By Suki Baynton
Have you ever had a goal that wasn’t exactly unreachable, but you couldn’t see it happening anytime soon?
For me, since I am a confessed camera nerd, that was my own handmade leather camera bag. Well, actually I'm a complete novice who finds herself spending as much time admiring the camera and lenses as she does taking photos, but we all have our quirks 😉
Anyway, I have searched high and low for a leather camera bag that suited me and that I could afford; apparently, that doesn’t exist. Then I searched high and low for a ‘make your own camera bag’ course, also, apparently that doesn’t exist.
Firstly, I should make it clear that this is not a camera bag kit, but Georgie spent lots of time sending me photos, explaining the thickness of leather, providing colour choices and working out whether it could work as a bag for my camera. So, I had found a stunning leather bag kit that I was confident I could adapt to a camera bag. Then it took me all of about 30 seconds after that realisation, to click on purchase.
What's inside the DIY leather bag kit
So what's in the kit?
- A pre-cut and prepared piece of leather in your chosen bag colour
- The pre-cut and prepared pieces of leather for the straps and fastenings
- Specialty thread and needles
- Leather wax and cloth
- All fixtures and fastenings
- Clear instructions (that accompany the video link Georgie sends by email)
The ONLY additional things you need are a little flat head screwdriver to do up the fastenings and a pair of scissors to cut the thread.
The first stitch!
The leather in the kit looks and feels like excellent quality, the main bag template has all of the sewing holes punched in ready for you and each little piece has been well thought out and presented. The bag strap and small attachment pieces of leather in a contrasting colour (all chosen by you when you order) also have the sewing holes cut out so you don't need to worry about those details. Blimey even the thread was cut to almost the perfect amount needed, with a little extra for those of us who might just muck it up... Georgie is prepared for all eventualities!
The printed instructions provide a thorough step-by-step set of images and written stages for you to follow, these complement the pre-recorded video that demonstrates each of the stages. You learn how to prepare the leather and thread with wax before you even start sewing, by this point, you are already in love.
Brass hardware on, tabs sewn... starting to look like a (very nice) bag!
For those of you that find it difficult to follow instructions (yes, that's me), the video link Georgie sends will be invaluable. I loaded it on my phone and watched and re-watched the little sections that stumped me, like, how to 'lock' the thread on the needle and how the D bar and buckle are meant to sit before you sew the tabs up.
This is all clearly explained in the instructions, so do not fear - some of us are just harder to teach than others 👋🏻
Once your leather is prepared and your needles are threaded, the sewing is actually really quite quick and before you know it, the leather pieces start transforming into a bag before your very eyes.
Hints and tips from Georgie
So, I am not sure how long this bag took to make as I didnt keep an eye on the time, I did however listen to Fleetwood Mac's greatest hits, David Bowie: The rise and fall of ziggy stardust, Hunky Dory (twice - big fan), Dire Straits: Brothers in arms, Nina Simone's greatest hits and a few other records. So, however long that is!
But who's counting? I thoroughly enjoyed myself, didn't poke myself with a needle once and didn't feel the urge to tidy or load the dishwasher, win win.
This truly is a gorgeous, absorbing and satisfying kit to work on.
Georgie also provides really handy little hints and tips that can be used in other sewing or leather projects and I have actually already used one of them whilst making something else. The beauty of craft kits and courses is that although they educate you for the craft at hand, those skills stay with you.
Unless you're like Dory (Finding Nemo), but then you get the added joy of learning all over again!
My new favourite thing ❤️
So, here she is. The new love of my life, soon to be taken to every beautiful destination, photographed as much as the scenery, talked about like a favourite child and loved forever more.
If you want to try this DIY leather bag kit, we’d love to see what combination of colours you go for as there is a beautiful choice!
Plus, if you enjoyed reading this have a browse of all of our recent lockdown articles >