather I could get my hands on, simple design, hand stitched with saddle stitch, best thread, no zippers (they will break at first), and some well thought of practical details. Overall it took me about 10 hours to cut and sew this bag.
A while ago I took test cast of the Indian Head from Feinschmuckout of solid copper and turned it into a button. It now serves the locking for the bag. Interchangable with other buttons and the leather straps can be easily changed as well over the years. This is just a start, I will produce more leather tote bags soon – waiting for more leather hides.
This time a real Glückspfennig belt.For the last one I made, I did not have a real “D-Mark”/ old german currency Pfennig in reach. But now I´m well stocked with pennies, about half a kilo of pennies are here and probably most birth years should be within it. Just ask if you want one made with your year of birth.
be-cause / Feinschmuck leather workshop – Ulmia Ott workbench
For a long time I´ve been watching this vintage Ulmia Ott workbench in Manfreds Garage. When I saw the restoration project of a similar Ulmia workbench @ TopHatter I finally asked him how he liked the idea of “getting rid” of this workbench. Actually he needed more space be-cause of the just bought Feinschmuck Fiat 238. So we roughly cleaned the bench, let it dry for a day and moved it into my home yesterday. This is the workspace where Feinschmucks buckles are hand sewn and turn into a belt from now on.
It was just a matter of time with so many riding family members and that I had to do a Riders Belt – Reiter Gürtel. So that is what i came up with. A mouthpiece / snaffle bit belt best for slim belts of 25mm and a horseshoe belt with 38mm. Both buckles are UK made and massive brass casted. Hand sewn in saddle stitch on veg. tanned leather from a german tannery.
Soxisix Straight Seam Belt – sample provided by Red Owl
By mid of October I discovered a link about the czech leather crafters Soxisix. About a month later Ingo Laufenbergs who offers a lot of high quality handmade belts from various leather crafters contact me and sent me recently a sample of one of their belts.
The first thing is when I got the belt was the very well designed packaging. Then the belt which is massive by its leather thickness. All hand sewn and self cast belt buckles. A lot of nice details e.g. the mermaid on the buckle, the stamps and prints on the leather or the numbering of each belt makes them special. The Straight Seam Belt got some artificial vintage and used effects which is probably one of the only things you can argue about if you want to earn the used effects by yourself on this belt.
The construction and craftsmanship of this belt is top of the class. A really well made belt which got it´s basic design from vintage military belts. In Germany you can buy this belt from Ingo Laufenbergs Website Red Owl.
Ok i lied it´s an American Penny and not a Pfennig but I hope it works just as well as a talisman. I have to do some research in my drawers to find some old Pfennige but as a first draft the belt turned out pretty well. Sharper tools and a bit more space for the penny will give the belt a more professional look. The belt or the idea for the belt was born when I was asked to make a small belt (50cm) for the two year old daughter of friends. But a penny is too big for that little belt so I had to change plans. How do you like the – raw version? please comment.