Second hand sewn leather project: Travel Ipad Case

Dear readers,

A few month ago, I finally indulged in beautiful box of Japanese leather tools and sewn a phone case for The Old Man to try it out. Pretty soon afterwards, I worked on the project I’m showing you today. As with any new craft, the learning curve is quite steep in the beginning. It reminds me a lot of learning how to sew:

  • You are not sure how to handle your tools
  • You make wrong choices when it comes to material/fabric but
  • You love the results despite all the very visible imperfections.

Handstitched Leather Ipad Case-2
One thing about leather work that I definitely appreciate is that it is relatively short compared to sewing. Of course, my inexperience makes me totally biased. I only tackle simple projects and I’m probably not putting in the level of efforts that professional finish would require. Sewing taught me that you don’t have to be patient from the beginning, it’s an acquired skill that develops once I get tired of making the same mistakes over and over. Only then I’ll take the time to do things properly and wonder why I waited so long. Oh well…

Handstitched Leather Ipad Case-1If you read my blog regularly, by now you have realized that I am more a copycat than a designer. My design “research” (haha), usually starts by endless Pinterest perusing, and for leather items, I find Etsy very useful too. For this project, I wanted to make something for The Old Man (again!! How unselfish of me…) in the same leather as his phone case. We travel regularly and we try so simplify packing. We both carry 2 passeports each and various electronics so I wanted to make a case that could hold an Ipad, travel documents, a pen and a few cards.

Handstitched Leather Ipad Case-3 Handstitched Leather Ipad Case-4The positive point is that I’m happy with the design, I think it’s functional, nice looking and not too girly. On the negative side, the list a bit longer… First of all is the leather. It’s definitely too soft for a structured case. When full and closed it’s ok because the Ipad provides the structure, but the document side lacks firmness. I tried to remedy temporarily by inserting a piece of cardboard. Unfortunately the only solution will be to make is in a more appropriate leather (more on that later!).

Handstitched Leather Ipad Case-5 Handstitched Leather Ipad Case-6My second issue is with my hand stitching. Applying constant thread tension while saddle stitching is definitely a challenge. One that can only be remedied by hours and hours of practice I guess. The last problem is something that was just reported by the user. Apparently, the leather stretched out on the document side and things tend to fall out…

Handstitched Leather Ipad Case-7 Handstitched Leather Ipad Case-3Of course, it’s a little disappointing to admit that this is not the perfect case that I had in mind, but I decided to treat it as a learning experience. When I was in New York recently I bought a BEAUTIFUL vegetable tanned hide, some more tools/finishing products as well as a Japanese book of bag patterns.

After leaving Canada, I am doing a quick stop over in Guatemala but I can’t wait to be back in Haiti to start scheming my next leather project!! Last time I posted about leather, one of my lovely readers recommended the blog of Gillian, Sew Unravelled, as she and her husband make beautiful leather items! I highly recommend taking a look at it, as well as at the blog of my NY friend E., The Pattern Line, where she just posted a leather corset belt she made for class at FIT. Do you have any other leather blogger recommendations to share?


11 thoughts on “Second hand sewn leather project: Travel Ipad Case

  1. COLBEAU Eric

      Couc,   Le truc est pas mal : j’aime le cuir. Mais je vais attendre qu’il soit vraiment au point pour mon Mac Book Air.   Bisou Papa

  2. Ingrid

    I can so relate being a copycat rather than designer. Pintrest is my best friend too 🙂 I don’t think you should be too hard on yourself though – the case is beautiful, and the leather will only look better with time.

  3. Sandra

    J’ai rien à te conseiller sur le cuir malheureusement mais je suis très admirative du fait que tu aies sauté le pas! Je rêve de me faire un sac en cuir un jour, quelque chose de très simple.
    J’ai vu que certaines/certains utilisaient une vieille MAC à pédale, style celles en fonte de nos grands-mères, pour coudre le cuir. Ca pourrait t’éviter la couture à la main ?
    En tous cas, ta pochette est vraiment très sympa, c’est une super idée de cadeaux. Le feutre peut également donner de jolis résultats et il se mixe bien avec le cuir. J’avais acheté un étui Ipad pour mon père dans cette boutique Etsy : Cocones
    Ils font des trucs vraiment chouettes !

    • Sewing Tidbits

      Merci pour la recommendation Etsy, super produits! Je couds du cuir depuis assez longtemps et j’ai utilisé toute sorte de machine y compris la Brother premier prix de Darty… Mais pour s’attaquer a du cuir plus epais/rigide il me faudrait une machine speciale, alors les majns ca marche aussi!!

  4. maryfunt

    I just returned from Italy and a trip through the school of leatherworking in Florence. I’m inspired to hand sew a leather bag and am researching leather work tools. The French ones seem very pricey and hard to find. I’ve read some good reviews of the Japanese ones and am deciding which ones I need to start with.

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